Annual furnace maintenance

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Annual furnace maintenance

Your natural gas furnace needs an annual inspection from an HVAC pro to guard against problems like short cycling, soot deposits and uneven pilot lights, all of which can mean that come the first cold snap, your heating system either won’t work or pose a risk. Natural gas furnaces are the safest and lowest maintenance heating option.  However, unseen problems can develop during the winter season, or while the system is not in use during the summer. Many times the problem occurs because of soot build up or other corrosion left after going a season without an inspection.

Choose an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) professional to check your heating once a year.  Your natural gas furnace HVAC pro will check your cycling and make sure the unit powers up and stays on.  If a furnace shuts off after a few minutes that is called short cycling and indicates the system is powering down because of a problem.  Short cycling typically happens when the thermostat needs adjusting or the heat exchanger overheats. Next, he will check your filter and replace if necessary.  A filter left over many seasons is the primary cause of soot build up, which is something else your HVAC pro will check. Soot deposits can be caused by burners that need adjusting as well as old filters.  Dirty burners can cause uneven flames which means more gas use.

Making sure your furnace is clean and in operating order saves you money, promoting a longer life of the unit itself and making it more efficient so it uses less natural gas.  You’ll feel better too as a dirty system will push soot through the vents and out into the air, potentially causing nasal and throat irritation. Your HVAC professional will make sure your system stays efficient and costs less to run. His knowledge of your system and the codes insure lasting heat and a clean environment.

An inspection will also turn up any major problems like a cracked unit or gas leak. Even a natural gas leak so small you cannot smell the gas can cause headaches and flu like symptoms.  While a new unit or major repair can be costly, the cost of letting your broken natural gas furnace go can be much much greater.

Get an inspection done soon before the cold season starts.  If you’ve skipped a few years likely the worst that has happened is soot has built up that will require cleaning of the furnace and possibly the vents, and readjustment of the burners.  Have a warm and comfortable winter in your home, set-up an inspection appointment with your HVAC professional.