Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A regular check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the best time to ensure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the cold season.

Among the leading ways to stop your furnace from going on strike and make sure it runs as it should is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like most mechanical equipment, the useful life of a furnace will be enhanced with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running efficiently. In addition, regular cleanings can help pinpoint going concerns before they become big problems and you end up cashing out for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, because furnaces burn fuel to provide the heat, it’s important to take a look at all the various components to ensure there aren’t any cracks or leaks that could impact the safety of your family. 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties call for annual equipment maintenance to remain valid, so skipping your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever stop working in the middle of extreme temperatures. Be sure to get all you can from your warranty by keeping it valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from 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 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:
  • working
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased 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 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. Refer to 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 take a look at the thermostat.
  • Make sure 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 so.
  • When first going 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.
3. Open up your air vents.

There’s a common misconception that you can boost your savings 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 lead to failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your air ducts, damage to the compressor, a burst 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. 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 functioning parts. Your system tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure regulating. As part of your tune-up, changes 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. Most furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every 90 days, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational problems.
  • Written assessment. Quality 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 valuable information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.

4. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity?

Change the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan turns on, power is working correctly, 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 on a wall close by. Flip the switch and wait a couple of minutes to see if the furnace starts working. 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 every 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, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Make sure the space 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 several reasons, including dust and dirt, natural wear and tear, and buildup in drains or on burners. Keeping your heating system maintained with routine 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 corrosion. 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 unit will be distributing clean air through a clean air filter. Perhaps one of the largest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is decreased 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 expertly tuned can take less energy to provide exceptional indoor comfort. Because your heating system operates 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 important appliance with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with regular maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to perform between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the primary reasons for earlier 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. 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 first visit Jack Frost makes this year 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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