As the Melbourne winter creeps in, you’ll once again find yourself headed for the controls of your ducted heating system, hoping for the warmth it provided last year. The good news is that with the premium materials and professional installation of your Braemar system, you can rely on it to keep your family warm for many winters to come. But regular servicing is essential to keep it working exactly as it should.
It can be tempting to neglect your heating system – especially when it’s only used for a few months of the year – but when you imagine what those few months would be like without it, you realise just how much difference effective heating makes to your home life.
Here are a few reasons why servicing your system is so important:
Maintain Energy Efficiency
One of the key reasons people choose to install gas ducted heating systems is the excellent energy efficiency they offer in contrast to other systems. Boasting the world’s first 7-star gas ducted heater and the highest efficiency star ratings in Australia, a Braemar system is purchased with the promise of energy efficiency. Each star represents a 10 to 15% drop in operational costs and can save you anywhere from $801 to $1,319 per year.
However, in order to maximise the efficiency of your system, regular maintenance is essential. Maintenance combats energy loss through leaks, which can be detrimental to your system’s efficiency and your health. A gas ducted heating leak can put you at risk of carbon monoxide exposure and is virtually undetectable due to the silent, invisible and scentless nature of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide leak can present itself in any number of symptoms that may be confused with the common cold, such as fatigue, nausea, headaches or breathlessness. It’s vital to regularly inspect your heater during high operation times such as winter and to ensure that you get frequent maintenance checks to reduce the chance of a leak.
Another common cause of energy loss in gas ducted heating systems is mechanical faults which can include any number of issues such as:
- General wear and tear: this may apply to any number of components, such as loose panelling.
- Ignition and pilot control faults: generally the result of clogging or draughts.
- Malfunctioning thermostat: faulty wiring or simply issues with the product.
- Combustion fan motor: issues resulting in low rotation speeds and overheating can impact your system operation.
So how do you know if your system is having one of these issues? Generally, some common signs of issues are airflow reduction, foul odours and strange noises. If your system is making unusual noises such as rattling, whistling or humming, this is a tell-tale sign that it is not functioning effectively, and professional service is highly recommended. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not that easy to detect an issue with your gas ducted heating system; this is where preventative maintenance comes in. By maintaining a regular cleaning and maintenance routine, you can prevent unseen problems from developing and impacting the functionality of your system. If you leave these issues unattended, you risk not only your power bill, but also your well-being.
Keep Your Home Healthy
Just like any appliance in the home, your Braemar ducted heating system will build up dust over time. The difference here is that the dust can ultimately end up being re-released and circulated back around your home, potentially triggering allergies and provoking asthma. Unfortunately, without regular servicing, your unit could also be susceptible to mould or even insect infestation, with many additional health risks.
A regular maintenance schedule will protect both you and your heating systems’ health by allowing you to maintain your system warranty and reduce the likelihood of expensive and time-consuming repairs or, in the worst case, replacements. Both the Victorian Building Authority and Energy Safe Victoria recommend that all gas appliances be serviced every two years and tested for any carbon monoxide leaks.
Uphold Your Warranty
A Braemar ducted gas heating system purchased through an approved dealer comes with both a comprehensive 5-year warranty and a specific 10-year parts warranty to guarantee the longevity of the heat exchanger and burner. For these warranties to be upheld, a qualified technician must perform regular servicing covering extensive operational checks of the cabinetry, general installation, electrical, gas, and burners. Following the 5-year mark it’s recommended that you remain especially vigilant in regularly servicing your gas heating system.
Prolong Your System’s Life
When well looked after, a gas ducted heating system can last for upwards of 15 years. Although professional servicing does involve an upfront cost, it actually saves you money in the long run by extending the life of your system and significantly postponing the need for replacement. Those little rattles or odd odours that it may start producing can be warning signs of a significant problem developing. Instead of just ignoring them, take action and arrange a service as soon as possible.
Braemar Ducted Heating Service
At SimplyAir, we have extensive experience servicing and maintaining Braemar gas ducted heating systems. A standard ducted heating service may include:
- Unit performance/airflow tests
- Visual inspection for external damage
- Gas pressure level testing
- Burner removal and cleaning
- Fan assembly removal and cleaning
- Burner and pilot ignition testing
- Carbon monoxide detection tests
- Filter and return air grille cleaning
- Electrical connection wear and tear
- Thermostat calibration
All servicing will involve items detailed on your Braemar maintenance schedule in line with upholding your warranty. Regular maintenance is crucial to the efficiency, health and safety of your system. Still, in the meantime, there are some things you can do to keep your system in good working order.
Cleaning Ducted Heating
In between servicing, regularly cleaning and inspecting your gas ducted heating system is vital to the effectiveness and durability of your heating system. It is recommended by the Braemar standard user manual that you check and clean your return air filter at least once a fortnight during periods of extended heating. This filter is located within the return air grille, which is fitted to your wall or ceiling as part of the ductwork. If you have any issues finding the filter, you can contact our team at SimplyAir. Still, otherwise, the standard fortnightly cleaning procedure can be done as follows:
- Using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a simple dustpan and brush, remove exterior debris or dust from your grille.
- Carefully remove the grille by either using a pull-down front or removing any thumbscrews. Be mindful not to force the parts if unsure. If the grille is located on the ceiling, avoid dropping any parts and ensure that you’re following correct ladder safety procedures.
- Gently slide out the filter from the grille.
- Thoroughly remove dust buildup from the filter using a vacuum cleaner and inspect the filter and grille for any signs of damage.
- Return the filter to the grille.
- Return the grille to the wall or ceiling, ensuring that it is securely in place.
If your ducted heating system is installed outside, it is recommended that you complete a yearly visual check to ensure that the external cabinet is not overrun by vegetation such as plants, branches and weeds. These items can hinder future maintenance and impact the safety and efficiency of your system.