A regular 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 smartest time to guarantee your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the season.
Among the leading ways to prevent a breakdown 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 working efficiently. In addition, 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. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to provide the heat, it’s important to inspect 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 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 annual 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 furnace does ever breakdown in the middle of winter. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Falso .
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. Dusty air filters can cause a host of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Reduced efficiency
- Bigger 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 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 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. Refer to 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 most basic tasks that homeowners can do is check the thermostat.
- Make sure 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 best time to do that.
- When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is working correctly 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 lead to broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your ductwork, damage to the compressor, a ruptured heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Is your Furnace Receiving 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. 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 reduce friction between the functioning parts. Your system 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 return these elements to the designed specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be changed at least every 90 days, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational complications.
- Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance proposal for the coming year. This important information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.
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 might not be receiving power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?
Every furnace includes a power switch (that resembles a light switch) either on the furnace or located on a wall close to the furnace. Flip the switch and wait a few 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 every day. 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. Be 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 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 maintenance technician will clean and check over your unit, identifying areas of corrosion. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a serious 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 greatest 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 finely tuned can take less energy to maintain indoor comfort. Because your heating system functions 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 perform 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 before 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 cost a limb. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run.
It’s preferable 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.