A regular check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. 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 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 working efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint going concerns 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 take a look at all the various pieces to ensure there aren’t any ruptures 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 my furnace serviced?
Most manufacturers’ warranties call for yearly system 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 making sure it stays valid as long as possible with annual 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 forgotten, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dirty air filters can lead to a variety of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
- 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 get a new one. If it’s a simple disposable air filter, just get 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. Check 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 simplest tasks that homeowners can do is check the thermostat.
- Ensure 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 replaced 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.
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 ducts, damage to the compressor, a burst 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. 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 eliminate friction between the functioning parts. Your furnace 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 if needed to reestablish these elements to their original specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every three months, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational problems.
- Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance suggestions for the coming year. This important information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.
Change the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan turns on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?
Every furnace includes a power switch (that resembles 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 it turns 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 every 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, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Confirm 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 many factors, 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 wear and tear. 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 largest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is decreased utility bills. A poorly-maintained 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 proper maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to perform between 8-18 years before you will need to consider replacement. 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 take advantage of.
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.