A scheduled check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the best time to make sure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the cold season.
Among the leading ways to prevent a breakdown and make sure it runs efficiently is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like most mechanical equipment, the useful 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 going concerns before they become big problems and you end up breaking into your piggybank for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Additionally, because furnaces burn fuel to provide the heat, it’s important to inspect all the various parts 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 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 require annual HVAC 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 stop working in the middle of a cold snap. Always get all you can from your warranty by keeping it valid as long as possible with routine furnace system tune-ups from Abbey Air by 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 cause a number of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower efficiency
- Increased energy bills
If you pull out your home’s air filter, hold it up to a light. If you can’t see light coming through it, it’s probably been a while since your last heating service, and likely time to swap it out. 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 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 most basic 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 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 so.
- When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is operating properly 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 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 result in broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your ducts, damage to the compressor, a burst 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. 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 moving parts. Your furnace tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure adjustment. As part of your tune-up, corrections may be made to the pilot and gas pressure if needed to return these elements to the designed specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be changed at least every third month, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational glitches.
- 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 year. This important information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.
Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to turn on. If the fan comes on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning 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 it helps to turn 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 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 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. Make sure 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 annual professional tune-ups can virtually eliminate these factors. During your tune-up, your maintenance 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 bigger 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 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. An overworked 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 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 run between 8-18 years before you will need to consider replacement. However, poor maintenance is one of the top reasons for premature 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 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 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.