What is a Furnace Inspection?
A furnace inspection is the assessment of an industrial or residential furnace’s condition, primarily done to identify repair and maintenance needs. Operators, property owners, and landlords can hire a professional furnace inspector or choose to perform inspections and maintenance checks by themselves.
What is a Furnace Maintenance Checklist?
A furnace maintenance checklist is a tool used to inspect furnace components and safety controls for wear and tear and to determine if there’s a need of cleaning, repair, or replacement. Conducted at least once or twice annually, furnace maintenance helps ensure that furnaces are safe to operate and in optimal working condition.
3 Compelling Reasons for Conducting Furnace Maintenance
Furnaces are ideally maintained during fall and spring, when the equipment is not in use, to make sure that they operate safely and don’t break down unexpectedly when they are needed during winter. Here are three reasons why periodic furnace preventive maintenance is a must:
Parts and components of furnaces such as gas lines need to be proactively checked to ensure that there are no dangerous gas leaks. Safety controls should also be inspected to make sure that they are working properly.
- Energy efficiency
Air filters of furnaces need to be checked to determine if they need to be cleaned or replaced. Clogged filters that are not cleaned or replaced will overburden the furnace and negatively affect energy efficiency.
- Prevent breakdowns
The preventive maintenance of furnaces help ensure that they are safe to operate and do not breakdown and cause disruption to the day-to-day operation of commercial establishments and negatively impact living conditions in residential properties.
Top 3 Downsides of Neglecting Furnace Inspections and Maintenance
Property owners, landlords, and other professionals can make the mistake of neglecting furnace inspections if they fail to see any obvious issues. This results in a variety or problems that can easily be prevented with proper care and maintenance.
1. Health and safety hazards
Gas furnaces are one of the most common types being used because natural gas has become more affordable in recent years. However, they can easily turn into a fire hazard if carelessly installed. Ensure that the furnace has sufficient clearance from walls, ceilings, and shelves, and other flammable items that may block air flow and start a fire.
Gas line leaks are also a concern because methane is highly flammable and even a small amount could cause a fire and explosion if no immediate action is taken. Furnace inspections can help you spot warning signs such as damage to gas pipes and connections.
Overexposure to carbon monoxide, a byproduct of natural gas, is fatal. It is especially dangerous since it is both odorless, and colorless, making it hard to detect without a carbon monoxide detector. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Ensure that there’s no blockage to your furnace’s ventilation including dust since this can cause carbon monoxide build up. Check for any cracks and damage and make sure the front panel door is completely closed before turning the furnace on.
2. Inefficient operation
Dust and dirt accumulation will require your furnace to work harder than it normally would to maintain heat, using up more energy and sacrificing efficiency. Furnace inspections can help detect dust and dirt build up so the furnace can be cleaned and can operate at maximum efficiency.
3. Costly repairs
Furnace repairs and replacements are more expensive than maintenance work. Repairs can easily cost between $300 to $1,200 depending on the furnace type and the parts that need fixing, while replacements can range from $4,000 to $6,000. Furnace inspections however, can cost up to $150 or completely free if you have the technical know-how to do it yourself.