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Being a homeowner is great. Paying bills for keeping that home in good condition is a necessary expense. Maintenance tasks are important, and should never be ignored. Maintaining your home’s heating system is especially important.
Maintenance Is Mandatory
Your home’s heating system does more than keep you comfortable. It helps to keep the atmosphere in your home stable during cold weather. It keeps your pipes from freezing, and it helps protect appliances, ceilings, walls, and everything else in your home from damage.
Many home heating system maintenance tasks are easy and can be performed with a flashlight and tools you’ll find in most homes. Others may be more complex or require professional help, depending on what kind of heating system is in your home.
Common Heating Systems
While some homes have fireplaces, including cabins and hunting lodges, most modern buildings use furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, or a hybrid combination of these methods for heat.
Distribution systems spread heat throughout the building. Radiant heat systems deliver warmth through wires or pipes. Hydronic systems circulate heated water or a similar fluid to spread heat. Forced-air heat systems use a fan, or blower, to circulate heated air through ducts.
Cost Of Skipping Maintenance
Even a simple fireplace needs regular chimney maintenance. The more complex the heating system, the more often it needs to be inspected and maintained.
Without performing regular maintenance, failures are bound to occur. The nature of the failure can depend on your heating system, and what maintenance task you’ve ignored.
What Happens If I Don’t Change The Air Filter?
Over time the air filter on any forced-air heating system can fill up with particles. This reduces the amount of air that can flow through the filter, and this makes your heating system work harder. The same applies to your air conditioning system. That means higher energy bills.
Fan blower motors use a lot of electricity. With a clogged filter, the motor works harder. The motor draws more power, gets hotter, and draws even more power. The result is premature wear on a primary component of your heating system. The extra wear builds up over time and the blower may break down prematurely.
What Happens If I Don’t Clean Air Ducts?
Air ducts should be examined and cleaned on a regular basis. If dust accumulates, it can lead to an increase in allergens, which can create respiratory ailments in residents, or worse. Enough dust can encourage the growth of mold, which can provide a toxic threat. Physical damage, like the house settling, can create small openings in air ducts that are perfect entrances for pests.
Like dirty air filters, dirty air ducts can make your energy bill higher by impeding circulation.
What Happens If I Don’t Clean My Furnace?
Furnaces need special attention.
The area around the furnace should be kept free of obstructions. This makes maintenance tasks easier and lessens the risk of fire.
Burners and burner assemblies should be examined and cleaned on a regular basis. The opening that allows the fuel to escape and combust, the port, and the burner assembly can collect soot.
Accumulations of soot around the port, or ports, can reduce the efficiency of your heating system. This increases fuel use, raising your energy bill.
If soot dislodges and circulates through the home, residents may get it in their lungs, where it can cause health problems. Soot-on clothing is annoying and unsightly. Soot can ruin food and damage the finish of fine furniture and other surfaces.
What Happens If I Don’t Check The Pipes?
Heating systems that circulate water or fluid, or hydronic systems, are subject to failures common to most plumbing systems.
Leaking water can cause a lot of damage. Depending on their location, leaks can destroy floors, walls, ceilings, and appliances. If you specialize in home remodeling, that’s great, but if not, it’s a situation you want to avoid. Regularly check around boilers, pipes, and radiators for signs of leakage.
Some hydronic systems may accumulate air in their lines or pipes. Some systems require regular checking to maintain the water level or other fluid used for heat transfer. Insufficient water or air in the system may lead to inefficient operation. Both situations can result in a higher energy bill and may damage other components of your heating system if not corrected in time.
Many pumps and compressors need occasional lubrication. Some may require special maintenance schedules, depending on your system. Poorly maintained components like this perform less efficiently and may fail earlier, leading to costly repairs.
Easy Insurance, Not Troublesome Tasks
Maintaining your heating system is one of the best ways you can protect your investment in your home. A properly maintained heating system is worth the occasional inconvenience. If you see a problem while you’re doing your maintenance tasks, make sure to get it fixed right away. And don’t be afraid to hire professional help if you can’t do it yourself. A little money spent on hiring a professional can be good insurance too.
Aside from providing increased security and peace of mind, a well-maintained heating system uses less energy, which will help to keep your monthly bills down.