Most of us start to think about energy bills when the colder weather arrives and with good reason. Not only do we use more energy to heat our homes, but according to some home heating experts, our hard earned cash are needlessly going up in smoke just because safety and pre-winter efficiency inspections are ignored. Even if you have the highest quality heating system installed, you can’t expect equipment to operate year after year without some care and maintenance. An efficiency and safety inspection each year, performed by a qualified and experienced service technician is recommended by heating experts, particularly if your system is idle for the majority of the year.

What’s Involved in a Heating Inspection?

There are a number of aspects involved in a heating inspection to ensure that your system is not only safe, but offers optimum efficiency. This involves inspecting the vent pipe or flue and chimney. A blockage or leak in this passage between your chimney and heating equipment could allow deadly carbon monoxide gas to escape into your home.

The technician will also check the high temperature limit control. This is the safety measure to protect your heating system from becoming too hot, and it is vital that it is functioning properly.

If you have gas fired equipment, the pilot light needs to be checked. The pilot light may have gone out during the periods of nonuse in the summer and needs to be re-ignited. Additionally, the technician will need to inspect the gas valve and gas pressure for leaks and ensure that it will provide proper operation. The burner efficiency on gas fired boilers and furnaces is primarily due to the design, but the burners should be checked for cracks and cleaned of any debris to maximize efficiency.
There are also a number of areas that need to be inspected on your distribution system. If you have a warm air furnace, your blower motor will need to be checked, cleaned and oiled. Belt driven motors may require the belt being replaced if it is showing signs of wear or no longer providing the proper tension.

The circulator of your hot water system will also need to be inspected and lubricated. The boiler expansion tank also needs to be checked to ensure it’s charged with air and can maintain the proper pressure.

The Financial Benefits of a Pre-Season Inspection

When you’re looking to save money, it can seem counterintuitive to spend money on a service call, but there are some distinct financial benefits associated with a pre-season inspection. This type of inspection is designed to check that your system is ready to cope with the demands of increased use in winter. This means that you can significantly reduce the risk of a breakdown when you need your heating the most, saving you money on expensive call out charges. Additionally, a pre-season inspection provides an opportunity for preventative maintenance, where any worn components can be replaced before they fail and cause larger issues. Finally, ensuring your system is operating correctly, maximizes efficiency and ensures that you’re not wasting energy, reducing your heating bills over the winter months.