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4 Things Your HVAC Tech Will Likely Check On A General Maintenance Visit

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As is true of most equipment and systems, it's far easier and less costly to maintain your HVAC system and fix little problems along the way rather than wait for something big to go wrong and have to make expensive, last-minute repairs. By having your HVAC system looked over once per year by a trained technician, you can ensure problems are caught early. There are four key things your HVAC tech will check during a regular maintenance inspection.

Your furnace's ignition system.

Many modern furnaces have electric ignition switches, rather than standing pilot lights. This saves gas, since there is no constantly-burning pilot light. The problem that arises with electronic ignition switches is that they can sometimes wear out, or the wires can become disconnected, making it impossible for your furnace to fire on at all.

Your HVAC technician can make sure your ignition system is firing on properly and check it for signs of wear. If the wires are beginning to fray or there are any other signs of wear, he or she will likely recommend replacing the switch now, rather than waiting until you're left without heat on a cold winter day because your ignition switch failed.

Your exhaust and condensation elimination systems.

If your furnace is not exhausting properly, it could be releasing dangerous carbon monoxide into your home. Many times, homeowners do not realize they're being exposed to carbon dioxide until it's too late -- the odorless gas causes headache, fatigue and nausea at low levels, and loss of consciousness, mental confusion, and death at higher levels.

Your HVAC tech will make sure your furnace is exhausting properly, so you don't become exposed to carbon monoxide. He or she will also check the system that gathers and eliminates condensation from your furnace, so you don't end up with a puddle on your basement floor.

Safety shutoff features.

Furnaces are typically fitted with at least two safety controls. A device known as a limit switch is triggered if the interior of the furnace grows too hot. It turns the furnace off to prevent flames from reaching outside the furnace cabinet and putting your home at risk of a fire. A circuit breaker is also wired into the furnace, and it will trip if the electric components of your furnace begin to draw too much electricity, preventing a fire.

Your HVAC technician will check over these safety features. He or she may artificially create a condition that should trip the limit switch or circuit breaker to make sure it turns off the furnace as intended. It's obviously best to find out if your limit switch or circuit breaker are not working during an inspection, rather than when you desperately need them to prevent an emergency.

Proper thermostat control.

Finally, your HVAC technician will check to make sure your thermostat is working properly. He or she may turn the temperature down and make sure the furnace kicks on properly in response. Your HVAC tech may also turn the temperature up, and make sure the furnace turns off in response to this change.

A lot of issues that people think are due to their furnace -- such as it not kicking on soon enough or not heating up the home to the desired temperature -- actually turn out to be issues with the thermostat. If your HVAC tech discovers an issue with the thermostat during a regular maintenance inspection, it may save you countless of dollar later on, when you encounter an issue and assume you need a costly furnace repair.

It may seem silly to shell out money for a furnace maintenance inspection if your furnace appears to be working fine. However, a lot of problems don't show obvious symptoms at first, and your HVAC professionals from a site like can help you identify and fix potentially dangerous problems before they really cause any damage.