Ensuring your heating system is regularly inspected and maintained by a qualified technician is the number one way to prevent costly heating repair service visits and make sure your home stays warm and comfortable throughout the colder months.
We have covered common reasons behind heating system failure and provided a short guide on how to keep your heating bills down during winter. Now, we review five tested ways to identify and address common smaller issues a heating system can encounter. Read on to learn more.
How do I maintain my heating system?
When it comes to keeping your heating system in great shape, the first thing you need to do is make sure it receives a professional furnace tuneup on an annual basis. For optimal results, you can schedule your heating system maintenance service some time during fall or early winter.
Apart from this, you need to occasionally give your heating system a visual inspection. Keep in mind certain heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) problems can be extremely hazardous. Be especially mindful of these two issues:
- Strange smells. If you have a gas furnace, and you smell gas in your home, leave the house immediately and report the leak to the fire department or your gas company. Don’t go back inside until the issue has been resolved.
- Electrical problems. If the circuit trips or the fuse blows repeatedly when your furnace switches on, you’re likely dealing with an electrical system issue. If so, refrain from tinkering with the heating system and call in a professional.
Here are 5 time-tested tips for your heating system maintenance:
1. Check the filters regularly
Furnaces are equipped with filters that are designed to trap soot, dust, dirt, and other particulates before they can get inside your home’s ductwork. In some houses, the HVAC vents are equipped with their own filters as well.
These filters should be checked once a month, and changed or washed (if they’re reusable) as needed. The expected service life a filter depends on its type:
- 1-2 inch filters: 1-3 months
- 3-4 inch filters: 6-9 months
- 5-6 inch filters: 9-12 months
Factors that may reduce the expected life of a filter include:
- Workload. The more you use your HVAC system, the faster its filters will become clogged with dirt, dust, and other particulates.
- Occupancy. The more people there are in your household, the more contaminants they’re going to introduce into your home environment. This causes additional wear on air filters.
- Respiratory conditions. You should change filters more often if you or other members of your family suffer from asthma or allergies. This helps alleviate the symptoms of these conditions by reducing the amount of contaminants that are present in your indoor air supply.
- Pets. Cats, dogs, and other furry animals constantly shed fur and dander, which is then naturally circulated throughout your HVAC system. As a rule of thumb, every pet in your home reduces the life of a filter by 30 days or so.
2. Make sure the vents aren’t obstructed
Your central heating system distributes warm air throughout your home via a system of ducts and vents. If these vents are dirty or blocked by furniture, clutter, or carpeting, your heating system won’t work as intended. To make matters worse, this will put extra stress on the furnace, making it less efficient and causing it to wear down faster.
3. Don’t overwork your furnace
Even a high-quality, well-maintained heating system is going to struggle if your home isn’t properly weatherized. Old windows, poor insulation, and air leaks will all cause warm air to escape during winter, forcing your furnace to work harder to maintain the same temperature. This inevitably leads to increased wear and energy expenditures.
An easy way to check for this is to hold a candle or a piece of paper near the window frames to see if any air is getting in, and add foam strip insulation as needed. If this doesn’t solve the problem, consider hiring a HVAC expert to perform an energy audit at your house. They will alert you to any problem areas that are putting an unnecessary stress on your furnace.
4. Examine the thermostat
First off, make sure your thermostat is set to “heat”, and not to “cool” or “emergency heat”. Then, increase the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees. If your heating system doesn’t start up at all, or if it only runs for a few minutes and then switches off again, you may have a faulty thermostat on your hands.
Change the batteries and try again. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to have the thermostat replaced.
5. Inspect the ductwork
Remove the grille from the vent and shine a light inside the duct. Look for signs of mold, dust or dirt buildup, or anything else that may obstruct the airflow or negatively impact your indoor air quality. If you spot anything that raises concerns, you may need to book a professional duct-cleaning service.
Where can I find a reputable heating repair service in Riverside, CA, and the vicinity?
Action Air Conditioning & Heating Installation is a prominent HVAC company that provides the complete range of heating and cooling services. Our team consists of supremely qualified and certified experts who are able to provide prompt and effective HVAC repair, replacement, and installation services.
We have operated in the San Diego and Riverside Counties for more than 45 years. We cater to clients in communities throughout the area, including in San Diego, Lakeside, Escondido, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Oceanside, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, and beyond.
We offer free expert diagnostic services for furnaces and ACs, as well as discounts on furnace tune-ups and safety inspections. Reach out to us today.