Winter Already? Rental Property Furnace Maintenance Tips

Winter Already? Rental Property Furnace Maintenance Tips

Although winter doesn’t officially start for a few more days, winter conditions are hitting most of California and we’re certainly seeing colder temperatures in the Central Valley so now is a great time for every landlord to check the furnace in their rental properties and make sure they are ready to run once it gets colder.

A recent study from NFPA showed that 365,500 U.S. home fires took place in 2015—resulting in 7 billion dollars in direct property damage. 

Ongoing furnace maintenance can help you prevent large-scale problems with your properties’ heating systems. Here’s what to look for as you work to maintain your furnaces this year!

Know Your Rental Property Furnaces

When you add a new rental property to your roster, get to know the ins and outs of all of its features, including its heating system. This will help you determine what repairs and maintenance are required and who should do them. While natural gas furnaces are relatively easy for non-specialists to maintain, oil furnace or heat pump maintenance may require a vendor who specializes in these heating systems.

Facts About House Fires from the NFPA:

The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (30%) was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.

Nearly half (49%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.

What Can You Maintain Yourself?

If you have a maintenance worker who is a generalist rather than a specialist, what sorts of furnace maintenance issues can that person manage?

  • Check the furnace filter monthly during the cold season. According to the DIY Network, “a dirty filter will cause excessive strain on your furnace, increase heating costs and reduce the life of your equipment.” Wash and rinse permanent filters every month. Ensure that your filter area has a cover as well.
  • Reset the dampers. This should be done seasonally during the transition from air conditioning to furnace heat.
  • Oil bearings around the motor and blower shaft. Do this annually to keep older furnaces in good repair.
  • Check the burner of the flame shield for corrosion.
  • Check belts on belt-driven blowers to look for damage such as fraying.
  • Keep your heating efficient. Seal leaky air ducts with metal tape.
  • Look at the heating vents and ensure that they are uncovered to encourage optimal air movement.

Always turn off the fuel and electricity before doing maintenance on a furnace.

Learn more here!

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