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 smartest time to make sure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the season.
Among the leading ways to prevent a breakdown and make sure it runs like a lean machine is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like most mechanical equipment, the working life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Also, regular cleanings can help pinpoint going concerns before they become big problems and you end up breaking into your piggybank for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to examine 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 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 equipment maintenance to remain valid, so skipping your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever malfunction in the middle of winter. Always 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 overlooked, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Filthy air filters can cause a number of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower 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 replace it. 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 changed. Check 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 check the thermostat.
- Make sure 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 ideal time to do so.
- When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is running 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 result in failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your ductwork, 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. An experienced service technician should be able to identify any concerns or signs of excessive wear during this review.
- Lubrication. Mechanical equipment needs lubrication to reduce friction between the functioning 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 return these elements to manufacturer specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be changed at least every 90 days, which can improve 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 proposal for the coming year. This important information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to 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 Operating Properly?
Every furnace includes a power switch (just like 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 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 the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, the furnace will shut down.
7. Examine 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 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 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 expert technician will clean and check over your heating equipment, identifying areas of wear and tear. 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 house 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 lower utility bills. A poorly-maintained HVAC system must work more to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been finely 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 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 replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the top reasons for early replacement HVAC systems prior to 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 break the bank. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can run wild with.
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 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.