Furnace repair can be minimized and avoided by regular furnace maintenance. A furnace service is also key to ensure that your furnace runs efficiently and furnace replacement is avoided. Furnace servicing should be carried out at least once every twelve months. Despite expert furnace installation and furnace maintenance, there are obviously times when your boiler may fail. The reasons for boiler failure can vary from a blocked fuel inlet, an airlock in the fuel pipe right through to a problem with the boiler controls.
You should always familiarize yourself with your boiler controls and ensure that you check them regularly. Over time, boiler thermostats can lose accuracy and a trained engineer can check and re-calibrate your thermostat if required. Ensuring the accuracy of your thermostat is important as this can cost or save you fuel in the long term. Maintaining your programmer and timing switches, the electronic unit and the radiator valve may help to ensure that your boiler runs more efficiently and may assist in minimizing any problems which could occur as a result of poor maintenance. If you are considering replacing your gas furnace for a new model, you can view this guide. It considers the long-term costs associated with the purchase of a new boiler such as servicing, maintenance and the potential rates of repair.
If your furnace does require repair, your first port of call should be your furnace repair manual. Your manual will give a step by step guide to furnace troubleshooting any problems you are experiencing. It will list the symptoms that you are experiencing and be able to guide you through the basic repair checks. There are different protocols depending on the type of furnace that you are operating. Fixing an oil furnace will require an oil furnace expert. Most oil furnaces used today are pressure burners. This enables the oil to be sprayed into the combustion chamber at a high pressure, propelled by a blower. The oil is then ignited by an electric spark and the oil continues to burn as the oil is sprayed into the combustion chamber. Maintenance and repair of an oil burner is limited to the replacement of oil furnace repair parts such as the filters, blower, motor belts, switches and the thermostat. Other parts such as the electrodes, oil nozzle, air tubes, transformer, pump and other components require specialist tools and testing equipment. These parts are best left to a professional boiler repair engineer. There are things you can do to maintain your boiler yourself however. For example,
- During the winter season, check whether the smoke from the chimney is black, as this may indicate that the furnace is not burning the oil efficiently and oil is being wasted.
- You can clean the blower at the beginning of the heating season and again about midway through.
- Ensure that you clean soot from the chimney stack control midway through the winter.
- Lubricating the fittings midway through the winter with grease or motor oil will ensure that the blower motor is kept in good working order.
- Clean the thermostat before each heating season.
Hiring The Right Engineer
Besides regular maintenance which you can do yourself, it is vital that you engage a fully trained oil boiler specialist to carry out an annual furnace service. This will not only ensure that your boiler runs more efficiently but will flag up any issues and parts which may need to be replaced before they can cause problems. Regular maintenance will save you fuel, by keeping your boiler running more efficiently and will also ensure that parts are replaced in a timely manner before any repairs are necessary. Such maintenance will minimize furnace repair cost ensuring that your fuel is burned efficiently and replacing parts which are worn or faulty.
Electric furnaces work in a similar way to gas furnace boilers, except that they use an electric current to heat the water. The water is then pumped around your central heating system to the various radiators. Electric boilers can be more expensive than gas or oil furnaces. However, the need for a flue is not necessary as fuel is not being burned in the same way. This means that electric boilers are 100% energy efficient. Electric boilers also have fewer internal components. Electric boilers are also by and large easier to install and there is no need for annual servicing or maintenance contracts. Since there is no combustion there are no gases or dangerous substances which means that an electric boiler is also a safer and cleaner way of heating your home and water. A final advantage is that the life of an electric boiler is generally longer than a gas or oil furnace by up to five years, a significant increase.
How To Properly Maintain Your Furnace
Repair and maintenance with an electric boiler requires different protocols to an oil furnace. However, as with an oil boiler, your furnace repair manual should be where you look for help when you experience any problems.
Maintenance of an electric furnace is just as important as the upkeep of an oil furnace. It can help with timely detection of faulty parts and may prevent further avoidable damage. However, if you need to carry out an electric furnace repair employing the services of a fully qualified electric furnace engineer is vital due to the health and safety considerations. Electric immersion boilers use high electrical currents which can cause burnouts of components and may be a fire hazard as a result.
It is absolutely vital that you get a qualified engineer who can test your boiler, and if necessary replace the electric boiler. Sometimes, electric boiler failure can be traced to a water leak. Regular boiler maintenance will detect such leaks. Simple tasks like ensuring your expansion tank is kept topped up can go a long way to preventing problems with your electric boiler. Simple maintenance procedures which boiler owners should be aware of are always listed in the boiler owners’ manual. Carrying out these regular maintenance procedures could prevent costly boiler repairs, where you may require the services of a plumber which could cost in excess of between $100 and $200.
If you follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance routine for your type of furnace, and ensure you employ the services of a registered engineer, you will not only extend the life of your boiler, detect problems before they cause major damage, but may even negate the need for extensive boiler repair costs in the first place ensuring that your furnace repair is minimized and your boiler runs efficiently regardless of the type of fuel it burns.