Boiler and Furnace Tune Up and Start Up

by Tricia on October 8, 2014

Boiler and Furnace Tune Up and Start Up

When cooler weather is on its way, it is time to tune up your furnace and boiler to check for any problems and maintain them properly. Proper maintenance will keep your furnace and boiler running well for a much longer period of time because they won’t have to work as hard to provide the same output.

Furnace Start Up

Furnace Start UpDuring the warm summer months, it is possible for problems to crop up that you may not notice because you aren’t using the furnace to heat. Before you do turn it on, a best practice is to have the furnace inspected by a professional, make sure that it is operating safely and efficiently. Efficient operation will save you money over the long run on your energy bills as well as preserve energy for future generations.

  • Change the filters. You can change out the filters yourself easily. Check the filter size and buy replacement filters from a local hardware store. If you hire a professional, they can also do this for you. Filters should be replaced at least every 90 days. Check them once a month to see if yours need to be replaced more often.
  • Clear away debris. During the summer, it is common to pile things around vents and the furnace. Before turning it on, move all of those items away for safety.
  • Call a professional. A repair man knowledgeable in furnace repair will come to your home and check for any leaks, dirt or problems that may affect the proper operation of your furnace.
  • Clean your ducts. This procedure is optional but will reduce dust accumulation in the air and your lungs. For people with allergies, cleaning air ducts is a must.
  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide indicators. A furnace can potentially cause a fire and a gas furnace may cause carbon monoxide leaks. With proper alarms in your home, you can prevent any such accident.
  • Turn on the pilot light. If you have an older furnace, you may have a pilot light. Newer models no longer have pilot lights.
  • Turn on the furnace and set the temperature. Listen for any unusual noises. It is not uncommon for the furnace to smell like something is burning for a few initial minutes when you first turn it on. However, this smell should dissipate quickly. If it doesn’t, there is something wrong.

Boiler Start Up

Boilers may also be turned off for winter, although not always. Some homes use the boiler all year for hot water. If your boiler is turned off, follow the list below to start it up again.Boiler Start Up

  • Drain, and then flush your boiler by opening all the bibs. Clean the boiler and remove all dust, soot and scale from the firesides. Check the unit for any corrosion or damage.
  • Next, refill the boiler.
  • Add a boiler water treatment to the boiler to reduce any corrosion and scale build-up.
  • Hire a professional boiler technician to inspect and clean the boiler. They should also adjust any water shutoffs and water feeds if necessary. Over time, these feeds can corrode from rust and need replacement.
  • Lubricate any moving parts.
  • Check for leaks in the pipes to and from the unit.
  • Ensure that all debris and nearby items are moved away from the boiler and any air openings.
  • Open manual stack dampers and manual fuel valves.
  • Start pumps and purge the boiler.
  • Turn on pilot light if you have one. Modern units have replaced some functions with automated ones.
  • Turn on the unit and observe periodically to make sure it is operating properly.
  • A technician can handle the entire start up sequence for you if you desire.


Best Kept Secrets: Why You Need a Residential Plumbing Inspection to Sell Your Home


Before you post that “Sold” sign in front of your house, take advantage of a professional plumbing inspection. Unlike a home inspection, a plumbing inspection is completed by a licensed plumber who knows exactly what areas to inspect and tell-tale signs of plumbing programs. offshore centre Scouting out a professional plumber at the last minute for an inspection can leave you in the lurch this autumn, as it is the prime season to sell a home. Start today by understanding what a plumbing inspection can do to improve your chances of selling your home, perhaps for a higher price tag than you expected.

Problems with General Inspectors

Home inspectors that complete an overall inspection are typically not skilled in plumbing. According to MSN Real Estate, most home inspectors:Inspection

  • Are hired by real estate firms and loyal to their employers
  • Refuse to climb onto roofs where leaks may likely be an issue
  • Charge an extra fee for specific tasks, such as examining septic systems

Understanding that general home inspectors may not be qualified or expected to examine your home’s plumbing is the first step. Next, it is up to you to find someone who is qualified to inspect your plumbing system. Hiring a licensed plumber is the ideal solution to this situation.

Avoid Unseen Issues Preventing a Sale

SFGate Home Guides’ article “Plumbing Issues During a Home Inspection” points out the murky, as well as the obvious, when it comes to what to expect during a professional plumbing inspection. While you may be well aware of any noticeable issues, such as clogged drains or toilets, “other serious plumbing issues, such as illegal pipes, may not even be on your radar and could result in you being written up or cited for plumbing violations.” This is the prime reason why you should opt for a professional review of your plumbing. Avoid being the victim of unseen issues, such as:Inspection

  • Rusted pipes
  • Cross-connection
  • DIY plumbing projects you or the previous owner completed
  • Leakage

Additionally, you will increase the opportunity to sell your property, since you can rest assured that prospective buyers won’t stumble across a plumbing disaster. By showing prospects a copy of the professional plumbing inspection results of your home, you up the ante on your ability to make a sale.

Increase the Value of Your Property

When looking to sell your home, you most likely want to get as much money for it as possible. In lieu of this proposition, include a plumbing evaluation as part of your plan to increase your home’s value. Take the plumber’s advice and follow through with any repairs that are needed to bring your water works up to snuff. Keep in mind, this takes time. Therefore, you cannot wait until the last minute to complete your plumbing inspection.

InspectionStart this process, ideally, a year in advance of your desired sale date. This will give you ample time to make smart decisions regarding any repairs or replacements to be made with your plumbing. If you want to get an inspection in the next month or two, give yourself a hand up. Utilize a homeowner’s plumbing inspection guide provided by This Old House, which includes tips for identifying issues with your plumbing. Then, once the professional plumber arrives, you save time by pointing out particular problem areas.


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