HEAT Inspection do I?

Annual Heat Inspection … “Should I???” or “Shouldn’t I???” That seems to be the question!

Heat pump and furnace manufacturers all recommend annual inspections by qualified technicians. They also have a language in their warranties stating that any damage to parts due to lack of maintenance is NOT covered under warranty. {Yikes!} Does this mean an annual check is required or the warranty is voided? Check with your manufacturer, it is recommended. Why give them an easy way out of covering repairs? The best analogy I can give is, you change the oil in your car (which has mechanical moving parts) every 5,000 miles to keep it running as long as possible and extend the life of the engine, same applies with your HVAC system.

What does a qualified technician do on a heat inspection / tune up?

  • Inspect blower assembly (includes blower housing, blower wheel and motor)
  • On older models, lubricate motor and inspect and replace fan belt if needed
  • Check combustion blower housing for lint and debris and clean as necessary
  • Inspect for gas leaks in gas furnaces
  • Inspect burner assembly – clean and adjust as needed
  • Inspect ignition system and safety controls – clean and adjust as needed
  • Inspect heat exchanger or heating elements
  • Inspect flue system – check for proper attachment to the furnace, any dislocated sections, and for signs of corrosion – Give cost to replace if necessary.
  • The blower access door needs to be checked to make sure it makes a tight seal at the furnace.
  • The drainage system needs to be checked for blockage and/or leakage.  This includes the hoses internal to the furnace.  The condensate drain and trap need to be cleaned.
  • An amp-draw test should be conducted on the blower motor and compared with what is listed.
  • The filters need to be checked (but this needs to be done much more frequently than annually).
  • Temperature rise check, adjust airflow as needed
  • Test defrost system on heat pumps
  • Test heat strips on heat pumps
  • Monitor gas furnace for correct line and manifold gas pressure—make adjustments as needed
  • Inspect control box, associated controls, wiring and connections

CAN A HOMEOWNER DO THIS HIMSELF?
Possibly, but the homeowners I know who can do the list mentioned above are usually heating and air contractors. If your bargain tech only sticks a vacuum nozzle in to the furnace and sucks a little dirt or dust out of there for $29, yes you can do this as well.

DO I REALLY NEED TO PAY $100 - $200 BUCKS EVERY YEAR FOR A PROFESSIONAL TO DO IT?
In short, yes! This is what a professional charges, maybe even more (remember you get what you pay for). For most reputable heating and air contractors, $80 barley covers the trip charge. Keep in mind, this isn’t just about safety it’s also about preventative maintenance. It’s about trying to catch a problem before your furnace quits working in the middle of the night. Trying to preserve your system and its mechanical parts for increased longevity.  

Contact Affordable Air Experts at 864-469-3856 for information on winter / heat tune-ups and how we can help prolong the life of your HVAC equipment.