If your furnace or boiler has been inactive for a certain period of time, there are certain problems that are likely to come up. These are problems you're likely to experience after summer, after a long holiday away, or in a second home that you don't use regularly.
These problems can be a small inconvenience in many cases, but there are extreme cases where such problems can be quite serious. It's important to know these issues so you can try and prevent them.
HVAC Cleaning Issues
Unfortunately, if you haven't been using your HVAC system at all, there can be issues with mold and other debris that has built up in the system. Part of good HVAC maintenance involves cleaning air ducts once a year, especially right before you're about to breathe indoor air for a majority of your time.
Furnace Won't Turn On
This is one of the problems you're most likely to encounter if your furnace hasn't been turned on for some time. Unfortunately, there is a long list of possible reasons for this. Therefore, you'll have to eliminate them one by one until you find the cause of the problem. The possible causes include the following:
Tripped circuit breakers due to a lightning strike or power issue at some point
Malfunctioning or wrongly-set thermostat
A full condensate pan or clogged drain line from the pump
The pilot light is off
These issues are simple enough for you to diagnose on your own. However, if none of these seems to be the issue, you should call a heating services company.
A long period of inactivity is also a long period during which dirt and grime may settle and harden on the air filters. A clogged air filter means that the furnace will have to work harder to get air in, and this can cause it to overheat. If no air has been passing through the air filter, it can easily become clogged.
Radiators Not Working
If your heating system uses a boiler, some of your radiators may not be working after a long period of inactivity. A common cause for this is stuck radiator valves. Radiator valves are used to change the flow of hot water to control the temperature in a room. However, these valves can become stuck if they haven't moved in a while. Another reason for this is that there's air in the radiator. This means you'll have to bleed the affected radiators.
Another issue that can affect systems that use boilers is the buildup of limescale. This can result in rattling noise when the boiler is eventually turned on. However, these buildups can restrict the flow of water in the heat exchange. Therefore, you should get professionals from a company like Boyers R S Heating & Air Conditioning Inc to help clean out the system.