Reasons to Have Your Commercial Building’s Furnace Checked Before the Heating Season
The warmer days of late summer and early fall may not yet be over, but the changing of the seasons is the perfect indicator that it’s time to start getting your commercial facility ready for winter. One of the most important tasks you should attend to before heating season is having preventive maintenance performed on your furnace. The following is a brief introduction to furnace maintenance that provides an explanation of why maintenance is important and what you can expect a maintenance tuneup to include.
Reasons for Furnace Maintenance
Furnace maintenance will produce multiple benefits for commercial building owners and their tenants. Some of the most useful results of commercial furnace maintenance include:
- Better system performance and reliability: A well-maintained furnace is less likely to break down or malfunction, especially during the coldest days when the most severe seasonal stresses are put on it. The system will work better in general, providing more consistent heating and producing the amount of indoor comfort you and your tenants require.
- Improved efficiency: With regular maintenance, a furnace will maintain its efficiency level for longer periods. This means it will continue to use less fuel than models with a lower efficiency rating. You’ll save money on your monthly heating bills and will waste less fuel and energy.
- Increased safety: In many cases, the furnace in a commercial building will be a gas furnace. While furnaces are designed to be extremely safe to operate, the volatile natural gas the furnace uses to produce heat can be a safety hazard. When the furnace burns the gas, it also creates harmful byproducts such as carbon monoxide. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause serious illness, and in extreme cases, it can kill. Some of the most serious safety problems could occur if the gas leaks and causes an explosion.
- Greater longevity: By having regular preventive maintenance performed on your commercial furnace, you will extend the equipment’s functional lifespan significantly. Furnaces can usually be expected to last for around fifteen years, but a well-maintained system could last much longer. This prevents the need for a furnace replacement that could cost several thousand dollars.
Furnace Maintenance Tasks
Commercial furnace maintenance should be performed by a qualified HVAC professional. This ensures that an expert in heating systems has carefully inspected your heating system and that any changes, adjustments, or repairs have been made by a knowledgeable technician. Some minor tasks, such as air filter changes or general cleaning, can be handled by non-experts, but most furnace maintenance activities should be left to the pros.
Some of the tasks your HVAC professional should perform include:
- Checking and cleaning the system’s combustion chamber to remove soot and other buildup.
- Testing and calibrating thermostats to ensure correct indoor temperature readings.
- Testing for carbon monoxide leaks and checking ventilation systems to ensure they work properly.
- Checking heat exchangers for cracks or damage that could cause carbon monoxide leaks.
- Cleaning burners and ensuring they are not clogged or blocked, then adjusting burners as necessary.
- Testing ignition system for proper operation.
- Checking gas connections and gas lines to ensure they are in good repair and are tightly connected.
- Lubricating motors, bearings, fans, and other moving parts.
- Inspecting ductwork systems to ensure there are no broken seals, gaps, or leaks where heated air could escape.
- Testing and adjusting all safety controls.
- Cleaning and tightening all electrical connections and applying anti-corrosion coatings if necessary.
- Checking wiring for corrosion, fraying, damage to insulating coatings, and other problems.
- Checking flues and exhaust systems for proper operation and lack of blockages.
- Tightening loose components, belts, fasteners, and other parts.
- Testing overall system operation, cycling, and other important elements of operation.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on furnace maintenance for your commercial building, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!