Top 3 Tips On Furnace & Heating System Maintenance

image of top 3 depicting heating system maintenace care

Mornings are beginning to feel much cooler as we transition into autumn. For this reason, it is a good time of year to prepare for the coming winter season. Property owners often have lists of chores they complete on an annual basis, which may include activities such as sweeping the chimney, storing away summer items, and cleaning gutters. The autumn season is also an ideal time to perform maintenance on one’s heating system. Tuning up your heater is best completed before harsh weather arrives. Unfortunately, numerous homeowners overlook this important job.

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Why Is Furnace Heating System Maintenance Important?

In the absence of yearly maintenance, heating systems do not work efficiently. In many cases, this lack of maintenance may also cause the heating unit to malfunction, particularly in the middle of winter. Heating systems that are neglected by homeowners eventually require costly repairs as well. Fortunately, scenarios of this kind are completely avoidable with routine care and maintenance. Keeping a heating system running at maximum efficiency can be accomplished by following the three tips outlined below.

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Changing Air Filters

image of a dirty hvac filter that needs a replacement for heating system efficiency

Similar to the way an air conditioner requires regular filter replacement, forced air heating systems must have new filters on a regular basis also. Numerous advantages are associated with filter changing, but it is surprising to discover how many consumers neglect this task when it could easily save them money on their utility bills and generally make the HVAC system more energy-efficient.

However, it is essential to purchase a high-quality filter. This will not only make the system run better but also decrease the level of pollution in the air inside the home. Changing air filters also increases the longevity of the heating system, which prevents the need for costly repairs in the future.

When purchasing an air filter, consumers must be careful to search for the something referred to as the “MERV number.” This number ranges anywhere from one to 12, with the highest number being the best quality filter. However, many property owners are unsure about the frequency of changing filters and are confused about whether or not they are changing them too frequently or not as often as necessary. Below, United Filter discusses facts and information about how often such filters must be changed:

Your furnace filter should be checked monthly. Typically, most manufacturers recommend changing the filter every 3-6 months. Time between replacement is dependent on many factors. This can include the quality of the filter, time of year, presence of pets, allergy considerations, operation cycle of hvac equipment. Often, simply looking at the filter can indicate whether it needs to be changed. 

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The need to change your heating system filter essentially depends on the individual characteristics of your household. For example, those who live in a dusty environment or who have pets that shed hair will likely find that such factors impact how often their HVAC filters will require changing. In such homes, changing filters at least every 90 days is recommended. Nevertheless, if you notice that the filter is dirty, it should be immediately changed rather than waiting for a specific period of time to elapse.

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Keeping Your Oil Tank Full

heating oil tank

If oil is used to heat your home, one aspect of preparing for winter almost certainly involves oil tank maintenance. This is because the tank is a crucial and fundamental component of your heating system. It is a wise course of action to conduct a yearly tune-up of your heating system, and this should involve tank inspection. Many tanks of this kind are located outdoors, and if this is the case with yours, make sure you add an anti-gelling substance to the tank when anticipating extremely harsh weather or freezing temperatures.

As a property owner, you should also inspect your tank on a regular basis, looking for rust or possible oil leaks. Additionally, it is important to make sure water does not seep into the tank from any source. Keeping the tank full will help to avoid the buildup of condensation within the system as well, which can become a breeding ground for bacteria. The build up of sediment can also have a disastrous effect on the heating system and fuel tank. This is because it may lead to clogs near the burner nozzle or the fuel lines themselves. Outlined below is some information from Heating Oil Express about why it is essential to keep your tank full:

Water can be even more dangerous. Most of the water in the tank comes from condensation, which is a result of difference in temperatures inside and outside the tank. As water is also heavier than oil, it will collect on the tank’s bottom. Water deposits represent a good place for growing various bacteria, and these bacteria release acid which may lead to tank corrosion. And corrosion means oil leaks.
Don’t let the oil in your tank run out! When that happens all the sludge from the bottom of your tank would end up clogging your filters and you’ll most likely need a burner service to change the oil filters and clean up your furnace.

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There are numerous advantages associated with maintaining your oil tank. For example, it ensures proper function of the tank, as well as the safety of your those within your household. Oil leaks must be taken seriously, as oil is a contaminant that can make your water unsafe to drink and lower the value of your property. In addition, cleaning up an oil leak is an extremely expensive endeavor.

Keeping the tank full of oil prevents problems with rusting and condensation. It also helps you with scheduling problems, since you never require an oil delivery at the last minute. Anyone who has ever run out of oil during cold seasons understands why keeping a full tank is beneficial.

Finally, an oil tank that runs out of oil or runs low on a regular basis will disturb the sediment at the bottom of the tank, and this sediment may ultimately make its way to the fuel line, where damage can occur. In many cases, homeowners must invest in a service call to get their heating system functional again after running out of oil.

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Furnace Maintenance

image of an hvac contractor performing annual furnace maintenance

For furnaces and heating systems to work at top capacity, they must be professionally maintained every fall. Below are some tips from Service Master, where repercussions of neglecting a furnace are discussed:

8 Things That Could Happen Without Regular Furnace Maintenance

  • Higher energy bills due to an overlooked furnace.
  • Cracks in the Combustion Chamber.
  • Possibly Void Manufacturer’s Warranty for Neglect of Furnace.
  • Shortened Lifespan of Furnace
  • Improper Ventilation
  • Malfunctioning Safety Devices
  • Could start a house fire.
  • Possible Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Incomplete Combustion
  • Puts the Health and Safety of Everyone in the Home at Risk

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It is no fun to have a broken heating system in the middle of winter. For this reason, it is essential to maintain the system before you and your family depend on it the most. Scheduling professional furnace maintenance and inspection in the fall saves time, stress and money. When small problems are addressed in a proactive manner, it leads to lower future expenses. This is because minor issues that are neglected quickly escalate into larger, more costly issues. A professional HVAC service company, such as ours, can identify minor issues before they become major problems.

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The expert technicians on our team are equipped to handle any HVAC repair or maintenance. Contact us to hear about our various services. We can assist by answering your questions and concerns. For more information about our efficient HVAC services or oil deliveries, call R.F. Ohl today!

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