Whether you use a boiler, heat pump, or central furnace system to heat up your home space during the cold season, heating repair is one of the most important services for you when something goes wrong with your unit. Repair costs may vary depending on factors such as the type of heating unit, the type and extent of damage/problem, the age of your system and the HVAC contractor you choose to hire, just to mention a few. Understanding some of these factors can help you minimize the amount of money you spend on heating repair each heating season or each year.
1. Know Your Home Heating System
Different types heating systems are designed and work differently. This means that most of their parts and components may also differ. Consequently, problems may vary and their repair costs will also differ. When it comes to furnaces, for instance, there are three main types of furnaces based on the type of fuel they operate on.
Electric Furnace: These furnaces provide warmth by moving air through and over a series of coils. Vents and ductwork then distribute the air to individual rooms in your home. The exact nature of the problem and the equipment’s brand are some of the crucial determinants of repair costs in electric furnaces.
Propane Gas Furnace: Liquid propane gas is the one used to fuel this furnace. When this liquid is burned it moves hot air through your building. Burners are ignited by a pilot light within a combustion chamber. The heating equipment then pushes heat into the heat exchanger and eventually to your indoor space. In most cases, it is more expensive to repair this type of furnace as compared to the electric alternative.
Natural Gas Furnace: They operate in a similar manner to propane gas furnaces, where they heat up the air using a pilot light to ignite the burners. The repair costs of the natural gas furnace are more or less the same range with those for propane gas furnaces.
Similarly, there are various types of boilers and heat pumps. Understanding how your heating unit works can help detect the early signs of malfunction, which can prevent higher heating repair costs.
2. Don’t Overlook Proper Heating System Maintenance
Every year, it is important to conduct an inspection on your furnace to ensure it is safe to operate and working efficiently. It is advisable to hire a reputable heating contractor to do the inspection so that he/she can service the blower, the blower motor, any bearings, and also check the gas pressures in the furnace, inspect the vent blowers, fan belt, pilot light, ignition components, and any safety components inside the furnace. A competent repair tech will also check all mechanical and electrical connection, filters, check for the presence of carbon monoxide leaks and a host of other checks on the furnace’s other components. Most heating repair companies offer ongoing service and maintenance programs to help you avoid breakdowns and unexpected furnace repair problems.
Additionally, heating unit air filters should be changed or cleaned after every one to six months as part of routine maintenance depending on various factors such as the type of filters. This helps your heating system to run longer and better as dirty filters reduce air flow. Your vents should also be clean and free from the buildup of debris, which would otherwise cause similar heating problems that may claim hundreds of dollars in repair if left unaddressed.
3. Choose Your Heating Repair Contractor Carefully
Obviously, different HVAC contractors charge varying costs for heating repair service. Some questionable so-called ‘professionals’ even provide discounts and limited time offers for such services. You can significantly keep your heating repair costs down by doing your research well and choosing an HVAC contractor that minds your budget. However, be sure to stay away from common HVAC scams while doing so and hire only appropriately accredited, licensed, and experienced HVAC experts that are trusted in your area. Review sites such as the Better Business Bureau (The BBB), and online directories can sometimes help you through the process.