March 21, 2017

Should you have your furnace cleaned?

The simple answer is yes.                 ABC Fuel Oil, oil fired furnace

And here is why…..

Fuel burning equipment creates elements of combustion as a product of the heat generation for your home.  These elements will continue to accumulate inside your system and can cause big problems if left to their own devices.  Successful air flow is important for the efficiency and safety of the system. One of the most important elements included in a standard burner cleaning is the inspection of the smoke pipe and chimney base.  Smoke pipe is responsible for eliminating carbon dioxide from your home.  The CO2 generated inside the chamber of your fuel burner goes up and out of the home via the smoke pipe.  If any part of that pipe isn’t sealed (hole in the pipe due to corrosion or broken seal at the chimney base) that gas is then emitted into the home.  As CO2 is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas, it is not uncommon for homeowners to be completely unaware of buildup in the home.

How Often?

Most professionals will tell you annually.  Doing so can help catch problem-causers before they become major issues which can lead to large repair or even replacement bills.  Believe me; it is much better to pay $200 for a cleaning than $2000 for a repair that could have been prevented.  An annual maintenance will also ensure the equipment is operating at its maximum efficiency which keeps your fuel costs low.  It can also cut down on the amount of time needed to properly clean unit and since most HVAC companies charge based on the hour, it can help save you money in the long run.  For example, we recently received a call for a boiler cleaning/maintenance that hadn’t been serviced in several years.  When the technician arrived, he quickly discovered that the boiler was blocked solid.  Along with some parts that needed replaced, it took the technician a little over 4 hours to unblock and properly clean the unit.  An average hourly rate for service is $100-$200.  That means a cleaning that would have cost $150 if done annually (free if covered under a service contract), now cost the customer anywhere from $450-$650!


Moral of the story…. Even newer equipment needs to be maintained regularly just like the other systems throughout your home.  That is, if you want them to operate successfully and safely.  Would you go 5 years without vacuuming your carpets or mowing your lawn?  No!  The same guiding principal is true for you heating and cooling systems!

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Current Central PA Heating Fuel Prices: Oil – $2.899 /gallon; Kerosene – $3.799/gallon; Blend – $3.349/gallon (Prices effective on orders placed on or after 1/11/18)