Checking your furnace before the onset of the winter months is critical to its overall health. An inspection ensures that you can make any necessary repairs before you need to use the furnace. It can also help you safeguard your family from carbon monoxide poisoning – a large worry for many people using furnaces. Though most routine checks are pretty standard, seven crucial inspection points require close attention to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Use this checklist to stay on top of your furnace maintenance.
Element One: The Flue Stack
The flue stack is a pipe that is similar to the exhaust pipe on your car. A flue stack that vents into your home is suspect and may lead you to breathe in the poisonous fumes! Over time, even low levels of these gasses can cause serious health issues, including vomiting, headaches, and even death, depending on the carbon monoxide concentration in your home.
Element Two: The Furnace Filter
There’s a lot to be learned from the furnace filter. If it’s dirty, it could mean that the system needs more frequent service. In that case, a technician should check the condition of the blower and the AC coil. A clean filter indicates that a system receives regular service and is in perfect working order.
Element Three: The Heat Exchanger
This area is where the fire burns in the furnace. If there is a hole or crack of some kind, it could be a severe hazard. A defect of that type could cause a fire or even lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Element Four: Gas Leaks
Even the smallest of gas leaks are a hazard that can cause fires or explosions. Your maintenance technician should check for gas leaks during every service call. This way, you can avoid the common leaks that occur with the constant opening and closing of the gas valve during the winter.
Element Five: Amp Draws and Voltage Drops
It’s possible to have premature failure of electrical parts, which are expensive and sometimes hard to find and replace. You could also have a premature failure or poor efficiency due to an improper supply of power. Checking before the cold winter months hit means there won’t be any downtime with your furnace during the months you need it most.
Element Six: Safety Devices and Safety Switches
Any time a safety device or switch fails, you will lose heat. By design, when the gas valve misfires or the motors inside the furnace are not working properly, the safety switches turn off the furnace. This safety mechanism protects you from fire and from damaging the appliance due to a malfunction.
Element Six: Proper Airflow
As probably the most overlooked issue in the furnace industry, ensuring that your furnace has the proper airflow it needs is crucial. Without extra air for the fuel, air may not be venting out of the flues correctly. This issue leads to fuel gases venting into your home instead, causing carbon monoxide poisoning.
Let The Brothers Handle Your Inspections
If you feel uncomfortable checking these items yourself, Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric performs a 15 point furnace check-up. Our check-up includes everything we’ve listed here today and much more to ensure your furnace is up and running for the winter season. During this service, we can identify potential problems and concerns that may become an issue as the furnace works harder in the winter months. Having your furnace checked in the fall when the demand for service is lower may save you from some untimely breakdowns. It could also save you the inconvenience of taking a day off and maybe a cold night or two! We offer evening and weekend appointments at no extra charge and are open 7 days a week!