Forced-Air Heaters Need Maintenance

furnace-inspectionIf you ask any heating expert in Rio Rancho, NM, a good one will tell you about the dangers of neglecting maintenance for your heater. They’ll mention how your system will become less efficient, it might develop repair issues, and it can even shorten the lifespan of the system.

Forced-air heaters are no exception to this rule, and we even think they deserve special attention. That’s why we’ve written this post on why gas furnaces and heat pumps need maintenance:

Gas Furnace Safety Issues

If your home heater is a gas furnace, we urge you to get maintenance for the safety issues alone. We’re happy to install and service gas furnaces for one reason: they’re perfectly safe to use when installed and maintained by a professional. But if you let your gas furnace fall into disrepair by neglecting maintenance, there’s a number of unfortunate safety hazards you may be inviting into your home. Most of them come from trouble with the flue pipes or the heat exchanger.

  • House fires: Furnaces require a generous stream of oxygen to properly combust the natural gas. If the flow of air is blocked—such as by a dirty furnace or a clogged flue pipe—it can cause the furnace to seek oxygen outside. This results in flames rolling out of the furnace cabinet, and it might even catch nearby objects on fire.
  • Gas leaks: If your furnace smells like gas for more than a few minutes, there might be a leak somewhere. This can happen if one of the gas line valves or fittings is loose, possibly due to age, corrosion, or from it being knocked loose on accident.
  • Carbon monoxide leaks: The job of the flue pipe is to release exhaust into the outdoors. Most of this exhaust comes from natural gas that hasn’t been completely burnt—namely, carbon monoxide. If the flue pipe is clogged or leaking, that carbon monoxide can come into the home and create a potentially deadly situation. Another common cause of CO leaks is from cracked heat exchangers, which is inevitable with age.

Heat Pumps Get Double the Abuse

The great thing about a heat pump is that it’s capable of both heating and cooling your home. All it takes is the flip of a switch to change it from heating to cooling mode.

The bad thing about a heat pump is that it’s going to be doing the work of both a heating and cooling system, so it will only get a break for a few months out of the year. Even despite this, heat pumps can last just as long—if not longer—than your average central AC or furnace. Of course, that all depends on maintenance.

The most common issues that maintenance can prevent in a heat pump include:

  • Leaking refrigerant: Refrigerant is the chemical that facilitates the cooling/heating process for your heat pump. If a leak in the line is dispelling that refrigerant, you can expect serious issues down the line—including the need for a replacement.
  • Frozen coils: Dust and dirt left on the coils can cause the evaporator coils to freeze up, blocking air flow and rendering your heat pump useless until it’s repaired. A thorough maintenance check will clean up your heat pump for you.

Contact Santa Fe Express Plumbing & Drain today to schedule maintenance for your heater—it’s not too late!


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