On average, you need to have your gas heaters serviced at least once a year.
Routine maintenance, no matter how complex or costly, is a necessary evil. It allows you to detect problems that could worsen or damage your heater for good if not repaired immediately.
There are two main reasons why you need to get your gas heater serviced regularly; (1) neglecting to conduct preventive gas heater maintenance shortens the lifespan of your heating system, and (2) it may also compromise the manufacturer’s warranty.
If your gas heating system is pretty new, you may be able to do basic maintenance on your own. Below are a few simple steps that can be completed safely by the average homeowner. Remember, if you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a professional technician.
Routine gas heater maintenance you can DIY
There are 3 possible maintenance steps you can safely do on your own without needing the help of a professional. You don’t need technical know-how, just a screwdriver, water hose, vacuum and damp cloth for general dust cleaning.
- Clean the air filter
One of the most basic steps to gas heater maintenance is cleaning or replacing the filter on your furnace. To do this, you need to first turn off your furnace and locate the air filter. The filter may be behind the door and you may need to unscrew the door panel. Furnace filters easily slide in and out of their housing.
If your filter has a cardboard frame, then it is disposable and needs to be replaced. If it’s not, then you just have to wash it off with a hose and make sure the water that comes out on the other side is clean. Dry it under the sun and slide it back in from where you got it.
- Clean the blower and furnace room
Aside from cleaning the filter, you may also clean the blower and vacuum the furnace room. You don’t have to remove the blower, it’s right behind the filter and you can use a damp cloth to clean it and the pulleys and belts around it.
The blower moves the warm air to your home, so cleaning it removes fine dust and particulates that can affect the performance of your heating system.
- Replace the thermostat battery
If you’re experiencing problems maintaining the temperature, the next thing to check on is the thermostat settings. Battery-powered thermostats need their battery replacement at least twice a year. Consider buying a modern Wi-Fi thermostat for your home to avoid having this problem in the future.
How to know if your gas heater needs to be serviced
You need to have your gas heater serviced immediately if you notice any of these things happening, in order to prevent further damage:
- High Gas Bill
Your gas bill will naturally go up during the winter season for many reasons, but if your gas bill is especially high this year, it could be because your heating system is not working efficiently.
It may be because your furnace blower is working harder than usual due to blockages or problems with the air filter, or other components.
- Bad Indoor Air Quality
Are you or your kids sneezing more than usual? Clogged air filters or malfunctioning humidifiers release dust into the air and that may cause you to experience allergy symptoms. If you have an older furnace, this is worth checking.
- Strange Odours and Noises
If you smell burning rubber, oil or smoke, this could be a potential health and safety hazard. If you hear whistling or howling noises while your gas heater is running, there could be a problem with the fuel supply. On the other hand, a loud bang could mean the burners need to be cleaned.
Certified technicians can diagnose these strange odours and noises easily for you and fix the problem faster, before it gets worse.
- Carbon Monoxide Leak
Unlike the previous point, carbon monoxide doesn’t have any colour, odour or taste, so it’s more difficult to detect. Carbon monoxide is poisonous and deadly, and it can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea.
If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your house and you or others in your household experience those symptoms, it’s important to check the flame in your gas furnace. If the flame is blue (with a yellowish tip) it’s normal, but if it’s only yellow, then it’s producing carbon monoxide.
If you experience this problem, you should immediately call for professional help and vacate the property for safety until the problem is resolved.
- Unstable temperature or no heat at all.
If some rooms in your house are colder than others and you find yourself constantly adjusting the thermostat all the time, then you may need to re-evaluate your heating system.
On the other hand, if you’re not having any heat at all, you may have to do basic troubleshooting.
First, check if it’s connected to the power source, someone may have accidentally turned it off. Also, try replacing the batteries on your thermostat, make sure the filters do not have any blockage (turn off your gas heater before doing this). Check the pilot light or relight it if needed, please be careful and follow your user’s manual for this.
If you’ve tried the troubleshooting methods mentioned above, and it’s still not working, then you really have to call a technician to come over to get it serviced immediately.
Where to get gas heater serviced in Melbourne
Gas heaters are usually hassle-free and easy to maintain but you may need to have it checked at least once a year by a certified professional who knows how to service a gas heater properly.
Consulting with a professional technician can potentially reduce your gas bill and reduce the possibility of gas heater breakdowns during the cold season.
Don’t risk your family’s safety and comfort this winter season and book a comprehensive gas heater service with Twin Electrics and Plumbing Commercial Electricians in Melbourne today.