Do I Have a Boiler or a Furnace?
Many people use the word “furnace” to refer to any kind of home heating system, but it’s important to know the differences between a furnace and a boiler and be aware of what system you have in your own home.
A furnace heats air and then circulates the warm air throughout your home, while a boiler heats water and circulates that throughout your home to heat it via radiators, baseboards, or in-floor radiant heating systems. The water then circulates back to the boiler and is heated and distributed again.
You can also have a hydro air system, which is a combination between a boiler and a furnace. It works by heating water, then using the water to heat air and send the warm air through the house via a duct system.
Why Do I Need Annual Boiler or Furnace Service?
Fortis recommends that you have your furnace or boiler maintained by a certified HVAC technician once every year. There are several reasons for this, one being that annual service is often needed to maintain your manufacturer warranty. More importantly, you should have your boiler or furnace serviced once a year by a professional to ensure safety and maximum efficiency.
Whether your heating system is new or old, both can benefit from annual maintenance and the well-trained eye of an experienced gas fitter.
For older furnaces and boilers, it is extra important to regularly inspect the heat exchanger for any signs of cracks or pitting, because a failed heat exchanger poses a serious carbon monoxide risk.
Also, today’s modern high-efficiency appliances produce a significant amount of water as part of the combustion process. This water exhausts out of the vent as steam, but also condenses and drains away from the unit; so it is important to regularly make sure that these condensate lines stay clear, and that the water is properly draining away.
Furnaces and boilers that are professionally maintained annually will work more efficiently and can last up to twice as long as they would otherwise; and, regular service of your furnace or boiler can save a significant amount of money on your heating bill.
Annual service also prevents major issues before they happen. A sudden boiler breakdown is a pain to deal with and it’s much easier and more cost effective to prevent it rather than resolve it. If a boiler or furnace is going to break down, it is most likely to do so during the cold winter months when it goes from being used very little or not at all to working overtime, which is why it is best to get your annual furnace or boiler tune-up done in the fall.
What Will the Technician Actually Do?
The professional who services your boiler or furnace will inspect the entire unit and conduct multiple tests and safety checks, including the following:
- Check the emissions of your appliance.
- Do a multi-point safety check to make sure your boiler or furnace isn’t posing any hazards.
- Inspect the venting and condensate line to make sure there isn’t any leakage or blocks.
- Inspect the entire unit for corrosion and rust.
- Check the wiring.
- Test the gas pressure.
- Check and clean the sensors.
- Conduct carbon monoxide tests to make sure CO levels are safe for your home.
- Make the necessary adjustments to ensure that your unit is running as efficiently as possible.
Now is the best time of year to have your heating system inspected and serviced before the cold winter ahead. Book an appointment with one of our certified technicians at John Sadler Plumbing & Heating today!