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Kevin O’Connor gets a primer on furnace maintenance from plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey. Richard first explains to Kevin how a furnace works before explaining the different checkpoints that an HVAC technician would use to check the furnace. After that, Richard shows Kevin the dangerous conditions that can exist if the furnace isn’t serviced by a professional at least once a year.
Where to find it?
Richard emphasizes the importance of a yearly service call for furnaces and AC units and what to expect from technicians when they come.
Richard explains that a proper technician would check all the regular safety devices to make sure they work. That would at least include:
Safety device check – Richard explains what’s on the furnace and how to check them.
Next, Richard explains that they will do a combustion test with a combustion analyzer – this test measures how much fuel is going in and what are the emissions going out. It measures for temperature, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. This test is important because defective furnaces could literally kill you, either through carbon monoxide or through an explosion, and should be tested once a year.
Richard also points out that the air filters should be checked and replaced if necessary. This step should actually happen twice a year, so homeowners should be doing it six months after the service call on their own.
Richard tells Kevin that the last thing a technician should check is the AC coil. They’re just
looking to make sure it’s clean. If the filters are not getting changed regularly, some of that dirt and hair can end up on those little fine coils and prevent the air conditioning from working correctly.
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About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.
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Why is Furnace Maintenance Important? | Ask This Old House