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Annual home heating maintenance time...

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Annual home heating maintenance time...

When the fall rolls around, an annual inspection by a certified technician on your property's heating system is an essential part of managing a property.

The best time to schedule a furnace checkup is any time before the weather starts to cool down! Most people wait until the temperature starts to dip in October, by which time most service calls are booked 2-3 weeks out. 

A lot can go wrong when a heating system is off all summer. Forced-air furnaces commonly fail due to issues such as dust buildup or a blocked filter, but if your heating system is 15+ years old, issues start to become more significant. Finding out there is an issue when the temperature is uncomfortable for your residents is less than ideal for everyone. #1. your tenants will be cold and  #2 you'll likely pay a premium for a rush service call. The smart move is to save time and money by booking a scheduled maintenance in September.

A certified technician may perform any or all of the following inspections during a furnace checkup:

  • check vent system for blockages or leaks
  • air intake grills checked for blockages
  • check blower motor amperage draw
  • check carbon monoxide levels
  • check drainage system for blockages & leaks
  • blower door checked for leaks
  • inspect burners and flame sensor
  • ensure wiring is not damaged
  • inspect heat exchanger for corrosion

They will also check the furnace filters, but remember that filters should be replaced every three months during the winter, according to industry recommendations for forced-air. 

The carbon monoxide check is another critical part of a furnace checkup. While it is highly recommended that CO detectors are installed in close proximity to a furnace and any other CO source (such as a fireplace), an inspection can reveal high CO levels in the first place. A note on CO detectors: in addition to ensuring a properly functioning furnace, it is also the landlord’s responsibility to install, maintain, and test CO alarms. The landlord is also required to provide the tenant with maintenance instructions for CO alarms. 

As much as scheduling hassles and cold occupants are very real and pressing issues for tenants and landlords, things become decidedly more serious when prolonged cold causes other significant property damage such as burst pipes or roof damage. 

The best advice? Proactively take care of your furnace, and it will take care of your tenants and you!

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