What We Check During Your Fall HVAC Inspection
Have you felt a little chilly these last few mornings? That’s a sure sign that fall is upon us.
Aside from lovely transitional foliage, pleasant temperatures, and the inevitable shift from sandals to socks on the weekends, the arrival of autumn means it’s time to give your HVAC equipment a checkup. You wouldn’t want your furnace to go kaput just as overnight temperatures reach the freezing mark!
At PV, we perform regular fall HVAC inspections and maintenance for every client with a service agreement – and our inspections go beyond the typical “is your heater working” stuff. We cover:
- Safety: Is your furnace operating safely, or does it leak carbon monoxide (CO) into your living space? In addition to CO, we make sure there aren’t any gas leaks.
- Efficiency: We check whether the system operates at optimal efficiency and determine whether aging components are slowing it down.
- Operation: Does your furnace heat your home the way it should? It seems like a simple question, but it’s actually kind of hard to answer. From uneven heating among rooms to over or under heating your living space, it’s important to confirm whether your heater operates properly.
And yes, we always replace your air filters before completing an inspection. It’s all part of the package. For all the details, just download our fall HVAC inspection checklist (PDF).
Let’s take a closer look at our fall HVAC maintenance and inspection protocol so you know exactly what’s going on when we go poking around your furnace.
If you have a gas furnace or a dual-fuel system that uses gas for backup heat, it’s important to maintain your equipment to ensure it doesn’t create a safety hazard.
That’s why we always perform the following tasks during a fall maintenance inspection:
- Ambient CO detection: We check for carbon monoxide around the unit and inside of your house using a CO detector.
- Heat exchanger analysis: We use a combustion analyzer to check the condition of your heat exchanger.
- Gas leak detection: We use special equipment to “sniff out” gas leaks. When the equipment shows an alert, we can verify whether it’s a real leak using bubbles.
- Nearby combustibles: It’s never a good idea to store combustible substances next to a gas furnace. We look for combustibles and move anything that’s within 10 feet of the unit.
Good news: You can usually heat your home with an inefficient, but functional, furnace. The bad news? It’s going to be more expensive. An inefficient furnace could also be a sign of worn or failing system components, which might mean there are some repairs on the horizon.
It’s usually better for your wallet – and your comfort – to fix those little problems before they become big problems.
Here’s what we look for when it comes to system efficiency:
- Inspect the flue pipe and draft diverter
- Check the blower motor AMP draw
- Check the blower capacitator
- Check the inducer motor AMP draw
- Inspect blower assembly cleanliness
If you’re using electricity to heat your home, we also inspect the heat pump compressor amps and the fan motor.
You want your furnace to heat your home all through the winter months without any problems. That’s pretty fundamental, and it’s really the crux of our inspection.
Here’s what we cover, operationally-speaking, when we inspect your heating equipment:
- Heat rise: During a heat rise test, we check whether the furnace is properly heating the air. If it’s too low (i.e. heat isn’t rising enough), we know there might be a problem. If it’s too high, then the furnace could go out on a limit.
- Pilot light: We check the pilot light and hot surface igniter to make sure they’re working as they should.
- Ductwork: While this ties into efficiency, the condition of your ductwork can affect the operation of your furnace. If you’ve got leaky ducts, they could be pulling in a lot of cool, unfiltered air from your attic or crawl space. That’s not good.
When things are working as they should, you’re set for the winter! But if something is out of whack, we’ll let you know so you can determine the best course of action.
Download our complete maintenance checklist
If you want to see the complete rundown of everything we look for during a fall HVAC inspection, just download our checklist!
When you opt for a service agreement with PV, we come in and inspect your equipment every fall and spring. We also throw in all the air filters you need throughout the year.
The best part? You get the peace of mind that your HVAC system is tip-top shape. Contact us to learn more about a service agreement for your Atlanta-area home!
Image credit: Petr Kratochvil