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Regular heating system maintenance: for safety and savings

Have you noticed that the heating system in your building has become less efficient or more costly? Whether your heating system uses electricity, fuel oil, natural gas or propane, it should be inspected and maintained regularly—ideally once a year before winter sets in.

Not only does regular maintenance protect against fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, but it can also cut your heating bills.

Do business with a qualified professional

Always have installation and maintenance done by a professional who holds a licence from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec. Be sure to ask for a maintenance certificate or report and keep it as proof in case you need to make a claim.

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector on your premises?

Be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector near the furnace. Not only will it detect possibly fatal carbon monoxide emissions, but it will also be a sign that you should clean the burners and check the fuel line since carbon monoxide is a product of incomplete combustion. A qualified professional can make sure that your heating system is receiving enough fresh air and that the flue gas is completely evacuated to minimize carbon monoxide emissions. Remember to replace the batteries regularly!

What type of maintenance does your heating system need?

Type of heating system Maintenance program Did you know?
Electric Maintenance is generally limited to the replacement of defective heating elements in the furnace or baseboard heaters. Simply vacuuming the heating elements and the baseboard heaters and replacing the filters in your forced air furnace can improve performance.
Natural gas(or propane) Most gas companies offer an annual maintenance service that includes an inspection, cleaning and adjustments. It’s particularly important for newer intermediate and high efficiency models whose electronic controls and safety devices should be checked regularly. Many gas companies offer a parts replacement service for a fee. They also update devices, materials and piping and set up the gas supply line.
Fuel oil Having a specialist come by regularly to clean, maintain and tune up the burner is the best way to optimize your heating system. This should be done once a year, ideally before it gets cold. Proper use and maintenance will prolong the life of your heating system, and user manuals often include a suggested replacement date.

Check out our other prevention fact sheets:

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Want to learn more?

See our complete list of prevention fact sheets.

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Risk inspection services

The information in this fact sheet is of a general nature and is provided for information purposes only. It is not exhaustive. Any action taken after reading this fact sheet should be carried out safely and, if necessary, by an experienced person who is authorized to do so.

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