Will it work? Is that a strange smell? What was that sound? These are all questions that go through our minds as we turn on the heater for the first time of the year. We might not use our heater as often as those who live in other places, but we do use it. And when we need to turn it on, it’s important to have peace of mind knowing that it will work correctly. The best way to make sure your heater will work is to get an annual furnace check. 

Simply stated, an annual check-up ensures that all aspects of your furnace are working correctly. The number of problems that can occur within your HVAC system are endless, which is why it’s important to have a licensed professional thoroughly inspect your unit to catch small problems before they become out of control. By doing this you will not only prolong the life of your unit, you will save money and create a more energy-efficient home.  

A comprehensive furnace check should inspect the following: 

Blockage in the vent or drainage system- The vent and drain are essential parts of your system. Your furnace will perform at its best and last much longer with proper drainage and vent piping care by a qualified technician. 

Accumulation of dust and debris- Over time, dust and other particles will collect in your system and cause blockages and other damage. Air flow is also compromised when dust gets in the way. A professional knows the right way to get around your system and clean it properly.

Rust and corrosion- If a part needs to be replaced, don’t wait long to get it fixed. Waiting a prolonged period of time will cause additional damage to your system like rusting, which is very expensive to fix. 

Dirty flame sensors- If your flame sensors are dirty, your burner cannot turn on and your furnace will not produce heat.  

Physical condition- Even if the individual parts of your system are working, the physical condition of the furnace is important too. Are there corrosion spots on the outside? Is there debris pushed up against the unit? All of this will keep your system from running as efficiently as it should. 

Emission of dangerous, undetectable gasses- HVAC service technicians always check the carbon monoxide levels, as well as other gasses in the system to ensure there are no leaks. Gas leaks can be extremely dangerous. A carbon monoxide leak can go undetected for a long time and can lead to serious health problems, including death. 

Deemed the Silent Killer, carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, and kills on average 169 individuals a year according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In a 2012 study by the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 72,000 non-fire carbon monoxide incidents were reported between 2006 and 2010. Of those, 94 percent occurred in a home.  

At JW East, we recommend a fall furnace check to keep your system operating year round. We’ll perform regular maintenance to identify any worn parts or leaks. Most breakdowns in HVAC systems happen because of deferred maintenance, so have us perform these important checks every year and avoid the stress and inconvenience of a broken heater in the middle of winter.