Regular maintenance is the number one way to keep your ducted gas heating system performing as it should, and also helps to reduce the likelihood of costly repairs in the future. Using a few basic techniques, you can keep your ducted gas heater as new, and also stay on top of any issues that may need professional servicing.
1. Safety First
Before commencing any work or inspection on your gas ducted heater, make sure to switch the gas off, including the power system and any circuit connections to the furnace. Also check for gas leaks, as these can be extremely dangerous. If you notice a leak, don’t attempt to fix anything yourself – instead, call a gas heating expert immediately.
2. Taking Care of Your Thermostat
If you are sure your ducted gas heating system is safe to work with, start with your heating’s central control panel, the thermostat. Before winter begins, turn up the thermostat and see if you can hear the furnace turn on. This means your system is functioning as it should. If, however, your furnace turns off after less than three minutes, your thermostat may not be adjusted properly or the heat exchanger in the furnace is overheating. In either of these cases, contact a heating specialist to get you ready for winter. It’s also worth checking your batteries if you are having problems with your thermostat. Sometimes the solution is a simple battery change!
3. Maintaining your Ducted Gas Heating System
It’s vital to keep your ducted gas heating system clean, to allow for efficient functioning and high indoor air quality. Call in a professional to check your ductwork at least once a year for dust, mould, rust or open joints, the latter of which can be sealed with duct tape or may need to be replaced.
4. Clean the Ductwork and Vents
When it comes to the maintenance you can conduct yourself, make sure to clean ductwork and registers when needed. If you live in a particularly dusty environment or someone in your household suffers from allergies, more frequent cleaning is highly recommended.
If you can access your furnace combustion chamber, make sure to clean any dust and soot. The heating technician you call for your annual inspection should also clean the chamber, after cutting off the gas to the unit. The technician will also vacuum the area where the blower is housed.
If your system operates using a forced-air furnace, you might need to clean the ducts often with a high-powered vacuum cleaner. Make sure to cover all the ducts after you have finished to prevent air from leaking into the furnace.
Finally, pay a little attention to your vents. A gas heater’s ventilation can become blocked due to all the debris in the air, which can cause a health hazard to your family. First, remove the vent cover and vacuum the inside, then clean the vents using a large brush.
5. Clean the Filter and Blower
You should also clean your furnace’s filter system, which prevents dirt from entering the system. Filters should be changed regularly, as they are exposed to dirt and debris constantly. If your filter is completely clogged, it’s time to replace it with a new one.
The blower is located next to the filter, with dirt and debris potentially becoming trapped in the blower. Clean the blower, pulleys and belts to remove any accumulated gunk – this can be done by removing the panels over the filter and using a damp cloth.
Finally, your fan should also be inspected as part of the annual inspection conducted by a HVAC professional. Again, fans can accumulate dust and spread this throughout your home, creating an unhealthy environment, particularly for those with allergies.
Taking care of your gas ducted heater will allow it to function efficiently and safely. After all, when dealing with gas, you want to ensure that your unit is maintained to the highest standards and does not pose a risk to your family. By maintaining your gas ducted heating system, you also minimise the need for repairs or replacements in the future.
In addition to an annual inspection by a professional, you should also complete some basic cleaning and maintenance, as well as stay aware of any potential issues that could arise with your system.