Ideally, you should try to ensure that the heating system in your home is working properly, prior to the onset of winter. However, if this has slipped your mind, there’s no time like the present to inspect your gas furnace. This way, you can address any problems immediately.
Usually, gas furnaces are installed away from the main living areas in a house. For instance, they may be located in lofts, cupboards or basements. These units are fairly low maintenance, however you do have to examine them regularly to keep them running.
You should note whether your furnace makes any strange sounds, or whether there is any water near to the boiler. At a later date, even a small amount of water can spell big trouble. Check whether the surrounding area is tidy and litter free. If stored close to a heating unit, paint or cleaning detergents can be dangerous. These products might evaporate and erode the unit, or they could catch fire. Also, you should always have a CO detector in the vicinity of the unit. Malfunctioning furnaces might emit harmful carbon monoxide into the atmosphere.
Regardless of whether you are good with DIY, it is best to hire a professional (a minimum of once per year) to examine your heating system. Professionals are more likely to notice problems that an amateur DIYer would overlook. Most good service companies offer yearly agreements for residential clients.
A licensed and certified technician, like one from Air Patrol of Carrollton, TX will go through a comprehensive maintenance checklist. He/She will shut the gas valve and switch the electric power off. Then, he/she will give the furnace and nearby area a thorough clean. This will remove any rust from the control dashboard and leads. It will get rid of any dirt or dust that might have built up as well.
Normally, this inspection will take about sixty minutes. Most service providers charge a set rate for the inspection, and an hourly fee for any additional repair work. You will pay more if new parts are required.
To stop issues arising over the winter, monitor the boiler’s water pressure. It ought to have a reading of twelve to fifteen pounds per square inch (PSI). Contact a heating engineer promptly, if the reading is above or below this range.
Reprogramme your thermostat setting for the nighttime (or for when you are away). Just increasing the setting slightly could stop your pipes from rupturing in freezing temperatures (typically, pipes are fixed to the outside of buildings). Once the warm weather returns, you can revert to your original thermostat setting. Finally, be mindful of any animal nests, snow fall, or other items that may be obstructing your pipes, and get rid of them as quickly as you can.