At this time of year, you’ve probably seen and heard the recommendations about having your furnace cleaned and maintained before the start of the cold weather. What’s all this fuss about fall furnace maintenance, anyway? Your building’s furnace is tucked away in a boiler room out of sight. No one has to look at it, so why should you care if it’s dirty as long as it’s doing the job?
Here’s what you may not realize. All that buildup of dirt and grime, as well as the fact that your furnace is not being regularly inspected for impending problems, is endangering the health of your building’s occupants, not to mention your wallet.
Here are four serious risks you face when you neglect fall furnace maintenance:
1. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
One of the most important parts of your furnace is the heat exchanger, which removes the poisonous gases that result from the combustion process and vents them out and away from your building. The heat exchanger is constantly expanding and contracting as the temperature in the furnace changes with each cycle. Over time, this can cause cracks to appear in the heat exchanger, allowing poisonous carbon monoxide gas to escape into the building. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. If you’re not having your furnace inspected at least once a year, those cracks will go unnoticed until you have a dangerous and possibly deadly situation on your hands.
2. Poor Indoor Air Quality
When you don’t maintain your furnace, it doesn’t take long for the air filter to become completely clogged with dust, debris and even mold. Once the air filter can no longer keep particles out, your furnace and your ducts become coated with these nasty airborne particles. The next thing you know they’re being circulated throughout your building along with the heat.
Have you wondered why there’s suddenly more dust right after you turn on the heat in the fall? Now stop to realize that you and everyone in your building are breathing in this junk. It’s no wonder why people suddenly start getting sick this time of year. Fall furnace maintenance is not only critical to your system, it’s also critical to your health. People with asthma and other breathing difficulties are actually in danger. The cost of cleaning your system and changing the air filter is a small price to pay to avoid this risk.
3. Temperature Variance
Does the temperature fluctuate in different parts of your building? Do you have thermostat wars going on because some people are sweating while others are freezing? Temperature variance causes much more serious problems than just discomfort. Studies show that worker productivity can be significantly reduced when people are too hot or too cold. And if you are running a restaurant, retail store, or health club, uncomfortable temperatures may be driving away customers and costing you money.
Bringing in hvac companies in NY to clean and tune up your furnace can take care of this issue. Temperature variance can be caused by your furnace’s blower motor not adequately moving air because it’s hindered by a coating of grime. You could also have a calibration issue with a thermostat. Or there could be holes in your air ducts. Having your system inspected by an expert can uncover problems that are relatively easy and inexpensive to fix.
Most furnaces are designed to last 15 to 20 years with proper care and maintenance. Ultimately, neglect causes increased wear and tear on the parts of your HVAC system and will cause it to fail long before its expected life span. When dirt builds up on the parts and air flow is impeded, moisture can also build up and cause parts to rust. This is a death sentence for your furnace! Not to mention a major and unnecessary expense for you.
When you have a professional regularly inspect your furnace and entire HVAC system, your tech can spot imminent problems and fix them before they lead to bigger issues and even system failure. The price you pay now to replace a part is certainly less than it will cost when your system fails completely. Especially if that happens at night or on a weekend, when you will pay a premium for emergency service.
Failing to regularly clean and tune up your HVAC system can cost your business in many ways that you may not even be aware of. Interested in learning how to get those costs under control? Grab a copy of our free guide: Calculating the Costs of Poor HVAC Maintenance.