The fall means seasonal chores lists for Rochester residents: rake the leaves, break out the heavy blankets, decorate the house for the holidays. As you begin to prepare your home for winter, it’s also the time to get your heater serviced before the colder weather has it kicking on more and more.
One thing homeowners use as a reminder to have your heater serviced, or inspected, is when you move the clocks back an hour. You’ll get it done just as the temperature begins dropping and indoor air quality becomes more of a concern. A heater tune-up can keep you safe, improve the air quality in your home, and possibly save you money.
Service isn't a very expensive thing to do, and it pays off in the long run. There’s usually a long checklist for an inspection, but generally speaking, a technician inspects and cleans the various components, checks for blockages and proper drainage and makes sure everything is working properly.
Is it worth the time and money? It's absolutely worth it. That one inspection could uncover a big problem, or at least give you some reassurance, and lower energy bills all winter long. Here are some of the benefits of getting your heater serviced...
A Heater Service Keeps Your Home Safe
When it comes to a heater or furnace, there are a few things that could create problems. A cracked heat exchanger or leak in the system can cause poisonous pollutants to leak into your home. In the winter, when the windows are all closed, it’s easier for the irritants to build up. An heater that hasn't been serviced in a while may run “dirty,” or less efficiently, producing even more of the gas than normal.
Perhaps the biggest risk of a faulty heater is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that’s produced by burning fuel. It’s poisonous to people and animals if it builds up, and without a detector, it’s almost impossible to tell if there’s a dangerous amount in your home.
When you have your heater inspected, the technician will check for cracks and leaks that can allow the gas to seep into your living space. A tune-up also means your unit will run efficiently, producing less exhaust, and prevent pollutants such as carbon monoxide from building up.
The Results Of An Inspection Can Help Improve Indoor Air Quality
As people start closing windows and sealing up drafts, it causes less fresh air to circulate through the house. Dust, allergens and bacteria also get trapped inside, and they can make you feel lousy as they linger in the air. A big part of avoiding that problem is getting your heater serviced to make sure the air in your home is as clean as possible.
Any forced-air ventilation system greatly affects indoor air quality. It circulates the air but doesn’t bring in fresh air from outside. Therefore, you want to be sure that the heated air coming from your heat source is as clean as possible.
One easy step any homeowner can take is to replace the air filter on their system. After that, an inspection can go a long way. A technician cleans out dust and debris inside the system, preventing those particles from moving through your home. An inspection also includes replacing worn-out, damaged or broken parts that can cause a malfunction. All this helps keep your heated air clean.
A Tune-Up Of Your Heater Saves You Energy & Money
Think of your furnace like a car: If you drove it for years without an oil change, would it really shock you if it suddenly sputtered out on the highway? Similarly, giving your heating system a regular tune-up prevents a breakdown, especially at the most inopportune time.
Once winter arrives, it’s a safe bet that your heater is running almost all the time. That makes it more likely a frayed wire could stop working, a rusty blower breaks down, or a worn-out heat exchanger finally cracks and the system breaks down when you need it the most. That means not only a costly repair or even a replacement, but waiting for it to happen while your house is cold, or paying extra for emergency service in the dead of winter.
A tune-up catches these potential problems before they become costly disasters. It also helps saves money each month on your energy bills. Along with checking for broken or breaking parts, an inspection includes cleaning out filters, traps, vents and more. That lets the air flow unrestricted, heating your home more efficiently with less energy than a blocked or dirty system needs.