A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the less-popular winter months, now is the best time to make sure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the winter months.
Among the leading ways to reduce furnace breakdowns and make sure it runs like a lean machine is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like any mechanical equipment, the life of a furnace will be extended with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Plus, 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. Plus, 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 home. Taking the time to schedule a tune-up, even if it looks like it’s working just fine, 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 annual system maintenance to keep valid, so neglecting your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever stop working in the middle of winter. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s 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. Dirty air filters can mean a number of comfort issues for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower 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 buy 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 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 keep an eye on the thermostat.
- Ensure 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 replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the perfect time to do it.
- When first moving 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 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 cause failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your ducts, damage to the compressor, a ruptured heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity?
- Full inspection. The service should include a full visual and point inspection 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 prevent friction between the moving parts. Your furnace tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure adjustment. As part of your tune-up, changes may be made to the pilot and gas pressure when needed to reestablish these elements to manufacturer specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Many 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 will also give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance suggestions for the next year. This important information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.
Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. If the fan comes on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?
All furnaces have a power switch (similar to a light switch) either on the furnace or on a nearby wall. Flip the switch and wait two 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 on a daily basis. 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, check 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 several reasons, 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 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 larger problem. A tune-up alone may 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 best benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is diminished utility bills. An overworked HVAC system must work more 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 coming months. 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 last between 8-18 years before you will need to replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the top 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. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can run wild with.
It’s better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the first visit Jack Frost makes this year 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.