hvac unit

Will your HVAC unit perform trouble free this heating season?

I know it’s hard to believe but the heating season is nearly upon us; when was the last time your HVAC unit was inspected?

Was it inspected correctly? Are the signs of an issue there but going unnoticed?

While most HVAC systems are fairly straightforward and usually simple units to work on, there are many things that tend to go unnoticed and generally this is due to inexperienced service techs. The most commonly overlooked issue is the most detrimental to your health: the condition of your HVAC’s heat exchanger.

A number of years ago, many of the large equipment providers were manufacturing heat exchangers out of cheaper material that just can’t stand up to the abuses of moisture, expansion and contraction, and the heat that an exchanger must endure over its life. Due to this cheaper manufacturing, the failure rate on said heat exchangers is quite high.

Are the signs of a failed HVAC heat exchanger present on your site?

The answer to this question is simple: has any of your staff experienced sick days, mild to extreme headaches, or nausea during the heating season? If you answered yes to this question, please have your HVAC system inspected IMMEDIATELY. These symptoms are caused by a cracked or failed heat exchanger expelling carbon monoxide into the space. For those of you who don’t know this, carbon monoxide is an odourless, deadly gas created by combustion. If you don’t presently have a carbon monoxide detector in your space you should have one installed; this ensures the safety of everyone in this space.

While a cracked heat exchanger is the most detrimental to health, it is not the only issue that can cause the failure of your unit in the heating season.

A good HVAC technician will always check operating gas pressure and burner operation. If the gas valve pressure is not set correctly on your HVAC system it can cause improper combustion and ultimately lead to heat exchanger failure. Also, a thorough inspection of the burners during operation will ensure no creepy crawlies have made the burner orifice area a home over the summer months, which is quite a common issue.

The aforementioned are things that rarely get noticed but will ultimately lead to health issues and or premature failure of your HVAC equipment.

One other overlooked item especially during heating inspections is the functionality of the economizer system. Most inexperienced technicians may think this is only important during cusp seasons; they are incorrect. While the economizer’s main purpose is used during warm seasons to provide space cooling by using cooler outdoor air, it also provides fresh air to be introduced into the space during heating operation. If this is not set up correctly, the air in the space could potentially go stale or you may experience cold drafts while the unit is heating.

The checks shouldn’t stop there, though. Equally important to consider are the conditions of the belt and blower fan bearing, filters, contactor condition, heating unit safeties, condition of electrical components, etc.

While most HVAC units are fairly simple to work on, it is important that you have qualified and experienced technicians on your service team. This will ensure years of trouble free safe HVAC operation.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or contact one of our experienced ICEMASTERS technicians.

This checklist will help you maintain your HVAC system, keep your repair needs in check, and help your equipment last longer.

Download the HVAC Checklist

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