A regular check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the ideal time to make sure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the cold season.
Among the leading ways to prevent a breakdown 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 prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are performing efficiently. Also, regular cleanings can help pinpoint issues before they become big problems and you end up paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, because furnaces burn fuel to provide the heat, it’s important to examine all the various parts to ensure there aren’t any cracks or leaks that could impact the safety of your household. Taking the time to schedule a tune-up, even when it’s not making that odd rattling noise you’ve been ignoring, 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 keep valid, so missing your tune-ups can actually result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever breakdown in the middle of winter. Always get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with yearly 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 number of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Reduced efficiency
- Increased 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 swap it out. 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 swapped out. 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 easiest tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on the thermostat.
- Ensure it is set to Heat and not Cool, and that the temperature setting is higher than the current indoor temperature.
- If you can’t remember the last time you swapped out your thermostat’s battery, now is the ideal time to do so.
- When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure 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 occupied. Resist the urge to close too many, as doing so can actually increase the pressure in your furnace, making it work harder to heat your home. This can cause failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your air ducts, damage to the compressor, a cracked heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Is your Furnace Receiving Electricity?
- Full inspection. The service should include a full visual and point examination 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 equipment 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 return these elements to manufacturer specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be replaced at least every three months, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational glitches.
- Written assessment. Professional HVAC companies will also give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance suggestions for the next year. This important information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.
Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to turn on. If the fan does come on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning Properly?
Each furnace has a power switch (that resembles a light switch) either on the furnace or on a wall close by. Flip the switch and wait two minutes to see if the furnace starts working. 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 each day. 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, assess the situation to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Confirm the area doesn’t have 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 a variety of issues, 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 HVAC 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 bigger problem. A tune-up alone will sometimes instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner residence because your HVAC system 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 lower utility bills. A neglected 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 coldest months of the year. A Longer-Lasting HVAC System
Your HVAC system is an expensive investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with regular maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to last between 8-18 years before you will need to consider replacement. However, poor maintenance is one of the main reasons for early replacement HVAC systems ahead of end of average life expectancy.
If you’re wondering how much a furnace tune up costs, you can breathe a healthy sigh of relief knowing it’s not going to force an early withdrawal you’re your 401k. Sometimes we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run.
It’s preferable 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.