A home heater has the irritating habit of working solidly for years and years and then suddenly going on the blink. However, it’s not as if the heater suddenly decided to implode. Instead, despite the build on the various parts time, age, and use take a toll, and eventually, something breaks. When that happens, due to safety system sensors, the heating unit typically shuts down and won’t work again until the broken part is fixed. Fortunately, regular heating maintenance can prolong this eventual situation and give a homeowner the full life value of their home system. On average that can be anywhere from 8 to 12 years, but maintenance pushes that eventuality out towards the longer range.
What Does Heater Maintenance Involve?
Most home heaters today are in one of two locations, the attic or a closet location. In either case, they involve a furnace, a blower, and a ducting system to move the hot air to different rooms in the home. All of these parts need to be checked. A typical maintenance review will try to find loose parts, remove lint build-up around the main units, test performance, and confirm that the heating temperature showing on the thermostat control is accurate. Regular maintenance can also catch warning signs early of a possible catastrophic failure. One of the most annoying issues that occur is the breakage of the blower. This type of damage happens due to corrosion over time and is more likely with older heaters than newer ones.
Other Benefits With Regular Checks
Not only does avoidance of big repairs happen with maintenance, but there are side benefits as well, mainly due to a well-running system versus a poorly operating one. These include:
- Smoother and more efficient performance which reduces the electrical demand and natural gas consumption of the heater.
- Lower energy bill costs from above.
- A longer lifespan due to not straining with poorly working parts.
- A longer warranty life due to applying maintenance as expected by the same protection agreement. A warranty can be nullified if the homeowner doesn’t apply the necessary maintenance required.
Unexpected Failures Tend to be Predictable
Guess when a home heater is most likely to have a failure? If you chose the winter, you’re right. Heater systems don’t show their stripes and problems during the summer, obviously, because they aren’t being used. It’s under heavy, repeated use that weaknesses and problems in a home heater show up the most frequently. Unfortunately, this is also when they are needed the most, it’s when repair services are under the most demand, and it’s when the home and outside can get the coldest. That’s not a good combination for an emergency heating repair. If the home has an alternate heating source, like a fireplace, that can provide at least a temporary fix, but the rest of the home is going to get cold very quickly. There’s a huge difference between a home with an ambient temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and one that drops down to 50 degrees.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Emergencies
Instead, scheduling heating maintenance services at least quarterly can spot problems before they occur and apply the repairs timely. Then, when it’s the coldest part of the year and the heater has to work the hardest, the risk of failure is at its lowest. There’s no perfect fix that guarantees a heating system will work perfectly afterward. However, maintenance goes a long way in coming close to that ideal, especially with older systems that have some miles on them already.
So do yourself and your family a favor, schedule a heater maintenance visit while the weather is still mild and before real winter sets in. You’ll thank yourself when you hear about your neighbors dealing with repairs and failed heating system problems in deep-dark December or January.