The heat exchanger of your gas heating system is what keeps the combustion area separate from the heated air that circulates through your home. If a crack were to develop in the heat exchanger, carbon monoxide could escape into the air that you and your family end up breathing. Since carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, poisonous gas and exposure to it can cause illness or even death, we take the integrity of the heat exchanger seriously and test it for leaks.
Pledge: We will check to make sure carbon monoxide levels are safe within the system.
The condition of the air filter factors highly in the peak operation of your gas heating system, and is one of the first and most frequently accessed areas for cleaning. If the air filter is dirty, the system not only has to work harder to circulate air through your vents, but you and your family may also suffer allergies and respiratory ailments due to breathing poor quality air. Most of the time, washing the air filter is all we need to do and it works like new; eventually, the air filter will degrade and we will replace it with a new one.
Pledge: We will wash or replace the air filter.
The combustion of gas in the burners provides heating to the system. Over time, soot builds up on the burners, effectively insulating more and more of the heat from circulation. The reduction in heat supplied to the exchanger leads to an increase in fuel consumption to compensate. Consequently the efficiency of the system drops and your utility bill increases. Cleaning the soot off of the burners removes the insulating effect and restores their output to peak capacity.
Pledge: We will clean the burners of soot build-up.
A fundamental safety device of the gas heating system is the thermocouple. Mounted directly in the pilot flame, the thermocouple is an electric sensor that detects heat and controls the gas valve. If the pilot light is on, the thermocouple maintains the fuel supply open, but if the pilot light is out, the device senses the lack of flame and switches the gas valve closed. Consequently, the function of the thermocouple is to determine whether it is safe to keep the gas flowing through the system, or not.
Pledge: We will test the thermocouple for proper responsiveness to and, if necessary, replace it.
One of the most palpable indications that a heating system is working right is the temperature of the air that flows out of the vents. The system incorporates a fan limit switch that shuts off the fan if the temperature isn’t warm enough or if the temperature is too hot. Consequently, if you feel the fan blowing but the air coming out is cold, or if the room is already warm but the air keeps coming out, the fan limit switch may be malfunctioning.
Pledge: We check the fan limit switch and make sure it is operating correctly.
The pilot light provides a small, continuous source for the ignition of the main burner in a gas heating system. In order to stay on all the time, the pilot light is fed a minute but steady supply of gas. If the tube supplying the gas becomes dirty and clogged, the pilot light may go out, requiring you to manually reignite it. Although the thermocouple protects your system in the event that the pilot light goes out, for added safety as well as convenience, you should not find yourself relighting the pilot light frequently.
Pledge: Pilot light will be adjusted and its gas tube cleaned.
Made from ceramic materials, hot surface igniters – particularly older ones – tend to develop cracks over time, due to their somewhat fragile construction as well as the fact that they routinely run through a cycle of heating up to 1800 degrees and turning off again. When a hot surface igniter breaks or wears out, the system will produce less heat.
Pledge: We will inspect hot surface igniters for fractures and deterioration, and replace them if they are past their service life.
Besides the thermostat, your gas heating system includes several switches, fuses, circuit breakers and other controls for operational and safety purposes. Whether you interact with the controls or they regulate the system in the background, you depend on their proper calibration to keep the system running at its best. If the operational and safety controls stray from optimal settings, the false readings they provide may throw the system off balance, potentially leading to an increase in operating cost and the premature failure of other components.
Pledge: We will inspect and test controls and safeties.
However effective your air filter, dust and grime end up accumulating on the blower wheels of the gas heating system. A telltale sign of dirty blower wheels is reduced airflow and shorter cycling times – the system turns on and off with increased frequency. The system continues to push air through, but it has to work harder and longer to do it. The result is decreased efficiency, higher operating costs and a greater strain on the system; one possible outcome is compressor failure.
Pledge: We will inspect and clean the blower wheels
The integrity of the gas line that fuels your home’s heating system is critical to safety. The combustibility of gas is what makes it burn and provide heat to the heating system, but also what presents a danger to you and your family’s lives and property. Furthermore, gas leakage amounts to a wasted resource that you are paying for. Sound gas lines play a major part in keeping the heating system safe and efficient.
Pledge: We will check the gas line for leaks.