| Maintaining Furnaces and Boilers
The following maintenance should be provided by a heating system professional.
Check the condition of your vent connection pipe and chimney. Parts of the venting system may have deteriorated over time. Chimney problems can be expensive to repair, and may help justify installing new heating equipment that won't use the existing chimney.
Check the physical integrity of the heat exchanger. Leaky boiler heat exchangers leak water and are easy to spot. Furnace heat exchangers mix combustion gases with house air when they leak an important safety reason to have them inspected.
Adjust the controls on the boiler or furnace to provide optimum water and air temperature settings for both efficiency and comfort.
If you're considering replacing or retrofitting your existing heating system, have the technician perform a combustion-efficiency test.
Check the combustion chamber for cracks
Test for carbon monoxide (CO) and remedy if found
Adjust blower control and supply-air temperature
Clean and oil the blower
Remove dirt, soot, or corrosion from the furnace or boiler
Check fuel input and flame characteristics, and adjust if necessary
Seal connections between the furnace and main ducts. Hot-water
Test pressure-relief valve
Test high-limit control
Inspect pressure tank, which should be filled with air, to verify that it's not filled with water
Clean the heat exchanger.
| Efficiency Ratings
HSPF- Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, This measurement is similar to SEER, but it measures the efficiency of the heating portion of your heat pump. Like the SEER, HSPF industry minimums have risen in recent years. The current industry minimum is 6.80 HSPF.
In recent years, HVAC equipment has not only gotten more energy efficient, it has gotten quieter. Although sound does not affect the efficiency of a unit, it can certainly affect your comfort. If your unit has a low sound level, (you and your neighbors) will hardly notice when it is operating.
Db - Decibel. A term to describe the relative loudness of a sound. Typically, heat pumps and air conditioner are between the sound of a human voice (70 db) and a blender (88 db).
SRN - Sound Rating Number. A unit based on ARI tests. Average sound rating range from 74 to 80 db. The lower the SRN rating, the quieter the unit.
General Industry Terms
HVAC - Heating, ventilating and air conditioning. This term applies both to the heating and cooling industry and to the products they manufacture.