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Honey Do List: Cleaning gas heaters

Zone heating is the process of heating your home in needed areas, rather than running the central unit to heat the whole thing. This process can save you a lot of money and save precious resources.

Gas heaters are one of the best options around for heating specific areas. If you have one or are thinking about installing one in your home, there are a few things you need to know.

First of all, as with any appliance or tool, read your owner’s manual. This is the best source for care and maintenance of any product you buy. Also, it is recommended to seek out a licensed, bonded service man when dealing with gas line hookups.

The greatest enemy of unvented gas heaters is dust. LP (liquid propane) and natural gas are both delivered at very low pressures. A build-up of dust or a small spider web is all it takes to create a clogged line. Most of the time a little spray of compressed air around the pilot and ignition system will clear them.

[Caution: Air compressors are not recommended, as these areas can be easily damaged. Canned air, such as that used to clean computers and electronics, works well.]

Heavy dust build-ups can be removed with a duster, and surface areas can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Remove the front of the heater if possible to make the controls and burner more accesssible. This can be done without disturbing any gas lines on most models.

If, after cleaning, the heater doesn’t light, it’s time to do a little troubleshooting. The most common parts that may need to be replaced are thermocouples and igniters. A bad thermocouple will cause the pilot to go out when you release the control knob. Look for a spark at the pilot assembly to see if the ignitor is working.

A gas heater, like anything else, needs a little TLC from time time for it to work properly and efficiently. These heaters have proven to be very safe and dependable.

For other heating ideas and help with your honey do list, remember, help is just around the corner at your local hardware store.

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