Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
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 guarantee your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the winter months.

Among the leading ways to stop your furnace from going on strike and make sure it runs as it should is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like all mechanical equipment, the working life of a furnace will be extended with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint 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 make it hot, it’s important to examine all the various components 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 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties require yearly 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 furnace does ever malfunction in the middle of a cold snap. Always 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 written off, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dusty air filters can lead to a variety of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
  • working
  • Restricted airflow
  • Lower efficiency
  • Higher 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 swap it out. If it’s a simple disposable air filter, just buy 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 replaced. Check the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is supposed to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the simplest tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on the thermostat.
  • Ensure 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 replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the ideal time to do that.
  • When first going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure that it is working properly and heating your home’s air.
3. Open up your air vents.

There’s a common misconception that you can save money by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being used. 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 lead to busted 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?
  • 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 reduce friction between the functioning 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 when needed to return these elements to their original specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be changed at least every three months, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational glitches.
  • 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 important information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.

4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?

Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to turn on. If the fan does come on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning Properly?


All furnaces have 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 the furnace starts working. 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 aren’t clear and open, the furnace will shut down.

7. Check Vents for Blockage


If your furnace vents out the side of the house, examine if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Make 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 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 help to reduce these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC 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 larger problem. A tune-up alone could 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 best benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is lower utility bills. A poorly-maintained 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 guarantee 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 important appliance with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with professional maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to last between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the primary reasons for early 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 break the bank. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run.

It’s best 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.

 

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