Furnace failure is frustrating
According to Murphy’s Law: A furnace man is hard to find on the first very cold day of heating season, just as the air conditioning specialist disappears during a heat wave. According to the heating professionals of Pleasanton, it’s all timing. Systems going bad often fail the first time they are turned on in any heating/cooling season, and nothing is more frustrating.
There are two very good reasons to have your heating system serviced by a Pleasanton heating professional, especially if you have never established a habit of scheduling this type of preventive maintenance service call:
- Your equipment will be ready to run when the season starts;
- You can learn how your system functions, including how to turn it on and off, what any dials and gauges mean, the location of parts you need to take care of between service calls, and how to take care of them. Since you are paying for the service call, ask your Pleasanton heating repairman to show you how the system works and resolve any questions you may have about the operation of your heating system.
It can be a very good idea to establish a notebook and take notes during these visits. Here are a few suggestions of the pertinent information you may wish to record:
Heating Pro Tip of the Week
Tip #1 Location(s) of emergency shut-off switches, and where applicable, supply shut-offs for gas and water;
Tip #2 Directions for restarting the system; for a gas system, how to light the pilot (if it is not automatic), and for oil, the location of the restart button;
Tip #3 The normal readings for temperature, pressure, and other gauges so that you will know if something is going wrong.
Did you know that more than half the households in the United States are heated with gas? While gas furnaces have few moving parts, they should be checked annually. Most companies that provide your gas supply will also, for a monthly fee, offer a contract to do a basic furnace checklist. Normally this will not consist of any advice on repairs, but can serve to list potential problems that will require a heating professional’s qualified skills.
Among the things a heating service professional will inspect:
- Heat exchanger
- Gas pipes
- Electronic ignition system
- Fan, motor, bearings, belts, pumps
- Air filter
- Air cleaner
- Pilot and its safety system
- Furnace controls
- Flame pattern, venting, chimney
Only about 7 percent of the country heats with oil, but oil heating systems are more complex than gas furnaces or electric units. If you heat with oil, an annual maintenance appointment should be a given.
HEATING TRADE SECRETS: If your heating system vents into the chimney – oil systems do – you should have a chimney sweep clean the chimney before your heating system is serviced. Normally, the heating pro will clean the smoke pipe that vents into the chimney. If the sweep shows up after the system maintenance, he will dirty the pipe with the soot he dislodges from the chimney!