Importance of Checking your Furnace

(A 15-Point Inspection guide)

Posted by Seth Woolson: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2014
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Winter is Officially here and checking your furnace 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: 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: 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 Ex changer: 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: 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: 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: 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, Coastal Refrigeration Heating & Air performs a 15 point furnace checkup, which includes the above items, to make sure your furnace is up and running for the winter season.

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