PreSeason Heating and Air Inspections can Avoid Surprises
Every year a homeowner somewhere will be frantically calling an HVAC contractor due to their furnace not working or their air conditioner not cooling their home. Rarely, do they call them out ahead of time under the basic premise of it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. However, with something as important as your home’s comfort having the system checked ahead of time can help prevent problems later as well as save you money on emergency calls. Think about the last time you needed an HVAC contractor by emergency…it was on the weekend or after hours when house calls are more expensive.
That’s not to say that something won’t go wrong if you have a pre-season check, but the odds are more in your favor of having an incident-free season if you learn about potential issues and have them corrected before the season begins. Depending on the type of equipment you have, basic services will include changing air filters and thermocouple, if your furnace is so equipped, but other items are also checked to ensure efficient functioning of your furnace.
When the service tech from the hvac company arrives he will likely turn the furnace on and listen for any tell-tale signs concerning the operation of your unit. He will be looking to hear the blower running to determine if the blower bearings are in good condition, among other things. Once it turns off, he will check the operation of the limit switch to make sure the fuel shutoff valve closes when it is supposed to. He will also likely change the thermocouple if so-equipped and change all the filters in the system.
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If you have a gas furnace, it is important to know that it may produce some carbon monoxide that is released outside your home through the furnace’s vent. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can cause flu-like symptoms...
The tech should also check the carbon monoxide detector to make sure it is working properly. Many of the checks conducted by a certified technician from an HVAC contractor should include:
- Clean the furnace
- Clean and check flame of the pilot light
- Adjust Pilot light as needed
- Clean the burners by vacuuming away any dust
- Check fan felts on the blower
- Inspect the combustion chamber for any leaks that could release carbon monoxide into the air
- Clean and lubricate blower motor and fan
- Test for gas leaks and test gas valve operation
- Verify calibration of thermostat
- Check all of the wiring inside the furnace for cracks in the insulation
- Test and adjust the furnace’s limit switch as needed.
An annual tune up will prevent in-season issues since most of the items that can go wrong with a furnace will be checked during the pre-season check. However, that doesn’t mean that absolutely nothing will go wrong with your furnace.
Many of the same issues checked on your furnace will also be part of the pre-season check for your in-house air conditioner, if you have one. While some of the checks can be done by you, many of them should be looked at by a qualified technician. If there is any gas odor at or near the furnace for example, a qualified HVAC contractor will be needed to sniff out the problem and correct it.
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