If you use propane heat in your home, there are certain tasks you should check off your list before bad weather hits. Propane heaters are reliable, but they will break down without proper care. The last thing you want is a hefty emergency repair bill when your heater stops working in a snow storm. Here are four maintenance tips:
1. Schedule an appointment for a residential propane gas service
Your propane gas heater needs regular, annual service to make sure that it's safe and running properly. While there are some maintenance tasks you can do yourself, a residential propane gas service will do more complicated maintenance to ensure your heater won't break down. A service also typically includes residential propane gas delivery at no extra cost. A technician can also monitor your gas consumption and develop an automatic gas delivery schedule so you will never run out of propane.
2. Change the filter
Your propane heater has a filter and it should be replaced about every season. If you use your heater frequently, you may need to replace the filter once a month to ensure it runs efficiently. Dirt, dust, and hair can clog the filter and cause the heater to use more gas and put out less heat. The filter also prevents the motor from getting clogged.
3. Seal ducts
If any air leaks out of the ducts for your propane heating system this is a huge drain on your heater and your wallet. Warm air won't be able to circulate through your home if you don't have properly sealed ducts. Here are the steps on how to check for leaks:
- Turn up your thermostat until the burners come on and air begins circulating.
- Place an incense stick near the draft hood that pulls air into the system. If smoke escapes, this indicates a leak.
- Use metal tape designed for propane heating systems to seal leaks.
4. Check the flames
The flames of your propane's pilot provide clues on what type of maintenance is needed for your heater. A flame that is about an inch high and blue means that your heater is in good shape. If you notice the flame flickers or turns orange, a simple cleaning of the pilot tube is all that is needed. To clean the tube, turn off the gas and gently blow air into the tube. If the flame goes out, check the ventilation system for drafts or adjust the thermocouple so it's closer to the pilot.
These tips will keep your propane heater working this winter to keep your home warm. However, if you find yourself in need of assistance, contact a business such as Blue Flame Gas Service.