The best way to know your propane heating appliances are running at their best and safest is to have your heating system professionally maintained and inspected regularly – the former every year, the latter about once every five years, according to the National Propane Gas Association.
Annual preventative maintenance by an experienced propane technician is a must for today’s sophisticated, high efficiency propane appliances – it keeps equipment running at peak efficiency, catches many small issues before they become big, costly problems, and is often required as a condition of your propane equipment warranty. As heating system investments go, routine professional maintenance is one of the best you can make: never attempt to repair or alter propane equipment yourself!
A heating system inspection is a bit more of a deep dive into your home’s overall heating picture. If you plan to have one, do some legwork to make sure your inspector knows everything that has happened with your system since the last inspection. It’s a good idea to gather paperwork that indicates:
- Changes to your system (equipment added or removed, etc.)
- Any maintenance visit write-ups for your system
- Any recorded or observed signs of potential problems (once urgent propane safety procedures have been followed)
Heating inspection checklist
What should be included in a comprehensive professional heating system inspection? Here are 10 critical elements:
- Check carbon-monoxide detectors – Few safeguards more important to the safety of your family than your CO detectors – an inspection should verify that each is properly placed and working correctly.
- Check chimneys, flues and vents – Subtle problems in these areas – detectable only by trained technicians with proper tools and instruments – can lead to efficiency loss or even safety issues in your home.
- Check safety devices – All pilot and limit switches should be checked and repaired if necessary.
- Check the heat exchanger – Poor heat exchange results in poor heat efficiency, and a broken heat exchanger can pose a serious fire or carbon monoxide hazard.
- Clean inside the furnace – In a properly working heating system, there should be little or no soot inside your furnace; the presence of too much soot means that fuel is not burning completely, leading to inefficient operation. An inspection should include a nozzle inspection and replacement (if needed).
- Check air filters – If you have a forced air system (one with a furnace and vents), an inspection should include checking and replacing clogged air filters. Clogged filters can reduce the short-term efficiency of your heating system and lead to unnecessary repairs in the mid- to long-term.
- Clean motor and fan – In forced air systems, bearings should be lubricated and debris should be cleaned from the blower area. The drive belt should also be checked and replaced if necessary.
- Inspect ducting and piping – A complete home heating system inspection should include a review of the ductwork and hot water piping. Leaks in these areas can have a drastic impact on heating system efficiency.
- Furnace and thermostat test – An inspection should measure and correct (if necessary) the accuracy of your thermostat. It should also take flue gas samples to determine whether the system is functioning as it should.
- Check propane tanks – An inspection should verify that your propane tank is installed, connected and functioning safely and properly.
Stay safe and warm this winter with professional maintenance and inspections for your propane heating system from the pros at LG Jordan. Contact us today to schedule service for your North Carolina home!