Natural Gas Furnace Installation & Maintenance
The average lifespan of a furnace or boiler is 20 years. Some makes of equipment may even need to be replaced sooner. Your particular furnace may have a reputation for faults that may make you consider replacing it. For example, the Heat Exchanger may be designed in such a way that may make it susceptible to cracking. If the heat exchanger cracks, then the gases from combustion may leak into the air stream and contaminate the air you breathe. Have the heat exchanger inspected and the air tested for Carbon Monoxide.
Is The Furnace Worth Repairing?
Another consideration when determining if you should replace your furnace is the cost of repair. If you need a new blower motor, ignition control, blower control, or gas valve, you may consider replacing the furnace. The average cost of repair may be around $500 and that money simply fixes the problem but does not improve the heating system. The money you spend on repair could be used to buy a new, more reliable and more efficient furnace.
Furnace and Boiler Maintenance
As a homeowner, you can help ensure your furnace operates properly and safely, and here are a few suggestions:
- Furnace and mechanical room: keep the furnace room clean and uncluttered. Many people think of their furnace room as an extra closet. Not so! The furnace and water heater have open flames present and if someone piles a cardboard box or paint tins next to the furnace or water heater is providing fuel for potential ignition.
- Filter maintenance: replace the filter on a regular basis. If you use a cheap throw-away filter replace it every four months or sooner. If you have a thick (5″) pleated filter, you may only need to replace it once a year. If you have an electronic air cleaner, clean the main filters and the pre-filters once a month. If the filter is not replaced regularly, the furnace will not heat the house properly and the furnace will overheat and cause damage to the furnace.
- Annual Furnace and Boiler maintenance: Have the equipment serviced once a year! This provides you with the piece of mind that the furnace is ready to heat your home safely and efficiently for another year.
What type of furnace or boiler do you have?
There are many types of electric and gas furnaces and boilers that can provide central heating to your home:
- Standard Efficiency Furnaces: If your furnace or boiler has pilot light that stays lit continually, then you have a standard efficiency furnace or boiler. These furnaces are over twenty years old and should be replaced. They are inefficient and have very few safety systems. The continually lit pilot light alone uses a tremendous amount of gas.
- Mid Efficient Furnaces: If your furnace is less than twenty years old then it may be a mid-efficient furnace. These furnaces may have a Hot Surface ignition system ( a ceramic bar that glows red hot) or an Electronic ignition system (this system uses a spark to ignite the pilot light or main burners). These furnaces will also have a Combustion Air Blower or Draft Inducer. A combustion air blower or draft inducer will actively exhaust the by-products of combustion out the chimney.
- High Efficiency or Condensing Furnaces: If your furnace is less than ten years old, then it may be a high efficiency furnace. These furnaces are also called condensing furnaces because the heat exchanger absorbs so much heat from the combustion that the by-products of combustion condense from the hot exhaust. You create water that must be collected and pumped or drained to the waste. These furnaces are usually Sealed Combustion furnaces because they take the air for combustion directly from the outside and exhaust directly to the outside.