Lennox Logo

How to Conduct a Complete Heating System Check

Table of Contents

The experts recommend that you perform a heating system check before winter hits in Janesville, WI. These checks help you ensure that your furnace, heat pump, or boilers remains in good condition. You can complete an inspection yourself or contact an HVAC professional to get help from an expert.

Learn about HVAC questions and schedule an appointment to check on your heating system with Rock Valley HVAC, Inc. Reach us at (608) 496-9993 to speak to a member of our team. 

heating system check

Steps in a Heating System Check

Performing a heating system check increases your confidence that your heater will keep you warm all winter long. Take steps to ensure your system is working by:

Turning Off the Circuit Breaker

Safety takes priority during a complete heating system check. Turn off the power going to your heater before you take any other steps to prevent an electric shock. 

Cleaning Around the Heating System

Your first step in a heating system check should be removing all debris and clutter from the area around the heater. Many homeowners stack things close to their furnace in the summer. These items become a fire hazard once you turn the heater back on in the winter.

Checking the Air Filters

Furnaces count on air filters to remove particulates from the air. Your filter catches things like dust, pet dander, and pollen. A furnace with a dirty filter works harder than the same system with a clean filter, so take the time to change your filters. 

Some property owners buy several filters at the beginning of the winter and keep them on hand to change throughout the season. 

Testing Your Thermostat

After changing your filter, go ahead and turn the power to your heater back on. Once you restore power, turn your heating system on and bump up the temperature a few degrees on your thermostats. Ideally, you’ll notice a change in temperature within 20 minutes. 

The experts expect you to notice a faint burning smell the first time you turn on your heater. The odor comes from dust burning off the heating elements as the system kicks into action. However, you should not smell oil or gas. Turn your furnace off right away if you detect these odors and contact a professional.

What happens if your heating system does not start producing warmth? It could just be an issue with your thermostat. Replace the batteries and make sure you have the thermostat correctly connected to the wall. See if that fixes your problem.

If your heating system still refuses to activate, contact an HVAC professional for assistance. 

Assessing Radiators and Oil Tanks

Not all homeowners use oil or hot water for heating. However, if you use these systems, make sure that you include them in your check. Make sure you fill your oil tank at the beginning of the winter before oil prices climb. 

We also recommend checking any hot water radiators in the house. Radiators should grow hot in about 15-20 minutes when you turn the heater on. Contact a heating professional if they do not warm up.

Checking Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Finally, the professionals recommend changing the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors before you begin running your furnace. Heaters may produce this dangerous gas while they operate. Inhaling carbon monoxide leads to poisoning and serious medical complications. 

Consider Professional Furnace Clearing

In addition to completing a heating system check every fall, many homeowners decide to contact the professionals to set up a furnace cleaning appointment. Heating and cooling specialists perform 23-point checks to assess all parts of your heater.

HVAC professionals clean and assess different parts of your heating system, including the following:

●      Blower motor

●      Forced vent motor

●      Flame sensor 

Cleaning all parts of your heater allows the system to function at maximum efficiency. Efficient heaters require less energy to operate, reducing your monthly energy expenses. Regular maintenance also extends the overall life of the system and prevents breakdowns. 

If technicians notice any concerning issues during their cleaning process, they’ll inform you, allowing you to plan for any necessary repairs. 

Reasons to Complete a Heating Systems Check

Are you wondering why you should go through the work of performing a heating system check every year? Homeowners benefit in several ways from checking the condition of their heater before winter.

Checks Protect Your Health

Does your heating system use fossil fuels, like oil, natural gas, or propane? If so, dangerous contaminants could leak out into your home from cracks or leaks. Homeowners sometimes discover leaks of:

●      Methane

●      Carbon dioxide 

●      Sulfur dioxide 

Working carbon monoxide detectors raise the alarm if some of these gases enter the air of your property. In other situations, you may not notice a leak right away. However, a check helps you identify any cracks that could allow gases to escape. 

Checks Save You Money

A leaky heating system only costs you money in the long run. Cracks or leaks in the system allow warmth to escape before it reaches your house, forcing your heater to work harder and run for longer periods of time. 

Keeping your heating system in good condition lowers your energy bills.

Checks Help You Avoid Breakdowns

Your furnace has to work hardest in the middle of winter, especially if people keep opening and closing the door. Putting this pressure on the heating systems sometimes results in a breakdown, especially if you have worn out parts.

A system check before winter allows you to identify any potential issues before they cause a breakdown. Replacing a few parts in the fall may help you prevent a complete breakdown in the middle of winter, helping you avoid a period of uncomfortable cold in your house. 

Checks Extend the Life of Your Heater

Soot and other contaminants often build up on the internal workings of your heating systems over time. Keeping this debris cleared away makes it easier for your heater to function, reducing the strain on the system. 

Systems that are kept clean generally run for longer. You may end up extending the life of your heating system by several years when you schedule regular cleaning appointments with the professionals. 

Checks Improve Your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

During the winter months, the air in your house circulates through your heating system. The system often picks up dirt collected along the way and then spreads it from one room to the next in your home. Dust spread in this way often causes:

●      Itchy or runny eyes

●      Coughing or sneezing

●      Congestion 

Changing your filter regularly helps to improve the quality of the air in your house. Getting professional help cleaning your heating system can remove additional contaminants from your property. 

Consider regular cleaning if you have people with allergies or asthma living in your house. The experts also recommend more frequent cleaning appointments if you have multiple pets or live in areas known for their poor air quality. 

Contact Us to Clean Up Your Heating System

Have you performed a heating system check on your heater? If so, you’ve taken the first step towards preparing for winter. You can allow us to help you keep your furnace in prime condition by scheduling a heating system cleaning with our technicians.

Our team at Rock Valley HVAC, Inc. offers HVAC services in Evansville. Reach out to us easily by calling (608) 496-9993. All our technicians are licensed and insured and use their experience to complete the cleaning process quickly and efficiently.