The key to saving energy and money when it comes to heating your home is improving efficiency and one of the simplest and easiest ways to do that is by scheduling an annual system tune-up. The best time to schedule a tune-up service is when you aren’t using your system, so either before winter arrives or right after winter ends.
Tune-ups (sometimes called “system cleanings”) are typically recommended once a year. Not only do they ensure that the heating system is running properly, but they will ensure that it’s operating at peak efficiency. In fact, a tune-up can help reduce heating oil usage by up to 10%! In other words, furnace tune-ups can save you money. With just an hour or two of preventive maintenance each year, your furnace can last for years longer while costing less to run.
What’s included in a furnace tune-up?
When you schedule your annual maintenance with Baribault Fuel our professional technicians will clean and inspect your furnace, even calibrating and adjust things to improve your home heating.
The most important items on the furnace tune-up checklist include:
Cleaning — The outdoor unit, blower, fan blades, and drain line all tend to get dirty and dusty over time. The coil in particular can be difficult to clean without messing up the blades. Let a pro take care of furnace cleaning so it can operate at peak performance.
Inspection — We look for cracks, wear and tear, and other signs of future furnace problems.
Testing — Gas and oil furnaces need regular maintenance because of the potential dangers of leaks and fumes. We use the following tests to make sure your furnace is safe and efficient:
- Draft overfire and stack temperature: These two tests measure the volume of air and amount of heat going up your chimney.
- Draft at the breech: This measures the draft inside the system; a weak draft won’t vent combustion products properly. If the draft is too strong, however, heat will be pulled out of your home.
- CO2: Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels will be tested to see how airtight your system is. If a high level is found, your oil heat technician will know your system has air leaks. He will find these leaks and seal them.
- Smoke reading: Smoke indicates that not all of your fuel is turning into heat when burned. Smoke also forms a layer of build-up in your system, reducing efficiency.
- Total efficiency: This testing combines all of the readings taken to give an overall efficiency rating of your system. If the reading is too low, it may be time to replace your system.
We also test the fuel pressure, airflow, thermostat controls, pilot or igniter, and more.
Lubricating — Motor parts need special lubricant every couple of years or so. If they dry out, the motor can get damaged.
Other adjustments — We use other testing methods as needed to adjust and ensure your heating unit is at peak efficiency.
Like a car, furnaces have lots of parts that can wear out over time. Many components are under a lot of stress and can degrade. A furnace tune-up allows a professional to examine the inner workings of a furnace to ensure all of the important components are functioning correctly, and safely. Need to schedule your annual tune-up? Give us a call!