Home Myths: Heating, Oil Tanks, Hot Water Heaters

Heating, Oil Tanks, Hot Water HeatersHello readers! Have you all been enjoying our new home myth series? Well, now it’s time for October’s set of myths, and this month we’re dealing with three common home maintenance myths!

There are some things in your home that you may think you can forget about, but almost every component of your home needs regular maintenance.

It’s important to have a maintenance calendar (either a physical calendar or an online to do list) that will remind you when to perform certain duties around the house. These activities can include cleaning filters, running cleaning cycles in your dishwasher, and performing maintenance as outlined in the following myths:

Myth 1: Heating units require little to no maintenance.

Heating systems are typically easy to maintain, but they need to receive the proper care to continue running at their peak efficiency. Contact a professional to schedule an annual check – but don’t wait until the weather is already cold.

Get your name at the top of the list by scheduling your heating unit maintenance now. This work can typically be done by a contractor, and in some cases plumbers can be qualified to handle the job. Just ensure to get someone with experience working on a unit like yours.

When performing annual heating unit maintenance, your technician should clean soot and corrosion out of the unit’s combustion chamber, and check the unit for leaks or damage. They should also replace any and all of the unit’s filters, and test the equipment’s exhaust. All in all, this service should cost less than $200, and will help to ensure that your heating works smoothly all winter long.

Myth 2: Cleaning a hot water tank isn’t necessary.

Contrary to popular belief, water heaters don’t just contain water. As water makes its way into the heating system, it brings with it dirt and other minerals. These sediments settle on the bottom of your heater, and can cause a drop in efficiency and other more major problems if not regularly cleaned out.

Lowe’s has a water heater maintenance routine recommendation on their web site that you can perform yourself using only a bucket, goggles, gloves, and a garden hose. They recommend performing the routine every six months:

  • Check the Pressure Valve
  • Flush the Tank
  • Gas Heaters: Light the Pilot
  • Electric Heaters: Before Connecting the Power
  • Check for Leaks and Drips

If you don’t feel comfortable doing your water heater’s maintenance yourself, don’t hesitate to get help from a professional. They are trained on how to maintain and fix a water heater, and their expertise can be a huge help if you’re unsure of what to do.

Myth 3: Oil tanks shouldn’t need a check.

It doesn’t matter if your oil tank is indoors or outdoors – it should be inspected by a professional at least every few years, though an annual check is recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.  In some cases, an annual maintenance visit will be included in the terms of service contract of your tank.

If you haven’t had your annual oil tank tune up, call to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Technicians will be very busy as winter gets closer, so the sooner you call, the better off you will be. It’s also important to not allow an oil tank to get below 1/4 full. Letting a tank run low on oil can cause a sediment build up and can lead to clogs in your filters and equipment.

If you do experience an oil leak, the damage and clean up costs may not be covered under your Massachusetts home insurance policy, but an optional coverage upgrade can ensure that you are protected. To find out whether you have this protection, or to find out the additional cost of adding this coverage to your home insurance policy, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance at 877-550-0025.

Photo credit: C Jill Reed / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: brianc / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: fringefalcon / Foter / CC BY

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  • Such some great tips to maintain your home’s equipment and described well . Specially i am glad to know about the water tank point . It’s really good .

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