Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A scheduled check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the less-popular winter 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 stop your furnace from going on strike and make sure it runs like a lean machine is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like any mechanical equipment, the useful life of a furnace will be extended 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. Additionally, because furnaces burn fuel to provide the heat, it’s important to take a look at all the various parts to ensure there aren’t any splits or leaks that could impact the safety of your family. Taking the time to schedule a tune-up, even if it looks like it’s working just fine, 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 annual equipment maintenance to remain valid, so skipping 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 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 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 host of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
  • working
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased 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 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.
  • 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 above 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 it.
  • When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure that it is working correctly and heating your home’s air.
3. Open up your air vents.

There’s a common misconception that you can boost your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being occupied. 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 cause failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your ducts, damage to the compressor, a burst heat exchanger, and other problems. What Does a Furnace Tune-Up Include?
  • Full inspection. The service should include a full visual and point examination 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 prevent friction between the moving 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 if needed to restore these elements to their original 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 three months, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational problems.
  • Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance recommendations for the coming year. This valuable information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.

4. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity?

Switch 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 might not be receiving power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Working 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 few 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 drain lines get clogged, the furnace will shut down.

7. Examine Vents for Blockage


If your furnace vents out the side of the house, examine 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 a variety of issues, 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 help to reduce 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 serious problem. A tune-up alone may instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner house 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 neglected HVAC system must work more to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been professionally tuned can take less energy to guarantee 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 coming months.

A Longer-Lasting HVAC System

Your HVAC system is an important appliance with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with regular 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 primary reasons for premature replacement HVAC systems prior to 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 force an early withdrawal you’re your 401k. Sometimes 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 middle of winter when your furnace gives up with a sad cough. 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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