Thursday, October 9, 2008

Service your Heating System to Save Money

My husband, the HVAC (HEATING, ventilation and air conditioning) expert.... wanted me to remind you all, that your heating systems need to be serviced in order to cut down on your energy cost and keep your system running effectively when you need it. With the cost of energy rising, you want to make your home as energy efficient as possible.

A heating system that is in need of service will not only leave you cold when you need heat, but will be costing you more to run.

A typical heating system service call would include:

* Cleaning the blower motor and fan section

If the blower motor is dirty, it will tend to overheat and burn up, making your system non-operational and costly to fix.

If the fan blades are dirty, they won't move the proper volume of air, thus not heating your home sufficiently and costing you more to operate.

* Checking electrical connections

If your electrical connections are loose or faulty, they could end up disconnecting (at the worst time, of course) and render your system inoperable.

* Checking burner operation or heat pump operation:

- In a gas-fired furnace, that would mean checking the condition of the heat exchanger and the condition of the burner.

Checking the integrity of the heat exchanger in a gas fired system is important. If it is not intact, it is dangerous because combustion fumes will be entering the house. At the very least this could cause headaches, at the very worst, it could cause an explosion.

- In a heat pump system, that would mean checking that the reversing valve is operating correctly.

If the reversing valve doesn't operate it will be stuck in one position – either in heating or in cooling, thus possibly creating expensive damage to the air conditioning system by causing compressor failure.

The filter should be cleaned or replaced at this time of year. Most service technicians do not carry filters on their trucks since there are so many different sizes. However, a nice service technician would probably change the filter for you if you had one on hand at the time of servicing. You can find the location of your heating system filter in the manual for your system. Then you can look at the filter to find the size. If you no longer have the manual, many manufacturers have the manuals available for download online at their websites. You just need the make and model number of your system to find the manual.

Of course, it goes without saying that it is better to get this service done now, while it is still mild weather and your heating system is not a necessity. Waiting until it is cold and you absolutely need your heating system to work is not wise.

OK…. I’ve done my duty and told you.

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