How do I maintain my heating system?

HVAC systems outdoors

How often should a heating system be serviced?

Winter is getting close to being over, but that doesn’t mean your HVAC maintenance routine stops.  Your heater annual maintenance is necessary even if the winter stays in the 80s all season (yeah, not likely in here in North Carolina, but you never know!). So, do furnaces need to be serviced?

Absolutely! In fact, when you have a new furnace installed, manufacturers recommend an annual furnace or HVAC maintenance and inspection be performed by a qualified and licensed technician at least once a year or you risk voiding your warranty. A part of knowing your air will work in the summer and the heater in the winter, heater maintenance for house annually is not something to skip. 

It is recommended by experts in the field that an HVAC system should be professionally checked once a year. Professional HVAC maintenance technician have a heater maintenance checklist they follow that will assure that every aspect is inspected to be in proper working order. On that checklist, the technician will perform the following tasks: 

  • Check the thermostat and adjust as needed.
  • Verify the condenser coil is clean. 
  • Check all connections and wiring.
  • Check blower motor belt wear and tension, then adjust as needed.
  • Check motor voltage and amp draw.
  • Check compressor contact.
  • Perform a visual inspection of compressor and check the amp draw.
  • Check start capacitor and potential relay.
  • Check pressure switch setting.
  • Replace or clean air filter. 

How often should I clean my heating system?

As the homeowner, remember the heater portion of your HVAC system is also responsible for the overall indoor air quality for your home, it isn’t just for heat. When the heater isn’t working as it should, you will have an increase in your energy bills. HVAC maintenance tasks you can do every month to three months without much heater maintenance how to knowledge are: 

  • Change or Clean the Filter: This is the most basic and common thing a homeowner should know how to do, and it should be every 30 days. A dirty air filter will have a negative impact on the air quality and your energy bills. A lack of HVAC maintenance with the filter will cause your HVAC system to work harder, and this will shorten its lifespan. If you aren’t sure how to do this, have the HVAC maintenance tech show you during their next visit. 
  • Clean Debris from the Burners: Keeping the burners clean of any debris and dust as part of the HVAC maintenance plan will keep it working efficiently which will save you money each month. Even during the warmer weather, the heater will gather dirt and dust, which is why a fall HVAC maintenance appointment is recommended. While a homeowner shouldn’t attempt cleaning the burners, you can vacuum around the area of the filter and inside the open areas of the furnace, after you have turned the systems off. 
  • Unblock the Vents: It can be easy for anyone to not realize they have placed a chair or a laundry basket in front of a heating vent. Each day as you walk through your home picking up clothes or dishes, if there is any vent blocked, move the item(s) and remind everyone the importance of keeping the vents clear. Make sure that there aren’t curtains or rugs in the way of the vents either, the simplest of all HVAC maintenance steps. 
  • Check the Thermostat: Make sure the heat is selected on the thermostat if your home isn’t keeping warm. This is a common HVAC service call result and could save you that service call charge by checking it yourself. 
  • Oil the Blower Motor: This is one steps that a professional HVAC maintenance technician will do as part of their service. 
  • Keep the Professional HVAC Maintenance and Inspection Schedule: Never let your professional HVAC maintenance check overlap. This annual professional HVAC maintenance allows the technician the opportunity to find small issues and repair them before they become a major problem. 

How do I clean my furnace in the winter?

Furnaces and heaters will spontaneously stop working on the coldest night of the year. You can prevent that from happening by being proactive with furnace and HVAC maintenance on your part: 

  • Clear the Drain Tube: Small amounts of water accumulate with natural gas and propane furnaces, with some of it blowing exhaust stream and the remaining water drains into a drip pan, usually, the same one the air conditioner drains into.  Once a month or every two months, check the drain pain and empty then check the tubing and make sure it is clear of any blockage or clogs. 
  • Dust and Vacuum: Debris, dirt, and dust collect inside a furnace all year long. When left to accumulate, the furnace will be inefficient or even quit working. You can prevent this by using a small soft paintbrush and gently clean the inner components, removing any debris and dust. Then gently vacuum over the area to collect the loosened debris and dirt. 
  • Clean the Flame Sensor: If you have a gas furnace, keeping the flame sensor clean is important to void the gas furnace to stop working. This only needs to be done once a year, and you can wait for your annual professional HVAC maintenance appointment or do your own. 
  • The Filter: We can’t stress this enough for furnace or HVAC maintenance to change or clean your air filter every 30 days. 
inside a furnace

How do I test my heating system?

Turn the emergency switch on and turn the thermostat up eight to ten degrees higher than the current room temperature. The heating system should cut on in a few minutes. If it doesn’t push the reset button near the burner relay. If still not working, follow the tips we’ve outlined here and if none of those work, schedule a professional HVAC maintenance and inspection. 

By staying on top of the HVAC maintenance, you’ll minimize any surprises with the cooling or heating part of your system. The monthly things we’ve discussed will go a long way in that as well as extend the life of your furnace or HVAC system. Call 828-778-2425 today for HVAC repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC.