A scheduled check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. However, as we approach the frostier months, now is the ideal time to ensure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the winter months.
Among the leading ways to prevent a breakdown and make sure it runs as it should is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like all mechanical equipment, the life of a furnace will be extended with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint issues 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 make it hot, it’s important to take a look at all the various pieces to ensure there aren’t any cracks or leaks that could impact the safety of your home. Taking the time to schedule a tune-up, even if it looks like it’s working just fine, 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 HVAC maintenance to stay valid, so missing your tune-ups can actually result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever stop working in the middle of winter. Always get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Air Engineers .
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 written off, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Filthy air filters can cause a host of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Reduced efficiency
- Bigger energy bills
If you remove your home’s air filter, hold it up to a light. If you can’t see light coming through it, it’s more than likely 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 buy 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 supposed 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.
- Make certain it is set to Heat and not Cool, and that the temperature setting is above the current indoor temperature.
- If you can’t remember the last time you changed your thermostat’s battery, now is the best time to do it.
- When first moving 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 save money by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being used. 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 ductwork, damage to the compressor, a cracked 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 reduce friction between the operating parts. Your system tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure evaluation. As part of your tune-up, adjustments should be made to the pilot and gas pressure if needed to reestablish these elements to OEM specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every three months, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational problems.
- Written assessment. Credible HVAC companies will also give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance recommendations for the next year. This insightful information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.
Change the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to turn on. If the fan does come on, power is working right, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?
All furnaces have a power switch (similar to a light switch) either on the furnace or located on a wall close to the furnace. Flip the switch and wait a few minutes to see if it helps to turn the furnace on. Also check to see if 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. Assess Vents for Blockage
If your home has a furnace that vents out the side of the house, assess the situation to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Be sure the space 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 several reasons, 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 help to reduce these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC technician will clean and check over your furnace, identifying areas of wear and tear. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a serious 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 greatest 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 professionally tuned can take less energy to guarantee indoor comfort. Because your heating system will function 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 a valuable investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with proper maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to run 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 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. Sometimes 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 coldsnap of the century when your furnace isn’t working. 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.