A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the ideal time to ensure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the winter months.
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 any mechanical equipment, the useful life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Also, 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. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to heat things up, it’s important to examine all the various pieces to ensure there aren’t any cracks 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 tune ups?
Most manufacturers’ warranties necessitate annual equipment maintenance to remain valid, so neglecting your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever malfunction in the middle of extreme temperatures. 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 Neal Harris Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
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 written off, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dirty air filters can cause a variety 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 probably 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 get 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. Check the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is intended to be used. 2. Double check your thermostat.
3. Open up your air vents.
- One of the easiest 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 greater than the current indoor temperature.
- If you can’t remember the last time you replaced 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 ensure that it is running correctly 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 all of them, as doing so can actually increase the pressure in your furnace, making it work harder to heat your home. This can cause broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your ductwork, damage to the compressor, a cracked heat exchanger, and other problems. What Does a Furnace Tune-Up Include?
4. Is your Furnace Receiving 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 reduce 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 as needed to return these elements to OEM 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 90 days, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational complications.
- Written assessment. Credible 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 valuable information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.
Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. If the fan does come on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning Properly?
Every furnace includes 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 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 each day. If drain lines get clogged, 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 doesn’t have 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 routine professional tune-ups can virtually eliminate these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC technician will clean and check over your furnace, identifying areas of corrosion. 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 home because your HVAC equipment 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 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 proper maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to run between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new 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 better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the coldsnap of the century 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.