Your home's propane heater helps keep you warm when it's cold, but that heater also needs to be maintained regularly. If you fail to inspect it and maintain it regularly, you may find that it malfunctions in the middle of winter when you need it most. Here are some tips for properly maintaining your propane heater to avoid more costly repairs.
Turn Off the Heater
Before you do any type of inspecting or maintenance, make sure the heater is turned off and any nearby electrical connections are also turned off. The last thing you want to do is be burned or get electrocuted because you were doing work near your propane heater. It is also a good idea to be protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and gloves, just in case the unit is still hot when you touch it.
Clean Dust and Debris From the Outside
When you are getting ready to perform maintenance on the heater, it is also a good idea to vacuum it out first. There may be dirt and dust around the heater that should be cleaned regularly. A simple vacuum with the attachment can easily get rid of all the dust and debris in the heating unit. Also vacuum around the heater, including on the outside of the appliance and inside the grids and vents. For the tight areas, use a small paint brush that is clean and dry to get out the dust.
Inspect the Unit
Now that you have your propane heater cleaned of dust and debris, you can further inspect it for any issues. Start by looking at the yellow flame when it is turned on to see if the flame is still going. If it looks smaller than usual, call an HVAC technician to take a look at it. The flame is the only thing you should look at while it is turned on. To continue inspecting it, turn off the heater and wait for it to cool off.
Remove the cover panel by taking off the screws. Wipe down the inside of the panel and use your paintbrush to get rid of any dirt or dust inside the heater. Be careful when brushing around the oxygen sensor and gas line tubing. Replace the panel when you are done cleaning and inspecting the heater.
If you didn't notice anything major wrong with the propane heater, but it is giving you problems, it is time to call a technician at places like Redlands Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning.