Good bye spring and summer, hello fall and winter. What to do to prepare…

The warm, sunny months are coming to an end soon, and Jack Frost is about to come out and play. It is this time when the weather is still in between seasons that it is wise to do a little pre-season check up and maintenance to keep you from being, well… left out in the cold. Run down the following steps and you should be set for a cozy and uneventful winter season.

With there being different types of heating equipment used across the country, there are different maintenance steps for each system. Here I will list them by type:

Gas Furnace -
1. Turn on the furnace and make sure that the gas valve kicks on and the burners start going and the wheel starts blowing. If everything goes off without a hitch you are in good shape. In some furnaces, they have what is known as a standing pilot which means that the pilot is constantly lit. To conserve energy and money, some people will shut the gas to the furnace off during the warmer months. The common mistake is that it is left off for the duration until the weather gets cold again and then when trying to relight the furnace it wont light because a valve has gone bad, an igniter is burnt out, etc. A big plus to checking this out before it’s crunch time.
2. It is always good to have spares of common parts such as igniters, flame sensors, limit switches, a gas valve, a capacitor and a motor. Sounds expensive, but when weighed against the potential costs of frozen pipes, electric space heaters, or even hotel rooms, it is a small price to pay to be prepared. Sure, many companies offer next day air and such, but when weather conditons get out of hand, they can effect the rate of travel on your parts getting to you which just extends the time you are without heat.Look at what just happened with hurrican Irene. The eastern sea board was under water for days and nothing went in or out. Think ahead.

Heat Pump -
1. Turn on the system and have the system change from cool to heat. If this works, then your reversing valve is functioning properly. Heat pumps are a bit trickier to diagnose if you are not sure what you are doing, so in this case you may want to call out a tech so that he can test all of the components as heat pumps are more electrical than mechanical.
2. Stock up on spares. Capacitors, contactors, solenoid coils, defrost boards, etc. If a tech came out, they should be able to suggest anything that they think you might need as a “just in case” precaution.

Electric Air Handler -
1. Turn the system on to call for heat. If you are running an air handler with no heat pump, then you will be using electric strip heat. Observe the heat strip and make sure all the coils are glowing red hot. As long as the blower is running and the coils are glowing, you stand to be in pretty good shape.
2. Again, spare parts. Sequencers, capacitors, fan timer boards, blower motor, blower relays. The same is recommended to call a tech if you are not sure what you do or may need.

It never hurts to have a tech come out and do a maintenance inspection for you if you are not sure what you are doing. It will cast you a few extra bucks, but at least you will be ready whne the time comes. And as always, make sure your air filters are clean and changed regularly. Follow these few tips and you should be in for a toasty heating season.

Thanks for stopping by, and if you have any questions or assistance in finding parts please call Toll Free (866) 432-8551 or visit us at http://www.americanhvacparts.com/.

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