Inspecting Furnaces

19434714_SGeneral home inspections should happen fairly regularly, but with winter upon us, most homeowners are more concerned with their heat sources: furnaces. How often should a furnace be inspected and what exactly are we looking for?

The short answer is that furnaces should be checked every year. This is especially important in the case of oil furnaces, where nozzles and oil filters can become clogged and seriously impede the efficiency of your furnace, costing you an unnecessary fortune.

For forced-air furnaces, filters need to be changed each month to prevent dirt and dust buildup, or, like in an oil furnace, heating costs can skyrocket. Running a furnace with a dirty filter can also be dangerous and can damage the heat exchanger, which is extremely costly to replace.

Thermal vent dampers should be removed immediately. They are an outdated technology that can stick shut and force carbon monoxide back into the house. They are fairly easy to find, they should say “thermal vent damper” right on the machinery. It’s also fairly simple to open up the vent pipe to extend over where the thermal vent damper once was.

Oil tanks need to be checked for leaks and checked for buildup in the copper tube that houses the filter. A common complaint with oil tanks is that it is difficult to contain the oily smell. This should not be the case. If the filter is clean, oil tanks should smell no more than other furnaces.

And for all of your home inspection needs, furnace-related or otherwise, contact Center Grove Real Estate Inspections. We’ll set your mind at ease and assure that your home is in tip-top shape!


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