FOR YOUR SAFETY, be sure to read the general guidelines for gas-fired equipment maintenance before attempting to investigate or repair natural gas equipment problems.
IF YOU TAKE CARE of your heating system, you'll find it burns fuel more efficiently and last longer, saving you money. Here are some cost and energy savings tips! (For even more tips and safety advise, visit Do it Yourself Home Comfort Tips.)
Have an Annual Check-up
HAVE A TSSA REGISTERED HEATING CONTRACTOR perform a yearly maintenance check-up of your equipment and venting system to ensure efficient, safe operation. Adjustments, cleaning of burners, replacement of parts, repairs, and inspections of venting are jobs for licensed professionals as explained in General Gas-Fired Equipment Maintenance Tips who know the equipment and the codes that must be followed.
BETWEEN ANNUAL CHECK-UPS here are some things you can do to help keep your heating system working efficiently.
YOUR BOILER SYSTEM may have radiators or convector units. (In a convector unit, hot water fills a finned tube which heats air that passes over it and the warmed air rises into the room. A convector unit may look like a baseboard or a sheet metal box with a metal cover and a grille.)
Make sure the heating system is turned off before you do anything. If your system has a pump, make sure the pump is also turned off.
At the beginning of each heating season, bleed off air from the system. Each radiator will have a bleed valve (usually at the top) that can be opened by a knob or by using a screwdriver to turn counterclockwise. (The bleed valve of a convector unit may be hidden behind a metal panel which must be unscrewed and removed.) Have a container handy to catch any water that comes out. Escaping air will cause a hissing or spluttering sound. As soon as a steady stream of water comes out, turn off the valve.
Before turning the system back on, check that the boiler or expansion tank is filled to the proper level.
Wipe or vacuum radiators if they are dusty.
Do not place shelves or furniture where they will block heat from a radiator or convector unit.