Why Preventative Maintenance is Important for Your Heating System

You’ve heard the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to your home’s heating system. Whether you rely on a hot water boiler, forced-air furnace, or even a geothermal system, your heating equipment benefits from yearly check-ups from HVAC pros who know how to keep your equipment in peak performance condition.

So how does annual preventative maintenance help you and your heating system?

Saves you money

First and foremost, preventative maintenance drastically reduces emergency service calls for broken equipment. Especially if you have a current service contract with a professional HVAC company, you can be sure that your equipment is being monitored for trouble over time, and that repairs are proactively performed. This means you are less likely to experience the costly nightmare of having to call for repairs in the middle of a freezing winter night and being charged emergency rates.

Did you know that systems that aren’t maintained have to work harder to keep you comfortable? Or, sometimes they just shut down and refuse to work at all based on system safety settings? Problems like dirty, clogged filters can hinder airflow and cause general efficiency loss, which leads to wasted energy and fuel, as well as higher utility bills.

It’s true that fuels and electricity used to cost much less than they do today, so people didn’t worry as much about preventative maintenance in the past. Efficiency just wasn’t a priority because the extra expense involved was slight. With the current high prices (even natural gas has gone up significantly in recent years), you’re doing your wallet a major disservice by neglecting equipment service.

And, don’t forget that equipment that is actively maintained tends to last longer. With preventative maintenance, your furnace, boiler, or heat pump may run well for years longer than if it’s ignored, and not having to replace major system components can save you thousands of dollars.

Increases safety

If your heating system is neglected year after year and operating with clogged filters and dirty mechanical parts, you can be sure that it’s struggling to keep your home warm and comfortable. In addition to costing you more money for fuel and/or power, malfunctioning equipment can be extremely dangerous for your family’s health and safety.

It’s true that burning any kind of fuel to produce heat, but oil and natural gas especially, will create chemical by-products. These are usually vented out of your home via a chimney or other exhaust system, but if your heating equipment is not working properly, it could release these harmful by-products into your living spaces instead.

Carbon monoxide (CO) build-up in your home is the most serious risk presented by ill-maintained equipment. Known as a “silent killer” because it is colorless and odorless, CO can quickly poison humans and domestic animals. Flu-like symptoms can be an indicator that CO levels are much too high in your home, though you may not have that warning if you are sleeping when CO levels rise.

Installing CO detectors throughout your home is a smart idea, but if you want to guarantee that they remain silent, annual heating system maintenance is the best course of action. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CO poisoning results in more than 20,000 emergency room visits each year, and about 400 deaths. Not having your heating equipment regularly checked and repaired as necessary can literally cost you your life.

Prevents messes

Have you ever heard of a “puffback?” Your unmaintained oil boiler or furnace may experience this problem caused by excess fuel in the burner chamber. A small, uncontrolled explosion results from the extra fuel being ignited, and black smoke and soot are released through your ducts (in forced air systems) or around the boiler unit itself (in hot water/steam radiator systems). Puffbacks require immediate attention from a professional HVAC technician to fix broken parts, but the bigger issue is often the clean-up involved throughout your home.

Soot and smoke damage to surfaces, furniture, and your ductwork is notoriously difficult to clean, and will almost always require the help of professional cleaners. If you don’t want the life-disrupting hassle of having a remediation crew in your home for weeks following your puffback emergency, it’s time to get your furnace or boiler serviced. Preventative maintenance significantly reduces the possibility that your equipment will ever cause this problem.

Provides a service record

Are you a busy homeowner who doesn’t enjoy keeping records of when you purchased specific equipment or what work’s been done to various systems over the years? You don’t have to worry about keeping track of repairs and maintenance work done to your HVAC system when you rely on professional maintenance. Your technician records this information, which is valuable in a number of situations, and keeps it on file for future reference.

Having a service record for your heating system is especially helpful if you are planning to sell your home at some point in the future. You can provide buyers with a detailed record of your system’s maintenance so they can feel more confident in their decision to purchase from you. And the best part is, you won’t have to keep this information organized yourself!

If you need to schedule preventative maintenance for your heating system, now is a great time. Before days and nights turn freezing in the dead of winter, you can assure that your heating equipment has been thoroughly cleaned and adjusted for peak performance and is ready to serve you problem-free for the rest of the season.

Here in Lancaster County, PA, you can count on Comfort Aire Heating & Cooling to be your partner in preventative maintenance for all of your HVAC equipment. Get in touch today to schedule service, and ask how you can save 10% on parts with a preventative maintenance plan!

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