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Should I Consider Heating Maintenance More Than Once a Year?

Should I Consider Heating Maintenance More Than Once a Year?

Should I Consider Heating Maintenance More Than Once a Year?

Whether you should consider heating maintenance more than once a year depends on the type of heating system you have and other factors. We generally recommend an annual heater inspection and tune-up. Homeowners in Fresno, Bakersfield, and throughout the San Joaquin Valley benefit most when their heating system is maintained in the fall. 

Preventative maintenance entails many tasks that can benefit your heating system. During a maintenance visit, a technician will:

  • Inspect the heater on the outside and inside
  • Clean or replace the air filter
  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Test the ignition and flame sensor
  • Tighten electrical connections
  • Calibrate the thermostat
  • Ensure vents are open and dirt-free 
  • Clear the condensate line
  • Check for air or gas leaks

When to Consider More Frequent Heating Maintenance

Fall maintenance ensures your furnace is ready to handle the demand during a cold winter. But there are circumstances when you may want to consider heating maintenance more than once a year. These include:

You Own a Heat Pump

Homeowners generally don’t consider maintaining a furnace in the spring. But if you have a heat pump, biannual maintenance is a good idea. Heat pumps provide heat in winter and cool air in the summer. You can avoid cooling inefficiencies and downtime by inspecting the system before the summer heat sets in. 

During maintenance, a technician inspects and tests the reversing valve, an essential part that allows the heat pump to switch modes. In addition, they check common HVAC components such as the condenser coil, fan, blower wheel, motor, and condensate line. The thermostat, electrical connections, and disconnect switches are also evaluated.

Oil Furnace Maintenance Considerations

Oil furnaces have specific maintenance requirements. As with any furnace, filters must be changed regularly. The oil tank filter should be replaced once a year. The air filter should be replaced every three months or more frequently if you have pets, leave windows and doors open, run the fan constantly, your home is excessively dusty, or members of your household smoke. 

Other reasons to consider more frequent heating maintenance for an oil furnace include:

  • More Frequent Usage: The more you run your oil furnace, the more maintenance it will need. Some people run their furnaces on the coldest days. Others run the unit constantly to maintain the desired level of comfort. 
  • Fuel Quality: Using higher-quality fuel can reduce the amount of maintenance your furnace needs. Some fuels have winter additives or special blends that can keep your furnace running smoothly. However, if you use lower-quality fuel, it can affect performance and increase the amount of service required. 
  • Contamination: Dirt particles, rust, and residue in fuel can cause a furnace to run less efficiently and wear out system components. Water can also contaminate fuel lines due to flooding, burst pipes, and high humidity. It reduces fuel quality and can damage your furnace.

When Heater Problems Arise

Preventative maintenance is performed to keep your furnace running smoothly and avoid common issues. However, reactive maintenance entails repairs or installing new parts when required. It doesn’t require a regular schedule but should be done promptly if there are concerns such as:

  • The furnace breaks down
  • Little or no heat
  • Uneven heating
  • Only cold air blows
  • Burning or gas odors
  • High energy bills
  • Rattling, banging, or other strange sounds
  • The carbon monoxide alarm goes off

Your Heating System Needs a Thorough Cleaning

Cleaning a furnace requires more than cleaning or replacing filters. This you can do yourself. However, if the system isn’t working as effectively or you notice components are getting dirtier faster, you can call a professional for maintenance at any time.

A technician can clean the indoor coil, outdoor coil, or condensate drain line. Sometimes, the condensate pump can fill with sludge or slime, causing it to malfunction. A professional can quickly address the problem. They can also clean flame sensors, ignitors, fans, and other components if necessary or if you’re uncomfortable working with your heating system.

What Are the Benefits of Routine/More Frequent Maintenance?

Whether you schedule heating maintenance annually or more than once a year, it can:

  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Increase the system’s lifespan
  • Reduce the risk of a breakdown
  • Fix potential problems early
  • Decrease the number of lifetime repairs
  • Enable more reliable heating performance
  • Meet the terms of the warranty

Contact Monarch Home Services for Heating Maintenance

We provide reliable heating services throughout the San Joaquin Valley, including heating maintenance, repair, and replacement. Our licensed technicians work with gas-fired furnaces, electric furnaces, and heat pumps. They are NATE- and EPA-certified and rigorously trained to ensure your heating system is properly maintained. To request annual maintenance or a service call at any time of the year, contact us today.

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