Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A scheduled 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 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 enhanced 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 paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, because furnaces burn fuel to heat things up, it’s important to examine all the various components 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 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties require yearly equipment maintenance to keep valid, so missing your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever breakdown in the middle of a cold snap. Make sure you 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.
  
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 forgotten, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dusty air filters can lead to a number of comfort issues 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 replaced. Read the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is intended to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the simplest tasks that homeowners can do is take a look at the thermostat.
  • Ensure it is set to Heat and not Cool, and that the temperature setting is higher than the current indoor temperature.
  • If you can’t remember the last time you swapped out your thermostat’s battery, now is the ideal time to do that.
  • When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain that it is running properly and heating your home’s air.
3. Open up your air vents.

There’s a common misconception that you can increase your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being utilized. 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 broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your ducts, damage to the compressor, a ruptured 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 prevent friction between the functioning parts. Your equipment tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure evaluation. 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. Most furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every 90 days, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • Written assessment. Professional HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance recommendations for the next year. This insightful information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to 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 does come on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?


Each furnace has a power switch (similar to a light switch) either on the furnace or located on a wall close to the furnace. Flip the switch and wait a couple of 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. 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. Confirm the space isn’t obstructed by 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 control these factors. During your tune-up, your expert technician will clean and check over your unit, identifying areas of concern. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a bigger problem. A tune-up alone could instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner house 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 diminished 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 provide exceptional indoor comfort. Because your heating system will function more efficiently, it will deliver superior heating at lower cost than you otherwise may have had through the winter season.

A Longer-Lasting HVAC System

Your HVAC system is an important appliance 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 replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the primary reasons for premature replacement HVAC systems before 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 take advantage of.

It’s best to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the first visit Jack Frost makes this year when your furnace takes a dive. 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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