Avoid an HVAC Losing Streak with a Sensible Maintenance Strategy
It’s bad enough they have to live with an embarrassing 0-16 opens in a new window losing streak this season. But what’s even worse? Many of the players are still in Cleveland right now. As one of the coldest cities in the United States, it’s currently topping out at a high of 7 degrees. And hey, if they handle their furnaces like they do their football teams out there, it must be awfully chilly in many an Ohio living room this year. And here’s the thing. Whether you win or lose at America’s favorite game, everyone deserves to be safe and warm this winter, wherever you are.
Here’s the solution: don’t let your furnace fall into a rut! Get a tune-up instead.
You’ll not only protect opens in a new window your system from costly maintenance down the road but also ensure it operates at peak energy efficiency, saving you money on energy bills now and into the future.
Old furnaces used to be pretty simple to maintain. A service technician would simply remove the pilot burner, cleaning around the opening and scrubbing the burners with steel wool. Today, newer gas furnaces require more than just a scrub brush and a strong pair of hands. As the technology has become more complicated, so has the maintenance.
First, your technician will use an ohmmeter. Sounds like something you’d bring to a yoga class, doesn’t it?
It’s not that cosmic. Instead, the ohmmeter measures resistance as a measure of igniter effectiveness. A worn out silicon or carbide igniter will record a resistance measurement outside the normal parameters for their type. Your technician can tell you more.
If you have a flame sensor, your technician will also check this for proper functioning with a multimeter. The wrong readings can indicate a malfunction. Luckily, by examining the flame sensor, these small issues can be addressed before they turn into big ones (and costly bills) later on. It’s a great example of why regular preventative maintenance can prevent expensive problems, if not outright equipment failure.
Next, your technician will actually remove and clean the burners. With newer burner designs there are more “wings” to attract and hold debris, so it’s critically important to scrub these down fully. Accumulation of dust and dirt has been shown to prevent the free flow of gas and air, resulting in less overall efficiency and higher energy bills. Dirty burners and burner vestibules can even lead to problems with delayed ignition, and in turn, create a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide within your home. Cleanliness is not just about savings; it’s also a safety issue.
Your technician will also perform several other inspections opens in a new window, checking your system’s static pressure for problems with the motor, as well as gas pressure, and even the heat exchanger for obvious signs of leaks, and decay. Depending on the type of system you have, the condensate line may also need to be cleaned.
So there you have it. This is a quick summary, but like the Browns’ last season, there are all kinds of fine details the experts may also address. Basically, the message is this: don’t go the way Cleveland did in 2017. Service your furnace, and you’ll be winning the Super Bowl when it comes to indoor comfort.
Need a winner when it comes to heating and air conditioning? Call Air-Tro, the leading HVAC company for the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, since 1969. Call us at (626) 357-3535.