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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Home Heating System Maintenance Guidelines From The US Department of Energy

The folks at the US Department of Energy are concerned not only with the amount of energy we as consumers generate, but the efficiency of our heating systems and our comfort as well. It is the opinion of the Depahertment of Energy that the following should be performed annually by a profeSssional heating cvontractor.

All Systems:

  • Check the condition of your vent connection pipe and chimney.
    Parts of the venting system may have deteriorated over time. Chimney problems can be expensive to repair, and may help justify installing new heating equipment that won't use the existing chimney.
  • Check the physical integrity of the heat exchanger. Leaky boiler heat exchangers leak water and are easy to spot. Furnace heat exchangers mix combustion gases with house air when they leak—an important safety reason to have them inspected.
  • Adjust the controls on the boiler or furnace to provide optimum water and air temperature settings for both efficiency and comfort.

If you're considering replacing or retrofitting your existing heating system, have the technician perform a combustion-efficiency test.

Forced Air Systems:

  • Test the combustion chamber for cracks.
  • Test for carbon monoxide (CO) and remedy if found.
  • Adjust blower control and supply air temperature.
  • Clean and oil the blower.
  • Remove dirt, soot or corrosion from the furnace.
  • Check fuel input and flame characteristics, adjust if necessary.
  • Seal connections between the furnace and main ducts.

Hot Water Systems:

  • Test pressure-relief valve.
  • Test high-limit control.
  • Inspect pressure tank, which should be filled with air, to be sure it's not filled with water.
  • Clean the heat exchanger.

Steam Systems:

  • Drain some water from the boiler to remove sediments. This improves the heat exchanger efficiency.
  • Test low-water cutoff safey control and high-limit safety control.
  • Drain the float chamber to remove sediments. This prevents the low water-cutoff control from sediment clogs.
  • Analyze boiler water and add chemicals as needed to control mineral deposits and corrosion.
  • Clean the heat exchanger.

NJ residents visit our website for more information. Our previous blog post will give you more details on Steam Heating Systems

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