heating maintenance nj homeowners tips repair emergency

NJ Home Heating Maintenance Tips

After it’s been sitting idle during the warm weather months, your boiler or furnace needs to be checked and simple maintenance performed to make sure that it is prepared for the coming cold weather. As a resident of the Summit, NJ-area, early Fall is a good time check your heating system and confirm that your boiler or furnace is ready to go. Some tasks are simple, like changing air filters. Others may require a visit by your Stashluk technician to check for problems and make repairs to your heating system, if necessary.

Before You Turn Your Heating System On:

1. Have forced air? Change your air filters.

Clogged air filters can reduce or block air flow. The air filter should be changed every heating and cooling season at a minimum. If you have pets, had major construction in your home or have family members with severe allergies, you should change your filters even more frequently.

2. Check your thermostats.

Make sure the wall thermostats for all of your heating zones are set to HEATING and at your preferred comfort temperature. There’s no need to set the temperature higher to get a jump on the cold weather. You should also check the batteries in each thermostat. While you’re at it, check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors, too. These are life savers!

3. If you have oil heat, make sure you have enough fuel.

Check your oil tank’s fuel gage to be sure it contains oil and that it’s safe to fire up your boiler.

4. Conduct a visual inspection indoors.

A visual inspection of your heating unit includes making sure there is “combustible clearance” around the unit, i.e., nothing is on top or resting or leaning on the unit. This is a safety hazard and is especially important to check in crowded basements. In addition:

  • Keep laundry detergents away from heating equipment. Most homeowners don’t know that exposure to the fumes from laundry detergent can cause a furnace (to break down/explosion.) If your laundry area is near your furnace, store your detergents in another room.
  • If your system uses a pilot light, make sure it’s on.
  • If you have a forced air system, check room by room and confirm all of your dampers are open. Make sure rugs and furniture are not blocking the vents.

5. Conduct an outdoor visual inspection:

Check your direct vents outside. Sometimes these look like grates, other times they are open PVC pipes. Clear any debris/nests from the area. Clogged pipes can cause deadly carbon monoxide to build up in the house.

Now You Are Ready To Turn On Your Heating System:

1. Listen for sounds.

Erratic grating noises or any unusual sounds coming from your system usually means something is not right. As the homeowner, you’ll likely recognize when something doesn’t sound right–but it’s not quite as easy to determine what’s going wrong. If your system is making strange noises, turn it off and call Stashluk right away for an inspection and diagnosis.

2. Smell for strange odors.

If you smell gas or smoke when you turn on your system turn it off right away and call Stashluk for an inspection and diagnosis.

Call Stashluk with your heating maintenance questions.

If your boiler or furnace needs repairs we will diagnose and fix the cause of your heating system’s problems and make the necessary repairs with quality parts and professional installation. Call 908.277.6200