Hiring a Licensed Plumber For Furnace Tune Ups
An annual tune-up and cleaning of your furnace or boiler is as important to your plumbing and heating as your annual physical is to your health. When you hire a plumbing company for scheduled annual furnace cleaning services, they should do much more than simply change parts and vacuum out your chimney. While many people opt to have their oil company perform the annual cleaning, there are valid reasons to consider hiring a plumbing professional instead.
Some would appeal that the heating service technician who comes to work on your furnace or boiler should be a master plumber who has received over 300 hours in specialty training for servicing all makes and models of furnace heating systems and home boilers. Why do you need a licensed plumber to tune-up your furnace or boiler? Because home heating is an integrated system of fuel, water and air. It requires knowledge in all aspects of plumbing and heating in order to be truly effective in furnace system maintenance and repair. Especially in the area of integrated hot water systems in oil burners.
Pressure levels, well pump efficiency, and home filtration systems all play a key role outside of the boiler itself. The service you hire should check carbon monoxide levels around the furnace or boiler to make sure dangerous fumes are not entering the house through a leaking gasket. To isolate one aspect of your home plumbing and heating system and just work on that is to miss the big picture.
Many qualified plumbers possess special certificates and follow strict guidelines for boiler tune-ups furnace maintenance. Here is a detailed check list that should be performed on your system every year and this is what sets certain furnace cleaning service procedures apart from the typical oil company furnace "maintenance":
– Cleaning or replacing the fuel oil strainers
– Changing the oil filter
– Changing the nozzle
– Checking and adjusting the ignition system
– Vacuuming the furnace / boiler and smoke pipe to chimney
– Checking and lubricating motors
– Checking and adjusting the fan belt
– Testing and regulating all burner and safety controls
– Adjust the heating unit to ensure maximum efficiency
– Performing an efficiency test
– Clean and adjust burner assembly and blower components
– Test safety controls
– Lubricate all moving parts
– Adjust oil / gas pressure
– Replace oil nozzle
– Replace oil filter and pump strainer
– Measure temperature difference
– Clean condenser coil
– Clean evaporator coil, if accessible
– Measure volts / amps
– Check refrigerant pressure
– Check flue draft
People sometimes wonder, why should not my oil or gas company service my furnace or boiler? An oil or gas company's primary business is the distribution of fuel. They are not necessarily specialists in mechanical services. Most oil technicians have received basic courses in tune-ups and furnace cleaning. But this is not an oil company's main focus, plus turnover of boiler technicians can be high. You will most likely not see the same technician year after year. Some are very good, and some are very "green".
For about the same cost, you can have a certified technician and master plumber clean, tune-up, and inspect your heating system instead. Does not it make sense to hire a plumbing and heating specialist who can pre-empt problems before they arise because they understand whole-house plumbing?
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