Scheduling a Heating Safety Inspection

The new year is in full effect and everyone’s got their “Start of the year to-do list”. Most people’s’ lists consist of fixing broken things around the house and of course, going to the gym and eating healthier.

What we don’t normally think about is the preventative maintenance of our homes and our home comfort. Have you ever considered beating the spring cleaning rush and just scheduling a heating safety inspection right now while the year’s still fresh?

Here’s the question of the year:

Can you even remember the last time you had a heating safety inspection?

If your answer is “I can’t remember” or “It’s been over a year”, then it’s time to get your heating system checked out.

Trust us:

Schedule your heating safety inspection now before the spring rush causes all of the best HVAC technicians to be booked and service charges to be inflated!

You can thank us later!

Okay, here’s the deal:

It’s not like your heating system is suddenly going to burst into flames if you skip this year’s inspection, but it’s a very good idea to get it done – it’ll save you thousands of dollars in the long run and you won’t have to deal with the headaches of a major repair or full system replacement

Sure, a lot of homeowners will have similar things to say such as “oh, my heating unit is just fine, it’s new-ish and it should last for a few more years”.

That’s fine and all, but would you say the same thing about your car’s oil change schedule?

We don’t think so!

So, do we recommend annual heating system inspections and maintenance?

You’re darn right we do!

In fact:

We highly recommend it!

Starting the year off right with a heating safety inspection from JW Heating and Air won’t just ensure your home stays warm and comfortable, but you’ll also make sure your home’s air quality is up to par in time for spring allergies!

It’s not yet hot enough to turn off the heating in Southern California, and as your unit fluctuates between running and dormant for the winter months, it works hard to keep your family warm. As the temperature of the unit fluctuates more often, the system can weaken and cause reduced efficiency or even worse: a carbon monoxide leak. With the risk you’re taking by not inspecting your heating system, it just makes sense to ensure our system is in top shape to keep your family safe.

Our JW Heating and Air heating safety inspections are fast, easy, and will help you save your heating unit as well as your family’s comfort for the rest of the year!

Call us today to beat the spring cleaning rush and get your heating safety inspection today!

Here are some Heating System Safety Quick Tips:

  • When to Shut Down Heating Systems: Turn off heating equipment immediately if you see conditions that appear to be unsafe, such as evidence of fire, smoke, puffback, or if you see safety controls such as relief valves, temperature limits, or flue gas spillage sensors which have been removed or modified, or if the equipment has already been “red-tagged” by a service technician.
  • When to Avoid Turning On Heating Systems: Do not turn on heating equipment if you see any condition that appears to be unsafe. Some examples are listed here.
    • Do not turn on equipment which has been “shut down” – Possible open piping, unsafe wiring, leaks, unsafe chimney, fire risks.
    • Do not turn on equipment which has been switched off without explicit permission/instruction from a responsible party
    • Examine gauges (not entirely reliable) for unusual pressure or temperature conditions and do not permit such equipment to continue to operate
    • Do not turn on, or turn off if already operating, any heating system whose temperature/pressure gauge shows abnormally high operating values
    • Do not operate equipment which does not appear to be vented properly; shut down equipment if, on operating it, you observe an apparently blocked flue
    • Do not operate equipment if the chimney is suspect–e.g. old single wythe unlined brick with visible damage in the attic or outside
    • Do not turn on, or turn off if already operating, any heating system that is not safely connected to a chimney

Home heating inspection checklist

Here are the critical steps for every home heating inspection:

1) Check for a carbon-monoxide detector.

In many countries and states, carbon-monoxide detectors are now required equipment in the vicinity of an internal combustion furnace system. There are few safeguards more important to the safety of your family than verifying that the CO detector is in place and working effectively. The heating contractor should check the battery or other power system to ensure the proper functioning of the carbon-monoxide detector.

2) Check chimneys, flues and vents.

One good reason to use a licensed heating contractor for your home heating system inspection is that it generally takes a professional to evaluate the adequacy and serviceability of chimneys, flues and vents. Very subtle inadequacies can cause safety or efficiency problems for a homeowner. Go with the best and be safe.

3) Check safety devices.

Any limit or over-temperature switches should be checked for presence and serviceability. Inspectors must check pilot safety switches on both gas and oil systems.

4) Check the heat exchanger.

The condition of the heat exchanger is a critical aspect for the efficiency of your heating system. Poor heat exchange results in poor heat efficiency.

5) Clean the entire internal area of the furnace.

A key indicator of trouble with the heating system is soot in inappropriate places or in inappropriate amounts. Soot is an indication that the home heating system is not firing completely and efficiently. In a perfectly tuned system, there should be little or no soot. Soot is particularly an indicator of malfunction in an oil-burning system. If the inspector finds soot, nozzle inspection occurs, and if the nozzle is dirty it should be replaced, not cleaned.

6) Check air-filter presence and condition (in forced-air heating systems).

During your home heating inspection, the contractor should check the presence and condition of air filters, particularly on both oil and gas forced-air heating systems. Clogged filters can reduce the efficiency immediately on a forced-air heating system, while the absence of a filter can cause system failure and reduced efficiency over the longer term. Part of the inspection should be the replacement or cleaning of all filters.

7) Clean motor and fan (forced-air heating systems).

This is a fairly straightforward process, including the lubrication of bearings and the cleaning of all debris from the blower area on forced-air systems. Drive-belt condition, alignment and performance should all be checked for optimal performance.

8) Inspect ducting and piping.

During the home heating system inspection, the contractor should verify the condition of the ductwork or the condition of the piping for hot-water systems. Holes in ductwork or leaks in piping can severely impact the efficiency of your home heating system. Fuel lines into the system need inspection in addition to the ducting and piping that carries heat away. In oil systems, the fuel-line pressure, filters, and water separators require special attention. In LP gas systems, integrity of the inbound line is most important.

9) Test-start the furnace and test the functioning of the thermostat.

Your inspector should verify that the thermostat is recording an accurate ambient temperature, then adjust the heat setting to start up the furnace to ensure that it can fire. During the test run, the inspector in the best home heating system inspections will take four separate flue gas samples to determine whether the system is functioning at peak efficiency. The samples will check smoke content, flue pressure and two separate readings over time evaluating the steady state of the flue gases, including carbon dioxide or oxygen count and temperature consistency.

10) Check oil/propane tanks

The inspector of your home heating system should verify the fuel source and gauge the serviceability of the tank (if present) and the lines. Save and relax in warmth and safety These checks and services completed as part of a home heating system inspection can save you between 10% and 20% on your home heating bill by ensuring the maximum efficiency of your system. More important, it will keep your family safe and warm all winter long.