Heating System: Gas Forced Air
Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines
Good maintenance of your furnace can save energy dollars and prolong the life of the furnace. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer's literature on use and maintenance. The guidelines here include general information only.
Experiment with the adjustable registers in your home to establish the best heat flow for your lifestyle. Generally, you can reduce the heat in seldom-used or interior rooms. This is an individual matter, and you will need to balance the system for your own family's needs.
Do not overheat your new home. Overheating can cause excessive shrinkage of framing lumber and may materially damage the home. In the beginning, use as little heat as possible and increase it gradually.
Blower Panel (Fan cover)
You need to position the blower panel cover correctly for the furnace blower (fan) to operate. This panel compresses a button that tells the blower it is safe to operate. Like how a clothes dryer door operates, this panel pushes in a button that lets the fan motor know it is safe to come on. If that button is not pushed in, the furnace will not operate.
Furnaces we install in basements or utility closets over crawl spaces include a combustion air duct. The outside end of this duct is covered with a screen to minimize insects or animals from entering the duct. Cold air coming in through this duct means it is functioning as it should.
Caution: Never cover or block the combustion air vent in any way. Outside air is needed to supply the furnace with sufficient oxygen. Blocking the combustion air vent will cause the furnace to draw air down the vent pipe and pull poisonous gases back into your home.
Exercise caution before spending money on professional ductwork cleaning services. A study by the EPA found no proof that ductwork cleaning improves indoor air quality, nor was evidence found to prevent health problems. For more information, contact the EPA and request document EPA-402-K-97-002. Or you can view this information on their Website: www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/.
Some popping or pinging sounds are the natural result of ductwork heating and cooling in response to airflow as the system operates.
A clean filter will help to keep your home clean and reduce dusting chores. Remember to change or clean the filter monthly during the heating season (year-round if you also have air conditioning). A clogged filter can slow airflow and cause cold spots in your home. Although it takes less than one minute to change the filter, this is one of normal furnace care's most frequently overlooked details.
Buy filters in large quantities for the sake of convenience. You will find the size and type printed along the edge of the filter that in your furnace.
If you have a permanent, washable, removable filter, you need to clean this monthly. Use water only to clean the filter, tap to dry or air dry, and leave the unit off for a brief period. Do not use soaps or detergents on the filter.
The heating system was designed with a furnished home in mind. If you move in during the cooler part of the year and have not yet acquired all of your draperies and furnishings, the home may seem cooler than you would expect.
Some furnaces have a fuse directly above the on-off switch. This fuse is an S10, S12, or S15 fuse. It absorbs any spikes in the line, such as close electrical strikes or power surges. Unlike old fuses that burn out and clearly indicate that they are blown, these fuses, like automobile fuses, have a spring that depresses when tripped. Unless you have examined these quite carefully before, it may be hard to determine if the fuse has blown. We suggest that you buy some extra fuses of the same size to have on hand.
If you smell gas, call the gas company immediately.
A new heating system may emit an odor for a few moments when you first turn it on. An established system may emit an odor after being unused for an extended time (such as after the summer months if you do not use air conditioning). This is caused by dust that has settled in the ducts and should pass quickly.
The furnace has an on-off blower switch. This switch looks like a regular light switch and is located in a metal box outside the furnace. When turned off, this switch overrides all furnace commands and shuts down the blower. This is usually done only when maintenance service is performed, although young children have been known to turn the furnace off using this switch. (If your furnace is a high-efficiency model, it does not have a pilot or an on-off switch.)
On models with manually lit pilots, lighting the furnace pilot involves several steps. First, remove the cover panel to expose the pilot. Then rotate the on-off-pilot knob to pilot. When the knob is in this position, you can depress the red button.
While depressing the red button, hold a match at the pilot. Once the pilot lights, continue to hold the red button down for 30 to 60 seconds. When you release the red button, the pilot should stay lit. If it does not, wait several minutes to allow any gas to dissipate from the furnace area and repeat the entire process. If the pilot stays lit, rotate the on-off pilot knob to the on position. Reinstall the cover panel. You can find these instructions on a sticker on the furnace and in the manufacturer's literature.
Heat register covers are removable and adjustable. You are responsible for adjusting the dampers in these covers to regulate the heat flow within the home. Registers in the rooms farther away from the furnace will usually need to be opened wider.
Return Air Vents
Arrange furniture and draperies for maximum comfort and efficient energy use to allow unobstructed airflow from registers and cold air returns.
Depending on the home style, temperatures can normally vary from floor to floor to 10 degrees or more on frigid days. The furnace blower will typically cycle on and off more frequently and for shorter periods during severe cold spells.
The furnace will automatically come on when the thermostat temperature registers below the setting you have selected. Once the furnace is on, setting the thermostat to a higher temperature will not heat the home faster. Thermostats are calibrated to within plus or minus 5 degrees.
Have a trial run early in the fall to test the furnace. (The same applies to air conditioning in the spring.) If service is needed, it is much better to discover that before the heating season.
Troubleshooting Tips: No Heat
Before calling for service, check to confirm that the:
8 Thermostat is set to "heat," and the temperature is set above the room temperature.
8 Blower panel cover is installed correctly for the furnace blower (fan) to operate. This panel compresses a button that tells the blower it is safe to operate. Like how a clothes dryer door operates, this panel pushes in a button that lets the fan motor know it is safe to come on. If that button is not pushed in, the furnace will not operate.
8 Breaker on the main electrical panel is on. (Remember, if a breaker trips, you must turn it from the tripped position to the off position before you can turn it back on.)
8 Switch on the side of the furnace is on.
8 Fuse in the furnace is good. (See manufacturer literature for size and location.)
8 Gas line is open at the main meter and at the side of the furnace.
8 Filter is clean to allow airflow.
8 Vents in individual rooms are open.
8 Air returns are unobstructed.
Even if the troubleshooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call.
Parasol Properties Limited Warranty Guidelines
We will install heating systems according to local building codes and engineering designs of the particular model home.
Adequacy of the system is determined by its ability to establish a temperature of 70 degrees F, as measured in the center of the room, 5 feet above the floor. In frigid temperatures (10 degrees below or colder), the system should maintain a temperature differential of 80 degrees from the outside temperature.
The exact placement of heat ducts may vary from those positions shown in similar floor plans.
Although the heating system is not sealed, the ductwork should remain attached and securely fastened. If it becomes unattached, Parasol Properties will repair it as needed.
Expansion or contraction of metal ductwork results in ticking or popping sounds. While eliminating all these sounds is impossible, Parasol Properties will correct oil canning. (Oil canning occurs when a large area of sheet metal like those found in air ducts makes a loud noise as it moves up and down in response to temperature changes.)
Thermostats are calibrated to plus or minus 5 degrees.