Don't wait, have your heating system serviced for Winter

September 16th 2010

Once the cooler nights set in, heating contractor are inundated with calls from homeowners across the country eager to have their systems serviced as we switch on our furnaces after months of dormancy. Each year, at the end of the summer season, its ideal for homeowners to beat the winter rush by arranging a maintenance visit from your heating contractor, thus avoiding any unexpected surprises from your Heating System when you need it the most and of course a long wait for repair or replacement.

There are many components in heating systems that require regular inspection by a licensed heating contractor to keep things working well. Typically, a heating specialist will check the heat exchanger, ignition system, fan, motor, bearings, belts, pumps, controls, exhaust, burners, pilot, thermostat, venting system and filters. They will make necessary tune ups and identify potential problem areas that will ensure your furnace is running safely and maximize the life of your system.

Throughout the year, homeowners should regularly replace the air filter on forced air furnaces and ensure areas around the furnace and return air grills are clear of obstructions.

Install an Approved Carbon Monoxide Detector:

Every home should be equipped with an approved Carbon Monoxide Detector. While CO detectors are not a substitute for the care and maintenance of your heating system; they are another line of defense against CO exposure in your home that can warn you about failures of fuel-burning appliances.

Potential CO sources in the home could include:

- Improper venting of a furnace and cracked furnace heat exchangers.
- A chimney blocked by a nest, ice or other debris.
- Exhaust fumes seeping into your home from a car running in an attached garage.
- Using fuel-burning appliances designed for outdoor use (barbecues, camping stoves, lawnmowers and gas generators) in a closed area or by a window.
- Combustion gases spilling into a home if too much air is being consumed by a fireplace or exhausted by kitchen/bathroom fans in a tightly sealed home.

Carbon monoxide detectors should have the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) 6.19 standard or the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2034 standard. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for further details regarding proper use and placement.


1. Clock and adjust input to the manufacturer's rating plate specifications.
2. Confirm temperature rise across hear exchanger is within the manufacturer's rating plate specifications.
3. Inspect and clean fan and air filter assembly.
4. Inspect filters or electronic air cleaner as applicable
5. Inspect, adjust and clean pilot light and electronic ignition as applicable.
6. Visually inspect hear exchanger (if accessible)
7. Inspect, clean and adjust burners.
8. Check electrical controls wiring and controls.
9. Check proper operation of venting system.
10. Inspect thermostat - check heat anticipator at correct setting (as applicable)
11. Check condensate line/pump and secondary hear exchanger (as applicable)

Contact Shell Busey's Home Service Referral Network to find a certified heating contractor in your area at 604-542-2236.