Winter is on the way, and before frigid temperatures and freezing precipitation arrive, you’ll definitely want to let an expert visit your home to inspect and fine-tune your heating system. It’s the best way to make sure you and your family will remain warm and comfortable inside, regardless of how cold it gets outside.
After all, routine maintenance on your furnace is just as important as changing the oil in your car or truck on a regular basis, according to Reu Smith, Home Comfort Advisor at IMS Heating & Air, which serves customers throughout Colorado. He points out that you should always have your home heating system serviced in the late summer or early fall so you’ll be ready for the colder months.
IMS Heating & Air offers its customers a 28-point inspection program aimed at making sure their heating system continues to work efficiently throughout the winter. The inspection includes:
- Cleaning the System
According to Smith, in the war to maintain furnace efficiency, dust is the enemy. “Consider the height of a stack of three business cards about 1/16 of an inch. That much dust on a blower wheel can reduce energy efficiency by as much as 30 percent,” he says. Dirty heating and cooling coils, motors and air-handling units can make your HVAC system operate inefficiently, meaning colder rooms and higher energy bills.
- Checking Measurements
The experts at IMS Heating & Air take voltage, gas pressure and air flow measurements to determine whether your system is working at its optimal level. If it isn’t, they’ll let you know what needs to be done to bring it up to snuff. This will guarantee that the right amount of warm air is circulating properly throughout the home, and helps ensure that you won’t wake up shivering on the coldest night of the year.
- Changing Filters
Filters play a vital role in the health and wellbeing of your heating system. Since they protect the blower fan from the dust and other dirt pulled in by the return duct, it’s important to replace filters on a regular basis. How often you need to change your filter depends on several factors, including how dusty your home is; whether or not you have pets; whether or not you’re a smoker; and how often you keep your windows open during nice weather. Check with an HVAC specialist to determine the right schedule for your home.
- Checking for Gas
The experts at IMS Heating & Air will use a “gas sniffer” to measure if there’s gas coming off your heat exchanger, which can mean there might be micro-cracking, “a big issue,” according to Smith. A gas leak won’t just impact your utility bill and overall warmth – it can cause health problems (dizziness, nausea, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath) and even fires or explosions.
- The Mechanical Components
If the blower, the burners and all of the other parts of your heating system aren’t working properly, you’ll be wasting energy and, even worse, risking the possibility that your system will break down when you need it most.
“If any part of the system doesn’t work, the system fails and you’re stuck with a service call,” Smith says.
The best way to ensure that your heating system remains efficient and reliable throughout the colder months is to have it tuned up by the experts at IMS Heating & Air before winter arrives. New, high-efficiency furnaces often pay for themselves in energy savings within seven years. As long as you have your heating system serviced on a regular basis, most systems last for 10 to 15 years.
“Some furnaces can last for up to 25 years,” Smith says. “Typically, at that point, homeowners replace their heating systems because the newer models are more energy efficient.
Are you interested in finding out more about how you can enhance the energy-efficiency and reliability of your heating system? Visit IMS Heating & Air at ImsHeatingandAir.com or call (970) 532-0123 in Northern Colorado; (719) 574-0123 in Southern Colorado; or (303) 444-4900 in the Denver metropolitan area.
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