It’s a pain to have to call in a technician when a heating system stops working. It’s even worse when this happens during a storm or in the middle of the coldest night. However, this is when problems are most likely to occur—when heating equipment is working the hardest. If this has ever happened too you, you know you want to avoid calling for emergency repairs at all costs.
There are ways to prevent your heating system from requiring repairs. In fact, most heating issues are preventable, if you only take the time to keep your system in good shape and do your research. It all starts with the installation!
Faulty Installation: You Might Get What You Pay For!
So many of the problems technicians find, even in newer heating equipment, are a result of a faulty installation. When you see a deal for a heating system or a cost of labor that seems too good to be true—it may just be!
We love a good deal as much as anyone, but a heating system is not the place to look for one. Under-priced heaters are often so because they are not the proper size for a home, or because it is used equipment. Sloppy installation is all-too-common, and it can result in the heater failing years before it is meant to.
Researching Heating Installers
For your safety, comfort, and the longevity of your heating system, you should always make sure a heating installer is truly qualified for the job. Do your research! If installers must be licensed in your state, make sure the company you choose holds the proper license.
You should also know that some heating technicians are only qualified to repair or maintain equipment—not to install it. An installation company focuses on one area of expertise, so you know they are qualified.
Changing the Air Filter
So many of the problems homeowners come across have a simple solution. If you only change the air filter once every 1-3 months, you can help your system run more smoothly.
The air filter is not only intended to clean the air. It also protects a furnace from damage. If the filter is clogged with dirt and debris, though, air cannot get through the system as it should, which actually causes damage to the system. The furnace can overheat, the parts become overworked, and your furnace is likely to fail sooner than it should.
Cleaning the Outside Condenser
If you have a heat pump, rather than a furnace, you have one other step to consider when maintaining your system. Once or twice a year, you should go out to the condenser unit, remove the side panels, and use a hose to clean the set of coils through which refrigerant runs.
Yes, this component is just as important for heating as it is for air conditioning! In the summer, refrigerant releases heat through the outdoor unit. In the winter, it absorbs heat—even when temperatures outdoors are low. If it is dirty, it won’t be able to do this properly.