A scheduled check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the ideal time to ensure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the season.
Among the leading ways to reduce furnace breakdowns and make sure it runs as it should is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like any mechanical equipment, the working life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running efficiently. Also, regular cleanings can help pinpoint 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 heat things up, it’s important to examine all the various pieces to ensure there aren’t any splits or leaks that could impact the safety of your family. 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 my furnace serviced?
Most manufacturers’ warranties call for annual system maintenance to keep valid, so neglecting 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 winter. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by keeping it valid as long as possible with yearly 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. Dusty air filters can mean a number of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Reduced efficiency
- Higher 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 changed. 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 easiest tasks that homeowners can do is take a look at the thermostat.
- Make certain it is set to Heat and not Cool, and that the temperature setting is greater than the current indoor temperature.
- If you can’t remember the last time you swapped out your thermostat’s battery, now is the perfect time to do that.
- When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure that it is working properly and heating your home’s air.
There’s a common misconception that you can increase your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being occupied. 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 busted blower motors, mold or mildew in your ductwork, 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 examination 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 adjustment. As part of your tune-up, adjustments should be made to the pilot and gas pressure when needed to reestablish these elements to the designed specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every third month, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational problems.
- Written assessment. Professional HVAC companies will also give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance suggestions for the next 12 months. This valuable information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.
Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan comes on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning 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 few 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 aren’t clear and open, the furnace will shut down.
7. Assess Vents for Blockage
If your furnace vents out the side of the house, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Confirm 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 a variety of issues, 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 virtually eliminate these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC technician will clean and check over your furnace, identifying areas of concern. 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 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 lower utility bills. A poorly-maintained 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 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 professional 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 primary reasons for earlier 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 use to justify your next Starbucks run.
It’s best 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.