Wednesday, December 18th by Charles Szaley
Many homeowners make the mistake of waiting until there is a problem to have their heating systems looked at by a professional. It is far too common a scenario that, once it gets cold out, the furnace is turned on and everyone in the house discovers there still isn't any heat. Now, the house is freezing and expensive, emergency repairs are needed. Worst case, a whole new heating system may be required. All of this could have been avoided with regular maintenance. Servicing and cleaning your heating system helps keep your home comfortable, lowers your energy bill, and can save your life.
Common problems include unusual noises, smells, and cycling issues. Does your furnace shut off after a few minutes? Does it not shut off at all? Is it only blowing cold air? If you are experiencing these symptoms, you might have a problem with your thermostat or you may just need to have your system cleaned.
While some of these problems may seem small and you might want to put off spending money on them, doing so would be a mistake. When your home heating system is dirty or in need of maintenance, its efficiency severely drops. This means it is actually costing you more money to heat your home than it would if it were serviced. Also, running an inefficient unit adds wear and tear. This is going to lead to more costly repairs down the road or even needing to replace your whole heating system.
Depending on what type of system you have, if there is something wrong with it, you might be putting everyone in your house in jeopardy. A poorly maintained gas furnace can lead to gas leaks, usually from damaged valves or cracks in the actual furnace. If you notice an odd smell in the home, seek assistance immediately.
Another danger to be aware of is carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless byproduct of burning fuel. If you have a problem with your furnace, you may be leaking carbon monoxide into your home without realizing it. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and chest pains. According to the CDC, in the United States, over 20,000 people each year experience carbon monoxide poisoning and over 400 die from it.
Installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home can help warn you when there is a problem. If you want to lower your odds of having a problem at all, have your heating system professionally maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. There is no level of inconvenience that outweighs being responsible. Servicing your furnace isn’t just about saving money-- it’s about protecting your family and ensuring the safety of everyone in your home.