A checklist for keeping your furnace or boiler running safely!

Here are a few tips to help analyze your furnace and be sure it is efficient and running for the winter!


Draft Hood:  Check the opening in the furnace for signs of discoloration and soot or peeling paint.

Flue:  The metal pipe that comes out of the furnace. Follow it all the way to the chimney or vent and look for holes or other signs of deterioration. White rings around the fluepipes that leave a brown tobacco-like stain on your fingers might mean condensation inside.

Chimney/Vents:  In any heating system, there needs to be a way to get rid of flue products. Older furnaces do this through the chimney; newer furnaces use vents. Both should be inspected before the heating season to make sure nothing is blocking them. You may have a venting problem if your eyes tear or burn or your throat feels raspy while inside. NOTE: If your system uses the chimney, open the iron clean-out door at the base of the chimney and check for crumbled mortar or brick – a serious problem! Also when installing a new furnace or upgrading your existing system, make sure the chimney is lined to protect it from the corrosive materials in flue gases.

Oil Caps:   If you see an oil cap on your furnace, you need to keep the blower motor oiled. Just lift up the cover and add a few drops periodically. Check the condition of the belt while you are here too!

Water levels:  Watch for leaks on the ground if you have a hot water system or a steam blower. This applies for water heaters as well! Look for a sight gauge or glass tube filled with water. If the water level is too low, the boiler won’t fire.

Meter Regulation:  This is a device located on the pipe that hooks into the meter. It is important to keep the area surrounding it and the meter cleared, especially during the winter when snow and ice can collect.

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