Heating System Tune Up
Save Heating Cost This Year by Having
a Heating System Tune Up
As the summer months come to a close and
cooler weather settles in it is time to get a heating system
its tune up. It doesn’t make any difference what type of
heating system you heat with they all require periodic tune
If your heating system is baseboard
electric you have an easy task. But if your heating system
is a force hot air furnace or a hot water boiler then there
are a few things you need to do to insure maximum
efficiency. An inefficient heating system burns more fuel
that cost you money. A heating system tune up and a little
DIY preventive maintenance can save on your heating cost.
Here are a few DIY tips to insure that your heating system
is operating efficiently.
Check to make sure your thermostat is accurate on the
temperature reading. Depending on the age of your thermostat
or the placement of the thermostat in the room it may not be
accurate. Replace the thermostat if it does not function
correctly. This is an easy DIY task.
Baseboard electric and hot water
Clean inside the registers of all dust
and debris that has accumulated during the summer. Dirty
fins will not radiate heat as well as clean fins.
Forced hot air furnaces have at least
one or more air filters. Inspect the filter(s) and change or
clean as necessary. A dirty filter can significantly reduce
the amount of air movement in the house making your furnace
less efficient. The filter should be checked or replaced at
least twice during the heating season.
Forced Hot Air Furnace:
Make sure any belts on the furnace
motor are in good shape. Be sure to have an extra on
hand in case of breakage and replace them on a regular
basis to avoid a break.
Make sure the motor is properly
oiled according to your owner’s manual.
furnaces use gas or oil as a fuel source to heat the air
that circulates through the system. The heating unit,
often called a “gun” requires annual cleaning. Most fuel
suppliers provide this service. They typically clean the
fuel filters, the fuel jet in the burn chamber, and
adjust the burning efficiency of the furnace.
Forced hot air heating systems uses
a series of air ducts to move the warm air throughout
the house. Check to make sure there is nothing blocking
air flow in the ducts, heat registers, or return
registers. A couch, kids toys, etc. placed over a vent
register will greatly reduce the effectiveness of your
airflow and your furnace.
Clean your heating and cooling ducts
at every two years to insure efficiency. This will
reduce your heating cost and is good for your air
quality as well.
If your heating system is a baseboard
hot water system, or hot air from an air handler, the boiler
needs special attention at least annually to insure
efficiency. Your fuel supplier usually provides this service
as it requires technical skills and special tools. The
burning chamber requires special attention as well as the
fuel jet in the burn gun and fuel filters. When cleaning is
complete the technician will adjust the burning efficiency
of the boiler. A clean boiler will operate at approximately
86.5% efficient whereas a dirty boiler will only burn at
approximately 80.0% or less. If your chimney is emitting
black smoke your boiler need immediate attention.
Wood Burning Stoves:
Many homeowners in northern areas
use wood burning stoves to supplement their heating
requirements. Burning wood generates dust that will
collect in the primary heating system filters. Insure
that you check or replace the filters regularly.
The chimney and stove pipe should be
cleaned at least twice during the heating season to
avoid chimney fires and optimum efficiency of your wood
If you are using a wood burning stove
for primary or supplemental heat, insure that you have
smoke/fire detectors installed and that the batteries are
fresh before the beginning of the heating season. Most of
the suggestions offered here can be performed by the
homeowner except for the cleaning of boilers and furnaces.
These tasks should be performed by a trained technician.
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