The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that nearly 22 percent all households in the northeast use heating oil as their primary heating fuel and spend an average of $1,400 for fuel during the winter months. What if you could reduce your energy consumption and save on your heating bills this year? It's possible when your heating oil furnace or boiler is at peak efficiency, which requires periodic preventative maintenance by a trained technician.
Every home heating system accumulates dust, dirt, and other particulates that affect performance and efficiency. This can cause your utility bills to soar. A professional heating oil furnace or boiler tune-up and cleaning eliminates the grime and ensures all components are in good working order so when it's time to turn up the thermostat on the first chilly morning of fall, you have heat. The main benefits of a professional heating system tune-up are:
The best time to schedule a heating system tune-up is between the months of April and August. While this is the time of year when everyone typically enjoys the increasingly warm temperatures and fun of summer, it's also the perfect time to think about preventative heating system maintenance.
It's tempting to put off scheduling this important appointment, especially as a lazy afternoon poolside or at the beach seems more fun. However, there are quite a few advantages of scheduling your heating system tune-up in the spring and summer months rather than the fall.
A professional tune-up for your furnace or boiler includes multiple steps and actions that are best left to a trained technician. A trained technician performs tune-ups regularly, understands and practices safety protocols and has the knowledge and ability to recognize problems before they cause a system failure. These are some of the tasks that a professional should complete:
A comprehensive boiler or furnace tune-up and inspection by a professional is essential for any age of heating system — older models as well as new. Keep all tune-up records as proof of the inspection and service. These records may be needed if you have to file a warranty claim.
Safety tip: Remember carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas with the potential to poison humans and pets if it builds up indoors. Carbon monoxide can be deadly. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide or CO detector in your home near your bedroom. You should also consider installing additional detectors if you have a multi-level home. CO detectors should be tested monthly.
There are simple things you can do to help maintain your heating system in between annual tune-ups and inspections. If your home is heated with a warm air furnace, one of the easiest things a homeowner can do to help maintain equipment efficiency is to regularly change or clean the unit's air filter. If using a disposable type of fiberglass air filter, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) suggests replacing the filter every three months. Your home's furnace filter may need more frequent replacement if:
Always change an air filter if it's damaged or damp. A damp air filter can lead to mold growth. Any mold that grows on the filter can send spores through the system and into the air that you and your family breathe, which may trigger allergies and respiratory issues.
Keep combustibles and anything flammable away from the heating system. For safety, never store gas cans, weed whackers, and other similar items next to the furnace or boiler. At least twice a year dust the outside of the heating system to help maintain its efficiency. (Do it when you change your clocks for Daylight Saving Time and smoke detector batteries.)
Don't forget to turn the thermostat to heating mode when the temperatures begin to drop. The heat won't turn on when you need it if the thermostat is still set above the average room temperature or is still in air conditioning mode. Test the heating system in early September to ensure it turns on properly. This also allows for enough time to schedule a service call if something is wrong.
Preventative maintenance that includes an annual furnace and boiler tune-up performed by a trained technician is key to keeping your heating oil equipment running efficiently and your overall energy costs low.
Make sure your current furnace or boiler is operating efficiently by scheduling a tune-up. Call 800.645.4328 for the furnace and boiler experts at Petro Home Services today!
Petro Home Services is proud to not only serve communities in DC, CT, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA, and RI but we also proudly acknowledge the skills and experience of our expert team behind all resources. With insights on topics ranging from heating oil facts to common air conditioning questions, you can rely on Petro Home Services for facts and information to help you understand more about your heating, cooling and home comfort needs. This article and all articles on the Petro Home Services website have been approved by our team of home service experts.