A pre-emptive 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 ideal time to make sure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the cold 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 all mechanical equipment, the life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are performing efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint issues 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 make it hot, it’s important to examine all the various parts to ensure there aren’t any splits or leaks that could impact the safety of your household. 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 routine HVAC maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever stop working in the middle of a cold snap. 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 Heating & Air Conditioning.
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 mean a variety of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower 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 replace it. 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. Read the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is designed to be used. 2. Double check your thermostat.
3. Open up your air vents.
- One of the easiest tasks that homeowners can do is check 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 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 sure that it is operating correctly and heating your home’s air.
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 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 ducts, 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 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 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 when needed to restore these elements to the designed specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be changed at least every three months, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational complications.
- 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 proposal for the next year. This important 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 right, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?
Each furnace has a power switch (that resembles a light switch) either on the furnace or on a wall close by. Flip the switch and wait a few minutes to see if the furnace starts working. 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 aren’t clear and open, the furnace will shut down.
7. Assess Vents for Blockage
If you have a furnace that vents out the side of the house, assess the situation to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Make sure the area 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 routine professional tune-ups can help to reduce these factors. During your tune-up, your maintenance 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 serious problem. A tune-up alone could instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner home because your HVAC system will be distributing clean air through a clean air filter. Perhaps one of the best benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is decreased utility bills. A neglected HVAC system must work overtime to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been expertly tuned can take less energy to guarantee indoor comfort. Because your heating system will function 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 an important appliance with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with proper maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to last 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 prior to end of average life expectancy.
If you’re wondering how much a furnace tune up costs, you can breathe a healthy sigh of relief knowing it’s not going to break the bank. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can take advantage of.
It’s better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the middle of winter when your furnace gives up with a sad cough. 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.