A regular check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the less-popular winter months, now is the best time to make sure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the cold season.
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 any mechanical equipment, the useful life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns before they become big problems and you end up cashing out for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Additionally, because furnaces burn fuel to heat things up, it’s important to take a look at all the various parts to ensure there aren’t any splits or leaks that could impact the safety of your home. 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 require routine HVAC maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever stop working in the middle of winter. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with routine 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 forgotten, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dusty air filters can mean a variety of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower efficiency
- Bigger energy bills
If you pull 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 get a new one. If it’s a simple disposable air filter, just replace it with 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 replaced. Read the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is intended to be used. 2. Double check your thermostat.
3. Open up your air vents.
- One of the simplest tasks that homeowners can do is take a look at 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 changed your thermostat’s battery, now is the ideal time to do it.
- When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain that it is operating properly and heating your home’s air.
There’s a common misconception that you can boost your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being utilized. Resist the urge to close all of them, as doing so can actually increase the pressure in your furnace, making it work harder to heat your home. This can cause broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your ducts, damage to the compressor, a ruptured heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Is the Furnace Getting 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. A qualified technician should be able to let you know if your equipment or individual parts are showing signs of wear during this review.
- Lubrication. Mechanical equipment needs lubrication to reduce friction between the operating parts. Your system tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure regulating. As part of your tune-up, corrections may be made to the pilot and gas pressure as needed to reestablish these elements to their original specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be replaced at least every third month, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational complications.
- 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 coming year. This insightful information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.
Change 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 could be lacking power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?
All furnaces have a power switch (that resembles a light switch) either on the furnace or on a nearby wall. Flip the switch and wait two minutes to see if the furnace starts working. Also make sure all access panels and doors on the furnace are completely closed.
6. Condensate Drainage
High-efficiency furnaces can drain off several gallons of water on a daily basis. If drain lines get clogged, the furnace will shut down.
7. Check Vents for Blockage
If you have a furnace that vents out the side of the house, examine if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Be sure the space isn’t obstructed by 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 annual professional tune-ups can control these factors. During your tune-up, your maintenance technician will clean and check over your furnace, identifying areas of concern. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a bigger problem. A tune-up alone may 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 best benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is decreased utility bills. A neglected HVAC system must work much harder to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been professionally 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 through the winter season. A Longer-Lasting HVAC System
Your HVAC system is an important appliance 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 replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the main reasons for premature replacement HVAC systems ahead of end of average life expectancy.
If you’re wondering how much a furnace tune up costs, you can rest easy 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 take advantage of.
It’s preferable to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the first visit Jack Frost makes this year when your furnace gives up with a sad cough. 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.