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Maintaining Furnaces and Boilers

Maintaining Furnaces and Boilers




The following maintenance should be provided by a heating system professional. Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your furnace running well, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

All systems:

  • Make sure all power to the unit is off. Trip the circuit breaker or remove the fuse. If you can’t identify which one it is, throw the mains. Remove the main fuse or trip the main circuit breaker to the whole house. It should be clearly marked. If your unit has a separate box, you can shut it off there.
  • Check the condition of your vent connection pipe and chimney. Parts of the venting system may have deteriorated over time. Chimney problems can be expensive to repair and may help justify installing new heating equipment that won’t use the existing chimney.
  • Check the physical integrity of the heat exchanger. Leaky boiler heat exchangers leak water and are easy to spot. Furnace heat exchangers mix combustion gases with house air when they leak—an important safety reason to have them inspected.
  • Adjust the controls on the boiler or furnace to provide optimum water and air temperature settings for both efficiency and comfort.
  • If you’re considering replacing or retrofitting your existing heating system, have the technician perform a combustion-efficiency test.

Forced Air Systems:

  • Check the combustion chamber for cracks
  • Test for carbon monoxide (CO) and remedy if found
  • Adjust blower control and supply-air temperature
  • Clean and oil the blower. To clean the blower you will need a screwdriver, a replacement filter, a toothbrush, a vacuum cleaner, and clean rags.
  • Remove dirt, soot, or corrosion from the furnace or boiler
  • Check fuel input and flame characteristics, and adjust if necessary
  • Seal connections between the furnace and main ducts.
  • Inspect and clean or replace the filter. This should be done at the start of the heating season and then once per month while using the unit.

Hot Water Systems:

  • Test pressure-relief valve
  • Test high-limit control
  • Inspect pressure tank, which should be filled with air, to verify that it’s not filled with water
  • Clean the heat exchanger.

Steam Systems:

  • Drain some water from the boiler to remove sediments and improve the heat exchange efficiency
  • Test low-water cutoff safety control and high-limit safety control
  • Drain the float chamber to remove sediments, which will prevent the low-water cutoff control from sediment clogs
  • Analyze boiler water and add chemicals as needed to control deposits and corrosion
  • Clean the heat exchanger

Need maintenance done on your furnace or boiler?  1-800 Plumber Plumbing has the expertise and experience you need for speedy service. Learn more. Contact us today.

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