There’s nothing quite like enjoying a hot cup of coffee in a toasty home during the winter months.
Many Australian homes stay nice and warm during winter thanks to the ever-reliable home gas heater, a household appliance that’s just as common in homes as the humble air conditioner.
Like every household appliance, your home’s gas heater will need to be well maintained if you want it to perform well. And it’s always best to make sure your gas heater is prepped well before winter rolls.
Having a gas heater break down during mid-winter can be a nuisance, and you’ll find your home being exposed to the winter chill while you try to get the heater repaired. Also, a broken gas heater can be very expensive to fix.
Don’t assume your gas heater won’t have problems during winter; here are five tips on how to get your heater prepared for the winter months.
Usually, you’ll only consider turning your heater on when the weather starts to get colder. While this might be a good practice to keep gas bills low, leaving your heater non-functional could prevent you from noticing any problems before it’s too late.
As a precaution, consider running your gas heater at least once a month before winter rolls in. This way, if the heater has any problems, you’ll find them out early and have time to get them fixed before winter comes.
Also, in the months leading up to winter, make sure the heater is given regular maintenance.
Dirt and dust won’t just affect your gas heater’s performance; it can also reduce its overall lifespan. The older and more frequently used your heater is, the dirtier it will be.
Before cleaning your heater, always make sure that the gas valve is closed. Remove the sides of the heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt and dust within.
Next, clean the blades of the blower fan with a wet cloth, along with the rest of the blower fan chamber. You should also consider cleaning out the combustion chamber, but it’s best to leave this part to a professional if you aren’t sure how to do it safely.
After you’re done cleaning, check and see if there are any obstacles near the heater’s vents and remove them. Blocked vents could make the heater work harder than it has to and cause dust to accumulate faster.
Your gas heater’s filters will accumulate dust over time. You could try cleaning it, but if the condition of the filters isn’t good, it’s best to just replace them.
In the months leading up to winter, check the filter regularly to see if they need replacing.
If you have a ducted gas heating system, it would be a good idea to give the vents and the ducts a good cleaning too. Dust isn’t the only thing that could get in there; children’s toys, food and pet hair could make their way into these ducts too.
Remove any foreign objects you find in the ducts and clean the vent grates with soapy water, and fit them back in once they are dry.
All gas furnaces have a pilot light, and this flame should be steady and blue with a yellow tip. If the flame flickers and is orange in colour, this could mean the heater isn’t burning the gas properly.
In most cases, a dirty pilot tube may be causing the problem. Cleaning out the pilot tube is delicate work, so it’s best to call a professional.
If you have an older gas heater, you should check the device for any signs of corrosion, like holes or rust in the combustion chamber. Having a gas heater with leaks turned on during the winter can be very dangerous as harmful gases could leak into your home.
Also, bubbling and peeling paint on the gas heater may indicate a carbon monoxide issue. If you notice any of these signs, turn the heater off and have an expert take a look at it immediately.
A well-maintained gas heater will serve you all winter, and it’ll last its full usable life. If you want to get your home’s gas heating system serviced well before wintertime, Alliance Climate Control can help you out.