Checking your furnace before the onset of the winter months is very important, not only to make sure that any parts or repairs can be made before you need to use the furnace, but to be positive that everything is in working order and you and your family are not at risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning – a large worry for many people using furnaces. Though most routine checks are pretty standard, there are seven very important parts that should be double checked to make sure everything is functioning properly. Use this checklist to stay on top of your furnace maintenance.
- 1. Condition of the Flue Stack
Why we check it: The pipe is similar to an exhaust on your car. If you breathe in this poisonous gas, it can cause serious health issues including vomiting, headaches and even death, depending on the levels of Carbon Monoxide gas.
- 2. Furnace Filter
Why we check it: There’s a lot to be learned from the furnace filter. If it’s dirty, it could mean that the system may not have been serviced for some time. In that case, the condition of the blower should be checked, as well as the condition of the AC coil. If the filter is clean, it could mean that someone has just changed it or that the system has been kept in good working order.
- 3. Heat Exchanger
Why we check it: This is the area where the fire burns in the furnace. If there is a hole or crack of some kind, it could be a serious hazard. A defect of that type could cause a fire or even Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
- 4. Gas Leaks
Why we check it: Even the smallest of gas leaks can be hazardous by causing fires or explosions. Gas leaks should be checked for during every service call, since with the constant opening and closing of the gas valve during the winter, gas leaks can be quite common.
- 5. Amp Draws and Voltage Drops
Why we check it: It’s possible to have premature failure of electrical parts, which are expensive and sometimes hard to find and replace. Also, if the supplied power to the electrical components isn’t correct, you could have premature failure as well as poor efficiency. Checking before the cold winter months hit means that there won’t be any down time with your furnace during the months you need it most.
- 6. Safety Devices and Safety Switches
Why we check it: 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 and keep it off so that it protects you from fire and from damaging the appliance through malfunction.
- 7. Combustion Air
Why we check it: As probably the most overlooked issue in the furnace industry, it’s very important that this is checked during a maintenance visit. Without extra air for the fuel, air may not be venting out of the flues correctly. For example, if your furnace or water heater is located in the laundry room and you turn your dryer on, you will create a negative pressure in the room. And if a vent fan in the room is on, you will create a negative pressure in the room. Without air from the outside for the fuel burning appliance, the appliance may not vent correctly and fuel gases will vent into your home instead, causing Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
If you feel uncomfortable checking these items yourself, Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric performs a 15 point furnace checkup, which includes the above items, to make sure your furnace is up and running for the winter season. During this check 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 and higher costs, inconvenience of having to take a day off and maybe a cold night or two. We offer evening and weekend appointments at no charge are open 7 days a week with no extra charges! 303.451.5057
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