Winter is already on its way and that means it’s time to start thinking about your annual furnace maintenance checklist. The weather has already started hitting the freezing mark in some parts of Ontario, which means a lot of citizens are using more heat and their furnaces are already going into overdrive. Performing a yearly furnace maintenance checklist around this time of year can help you avoid some major problems later on and maximize your furnace’s efficiency while also cutting down your heating costs this winter.
Why Is It Important to Conduct Annual/Bi-Annual Furnace Maintenance?
The most obvious reason for conducting routine annual or bi-annual furnace maintenance is so that you can guarantee that your furnace is in perfect working condition before the winter months hit. The last thing you want to happen is for winter to come and have you and your family be stuck without a working furnace.
Plus, maintaining and repairing your furnace will help extend its lifespan while also keeping you and your family toasty and warm all winter long. Performing regular maintenance checks on your furnace is a lot more cost-efficient than having to replace it every couple of years. With proper maintenance and routine repairs or part replacements, your furnace should last you on average about 10-15 years or longer.
An annual or bi-annual maintenance check ensures that your furnace is functioning properly and that your heating system is as energy and cost-efficient as possible, which could end up saving you a lot of money at the end of the year.
Bi-Annual Furnace Checklist
If you’re wondering how often to do furnace maintenance checks, the answer is as often as possible. In fact, you shouldn’t wait until your furnace stops working before you decide to check on it. Most HVAC experts will recommend that you check the efficiency and functionality of your heating system at least once every six months. You can perform a bi-annual maintenance check on your own, but you should bring in an expert at least once a year to do a full inspection as well.
Here’s a helpful bi-annual furnace maintenance checklist that you can do on your own:
Test Your Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
Carbon monoxide is often referred to as “the silent killer” because it’s completely undetectable to the senses. In October 2017, the Government of Ontario made it mandatory for all residential properties to install working carbon monoxide detectors on each floor to protect homeowners, their families, and their pets. Before that, only residential buildings that were constructed after 2001 were required to have them. Carbon monoxide is an odourless, tasteless, and colourless gas, which makes it extremely dangerous. That’s why you need to double check that your carbon monoxide detector is working properly on a regular basis.
Inspect Electrical Connections
Be sure to add checking your ignition and pilot lights to your gas furnace maintenance checklist if you haven’t already. If they’re not working properly or are flickering yellow, then this could mean that there’s an overabundance of carbon monoxide in your gas furnace. Excessive amounts of carbon monoxide can cause a gas leak, which is dangerous for you and your family.
Inspect and Lubricate All Parts
Lubricating all the moving parts of your furnace from time to time will help keep it functioning efficiently a lot longer and extend its lifespan as well.
Test the Safety Features
It goes without saying that you should test out all the safety features of your furnace to ensure that they’re working properly in the event of an emergency. Your furnace has five main safety features that you should check on a regular basis as part of your preventative maintenance checklist. These include the following: limit switch, thermocouple, mercury flame sensor, the air pressure switch, as well as the carbon monoxide detectors. It’s important to make sure that all of these safety features are always in perfect working condition because they could someday save your life.
Set Your Thermostat for Optimum Usage
Lowering your thermostat by about 2-3 degrees for eight hours a day can actually help maximize its usage while also lowering your monthly energy bills by about 10% annually. Purchasing an automatically programmable smart thermostat is the best way to go. Every time you leave the house—whether it’s for a long or short period of time—you can control the settings from the accompanying phone application. The app will keep you updated on the current temperature inside your home so that you can make the necessary adjustments from a remote location as you see fit.
Make Sure Your Thermostat Is Properly Calibrated
It’s important to make sure that your thermostat is properly calibrated. Improper calibration could actually cause your furnace to work in overdrive, which will inevitably run up your energy bill much higher than it should be. Inaccurate calibration can occur if dirt enters the calibration system or it gets moved by something.
Annual Furnace Checklist
Annual furnace checklists should be far more detailed than bi-annual ones and for that reason it’s recommended that you hire a professional certified HVAC technician to do it for you. Here are just some of the maintenance tasks they’re qualified to perform:
Update Maintenance Records
HVAC technicians tend to keep detailed records of the services they deliver and that includes recording model and part numbers for each unit they service. Logging this information in a safe and secure system makes it easier to access it later on in case further repairs or maintenance are needed. You’ll also be provided with an itemized list of all of the repairs and maintenance that were done for your personal records.
Clean the Chimney and Vents
HVAC technicians have professional chimney and vent cleaning equipment along with a great deal of experience to thoroughly clean your chimney and vents for maximum safety during maintenance and repair work.
Change Furnace Air Filters
Dirty filters not only make your furnace less efficient, but they can also damage it over time. Since they’re so cheap and easy to replace, you might as well include this in your annual maintenance plan.
Schedule an Annual Maintenance Appointment Early with MDM Mechanical
MDM Mechanical is a family-owned and operated professional HVAC company. We specialize in commercial and residential furnace installation, maintenance, and repairs throughout Toronto and the GTA. We’ll make sure that every item on your gas, induction, and vacuum furnace checklist is properly ticked off to ensure maximum operational efficiency before winter comes. Contact us today to schedule your service maintenance appointment.