Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A scheduled check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. 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 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 prolonged 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 paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Additionally, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to examine all the various components to ensure there aren’t any ruptures 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties call for annual 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 system 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 yearly furnace system tune-ups from Air Engineers Service Experts.
  
Furnace burners

What can I do to troubleshoot my furnace before calling a tech?


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 lead to a host of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
  • running
  • Restricted airflow
  • Lower 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 replace it. 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 designed to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • 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 higher than 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 switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is operating correctly and heating your home’s air.
3. Open up your air vents.

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 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 ductwork, damage to the compressor, a cracked heat exchanger, and other problems. What Does a Furnace Tune-Up Include?
  • 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 operating parts. Your furnace 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 as needed to reestablish these elements to their original 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 90 days, 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 coming year. This insightful information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.

4. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity?

Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. If the fan does come on, power is working right, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning 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 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 each day. If the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, the furnace will shut down.

7. Check 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 regular professional tune-ups can help to reduce these factors. During your tune-up, your maintenance technician will clean and check over your unit, 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 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 greatest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is diminished utility bills. An overworked 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 guarantee 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 proper 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 take advantage of.

It’s best to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the middle of winter 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.

 

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