A regular check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. 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 cold season.
Among the leading ways to prevent a breakdown and make sure it runs like a lean machine 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 paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to take a look at all the various components to ensure there aren’t any ruptures 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 annual HVAC maintenance to keep valid, so missing your tune-ups can possibly 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 ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from D.A. Bennett .
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 lead to a host of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Reduced 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 most 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 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 simplest tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on the thermostat.
- Make sure 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 that.
- When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure that it is operating as it should be and heating your home’s air.
There’s a common misconception that you can boost your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being utilized. Resist the urge to close them all, 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 ductwork, 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 review 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 operating parts. Your equipment tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure evaluation. As part of your tune-up, corrections may be made to the pilot and gas pressure when needed to return these elements to manufacturer specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be changed at least every 90 days, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational problems.
- Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies always will give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance suggestions for the next 12 months. This valuable information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.
Shift the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan does come on, power is working right, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?
Every furnace includes a power switch (just like 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 check to see if 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. Assess 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 surrounding region 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 many factors, 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 virtually eliminate these factors. During your tune-up, your expert 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 larger problem. A tune-up alone will sometimes 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 largest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is lower utility bills. A neglected HVAC system must work much harder 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 functions 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 expensive investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with regular 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 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 relax knowing it’s not going to force an early withdrawal you’re your 401k. Sometimes 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 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.