Heating systems get neglected because it’s one of those “out of sight, out of mind” things. Proper maintenance can make a difference in the system’s performance, usually without much expense.
Hot water radiators should be “bled” every year. Air builds up in the radiator piping system, preventing hot water from getting to the radiator correctly. It can make a big difference in the performance of the system. And it’s not hard to do. Take the cover off the radiator. You should see a screw. Loosen the screw; you should hear a hiss of air coming out; and then water will start dripping/spraying out. When you see the water, tighten the screw. Do that for each radiator in the house. The system will perform better. The boiler should be serviced at least once a year, whether oil or gas.
Hot air systems utilize an air filter and an air handler. Air filters should be changed a few times during the heating season. If the filter isn’t changed, it clogs up and prevents proper airflow. In addition, have a heating contractor check the air handler to ensure it’s in good shape.
Sign up for a service contract with a plumbing/heating contractor. The benefits are:
- Your system will be serviced
- You will be on the contractor’s list as a customer. It’s a substantial benefit because you will get better service in an emergency than calling a contractor who doesn’t know you. For example, there’s a snowstorm with high winds and its very cold. Your boiler stops functioning. If you don’t have a service contract, you may have difficulty repairing your system.
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