A heating system is a critical part of keeping a house comfortable. Knowing when to ask for heating service can ensure that the system will stay in top operating condition. How do you know when to make that call, though?
Cold or Inefficient Performance
If the heating system is blowing cold air or distributing it inefficiently throughout the house, then you should have a technician check it out. They often can make adjustments to ensure an even distribution of heat. Also, they can verify that the key components, such as the thermostat, are working properly.
Particularly if there is a smell of natural gas, that's a major concern. You should turn the system off completely. Ask a heating system services provider to perform an inspection. Even if the system is still working, it's likely working in an unsafe condition if you can smell gas.
Other smells are possible, too. Greasy smells can come from failed mechanical components. You might also pick up the smell of hot metal. An ozone smell could be a sign of an electrical problem with the heating system. Even if the smell isn't coming from the heating system, you need to find out why it's going into the vents.
Yes, your utility company might've raised your bill. However, you should be able to check the unit consumption to rule out that possibility. Also, you'll want to check the year-over-year temperature change to make sure that the weather isn't just colder.
If you've eliminated those possible explanations, then there's a good chance the heating system is aging poorly. One or two components could be failing, and the system is compensating by consuming more energy. Ideally, a heating service contractor can tune the system. In extreme cases, though, it may be time to replace the unit.
Buying a Home
Even if the heating system seems to be in top shape, it's wise to have a technician look at it before you buy the house. They can determine how old the system is, and that'll help you plan for future maintenance and eventual replacement work. Also, they can tell you what to expect in terms of heating bills during the coldest part of the year.
At the end of the summer, schedule heating system services. A contractor can check the current condition of the system before you get into the colder part of autumn. You will then have time for repairs if any are necessary before you need the heater.
Contact a heating services provider for more information.