A regular check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. However, as we approach the frostier months, now is the best time to ensure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the winter months.
Among the leading ways to reduce furnace breakdowns and make sure it runs efficiently is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like all mechanical equipment, the life of a furnace will be enhanced with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns before they become big problems and you end up paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to heat things up, it’s important to inspect all the various pieces to ensure there aren’t any splits or leaks that could impact the safety of your household. Taking the time to schedule a tune-up, even if your system appears to be functioning properly, will save you time, stress, and money throughout the heating season.
Is it true my warranty is voided if I don’t get my furnace serviced?
Most manufacturers’ warranties call for yearly system maintenance to keep valid, so skipping your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever stop working in the middle of a cold snap. Always get all you can from your warranty by keeping it valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Service Experts.
What can I do to troubleshoot my furnace before calling a tech for service?
Here are a couple troubleshooting tips we suggest checking out early on in the heating season: 1. Inspect your home’s air filter
Air filters can easily be overlooked, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Filthy air filters can lead to a host of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower efficiency
- Higher energy bills
If you take out your home’s air filter, hold it up to a light. If you can’t see light coming through it, it’s probably been a while since your last heating service, and likely time to swap it out. If it’s a simple disposable air filter, just get a like-size new one. It’s also a good idea to write down the date you installed the new filter, so you know how old it is next time it needs to be changed. Read the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is designed to be used. 2. Double check your thermostat.
3. Open up your air vents.
- One of the simplest tasks that homeowners can do is check the thermostat.
- Ensure it is set to Heat and not Cool, and that the temperature setting is greater than the current indoor temperature.
- If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the perfect time to do that.
- When first going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure that it is working as it should be and heating your home’s air.
There’s a common misconception that you can save money by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being utilized. Resist the urge to close them all, as doing so can actually increase the pressure in your furnace, making it work harder to heat your home. This can lead to broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your ducts, damage to the compressor, a ruptured heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?
- Full inspection. The service should include a full visual and point review to check all the working parts of your furnace and duct system. This is the best method for the technician to notify you of any components that are beginning to show signs of wear.
- Lubrication. Mechanical equipment needs lubrication to eliminate friction between the functioning parts. Your furnace tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure evaluation. As part of your tune-up, changes may be made to the pilot and gas pressure as needed to restore these elements to the designed specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be changed at least every third month, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational problems.
- Written assessment. Credible HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance recommendations for the next 12 months. This important information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.
Shift the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan comes on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning Properly?
All furnaces have a power switch (similar to a light switch) either on the furnace or on a nearby wall. Flip the switch and wait a few minutes to see if it turns the furnace on. Also confirm that all access panels and doors on the furnace are completely closed.
6. Condensate Drainage
High-efficiency furnaces can drain off several gallons of water every day. If the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, the furnace will shut down.
7. Examine Vents for Blockage
If your furnace vents out the side of the house, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Confirm the surrounding region is clear of leaves, animal nests, or snow/ice.
What Should You Expect After a Furnace Tune-Up? Improved Function
Your heating and air conditioning system naturally loses energy efficiency over time. This loss of efficiency is due to many factors, including dust and dirt, natural wear and tear, and buildup in drains or on burners. Keeping your heating system maintained with regular professional tune-ups can control these factors. During your tune-up, your expert technician will clean and check over your heating equipment, identifying areas of concern. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a larger problem. A tune-up alone could instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner residence because your HVAC equipment will be distributing clean air through a clean air filter. Perhaps one of the largest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is diminished utility bills. An overworked HVAC system must work overtime to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been expertly tuned can take less energy to maintain indoor comfort. Because your heating system functions more efficiently, it will deliver superior heating at lower cost than you otherwise may have had during the coming months. A Longer-Lasting HVAC System
Your HVAC system is an expensive investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with professional maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to run between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the main reasons for early replacement HVAC systems before end of average life expectancy.
If you’re wondering how much a furnace tune up costs, you can relax knowing it’s not going to force an early withdrawal you’re your 401k. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run.
It’s better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the middle of winter when your furnace takes a dive. If you would like to learn more about what a furnace tune-up includes, or how it benefits you—give our experts a call at 866-397-3787 or schedule an appointment online.