Your Heating System Maintenance Checklist

technician examining a furnace

The Importance of Heating System Maintenance

While Georgia may be a southern state, it still has a cold winter, which is why a heating maintenance checklist is important for any homeowner. If you’re a new homeowner, you may not be familiar with this process and ask, “What is heating system maintenance?” So, in our piece today, we’re going to talk about heating maintenance, a checklist for that process, and why it is important.

For a homeowner, heater maintenance and repair are important tasks. The heater maintenance will save you money and heater repairs are necessary to keep your home warm in the winter. It can also affect keeping your home cool in the summer when you have an HVAC system. As we answer questions here, you’ll understand how a cooling and HVAC maintenance checklist plays an important role year-round.

How often should you have your furnace serviced?

For a gas furnace, experts recommend an annual service at minimum just prior to winter arriving. As the system ages, perhaps by the fifth or sixth year, it’s also recommended to check your heating maintenance checklist in the springtime, when your heating system has been working for an entire winter season. This heating maintenance checklist should include a thorough examination of all working components and cleaning of all components and parts that are known to malfunction. Those parts include: 

  • The air filter
  • The fan
  • The pilot light
  • The heat exchanger
  • The air ducts and vents
  • The thermostat

Checking these components and cleaning or replacing them as needed once or twice a year can prevent many potential problems that could leave you cold on a winter night. It should also be noted that electric furnaces need to have a minimum annual inspection too. The specific heating maintenance checklist for an electric furnace is slightly different, and should include inspections of the following: 

  • The blower fan 
  • The blower motor 
  • The heating elements or heating strips 
  • Cleaning and lubricating the motor 
  • All electronic components 
  • The filter
  • The thermostat
  • The air ducts and vents

How often should you clean your central heating system?

The heating maintenance checklist we’ve mentioned for electric and gas furnaces is what you should expect to receive when checked by a professional heating service company.

As a homeowner, you need to keep your furnace clean in between those annual or bi-annual inspections, cleaning, and repairs. When cleaning of your heating system is overlooked or skipped, debris and dust accumulate and will spread throughout the house via the air ducts. 

Air duct systems collect debris and dust, attracting insects, rodents, and sometimes small critters like squirrels. It then blows the debris, dust, and germs from those unwanted creatures throughout your entire home. This can become a health problem for the entire family. Anyone in your family with respiratory issues will struggle even more. 

Make sure you change the air filter every 30 days, keep the vents clean and clear, and schedule a professional air duct cleaning service at least once every two years. 

How do you service a heating system?

An electric or gas-powered forced-air heating system should always have clean airways for efficiency and the best air quality and performance. The following heating maintenance checklist is recommended: 

  • Change or clean the air filter once a month. This cannot be repeated enough. For a home with pets or if any residents in the home have respiratory issues, every 14 days is recommended. 
  • Have the ductwork checked every 12 months for any dust and mold build up or open joints. Any open joints can be repaired with metal duct tape. Any corroded ducts should be replaced.
  • Clean ductwork and registers as needed or annually. 
  • Clean dust and soot from the combustion chamber on a monthly basis through the winter months. Have a professional technician check the chamber annually or bi-annually. 
  • Clean the blower gently with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
  • Inspect the blower belt and if it appears cracked or worn, have it professionally replaced. 

How do you maintain a central heating system?

A central heating system will need cleaning and regular maintenance to keep it working at prime capacity in an energy-efficient manner. Following a set cleaning schedule and keeping a heating maintenance checklist will help you to minimize possible unexpected breakdowns and avoid major problems while getting a longer life expectancy from the unit. That heating maintenance checklist should include the following: 

  • Check, Clean, Change Air Filters Regularly
  • Clean Air Vents and Keep Them Unblocked
  • Clean Pilot Light with Small Wire Brush If Gas System
  • Flushing The Heating System if An Oil System
dusty vent being cleaned

A Final Word: How do I test my heating system?

Prior to winter, you want to make sure your heating system is in working order. After following the recommended heating maintenance checklist we have mentioned in this piece today you’ll need to take the following steps.

Flip the emergency switch on. Turn the thermostat up ten degrees over the existing room temperature. In a few minutes, the heating system should start working. If it doesn’t, press the reset button on the burner relay. If it still doesn’t start working, you’ll need to call for professional service.