It’s incredible how many things we take for granted. The chances are your propane furnace sitting down in the basement, quietly doing what it’s supposed to do, day after day, is one of them.
Your faithful propane gas furnace is keeping the house warm, keeping your pipes from freezing, even on those cold winter days. Then you wake up one morning and realize it’s cold inside and getting colder.
You call service companies. They are all swamped. Maybe tomorrow. The last thing you need is frozen pipes.
You remember reading that even a 1/8″ crack in a water pipe can spray 250 gallons all over in less than a day. Not good!
It doesn’t have to be this way. Keep reading for a simple checklist for annual propane house furnace maintenance.
1. Combustion Analysis
The best way to tell if a propane gas furnace is operating efficiently is to do a combustion analysis of the flue exhaust. It’s a job for the pros since it requires special equipment but is worth regularly doing.
2. Gas Pressure
Checking the gas pressure on both sides of the valve is essential. Low pressure can lead to soot buildup in the heat exchanger. That means lower efficiency – and higher operating costs.
3. Burners and Heat Exchanger
Cleaning the burners of any dirt or buildup is an every year job. Likewise, visually inspecting the heat exchanger for rust, cracks, or pinholes is critical.
4. Temperature Rise
Propane home furnaces should get roughly 40 to 70 degrees hotter when running. Ideally, the temperature range will be roughly in the middle.
If it’s too low, condensation builds, up causing rust. Too high, and the heat exchanger may be damaged.
5. Condensate Drain
Overlooking clogging of the condensate drain trap is common, even on the best propane furnaces. Dirt builds up over time, water accumulates, and as a result, the system shuts down.
Luckily, it’s a simple fix. Clean the trap and use condensed air to blow out the line. That’s it.
7. Flame Sensor and Igniter
Critical for safe operation and efficiency, your propane house furnace’s flame sensor should be cleaned of soot and checked for wear. Too much wear means a replacement is needed.
In addition, checking both the flame sensor and the igniter with an ohmmeter is highly recommended. Verifying they are operating within the manufacturer’s recommended range is important.
Don’t forget a critical safety check! Checking all of the gas connections for leaks on an annual basis is crucial.
The best way is the old-fashioned way. Mix up soap and water, brush it on the connections and watch for bubbles.
Keep Your Propane Furnace Happy
Following a simple, thorough annual maintenance checklist is the best way to keep your propane furnace happy. Even if you need to call in the pros, a yearly annual check is well worth it.
Well-maintained furnaces are much more efficient and far less likely to fail when you need them most.
Unless you want to be waking up in the dead of winter to a cold house and frozen pipes, schedule your furnace maintenance today!
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