Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A scheduled check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the smartest time to ensure 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 any mechanical equipment, the working life of a furnace will be enhanced with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Also, regular cleanings can help pinpoint issues before they become big problems and you end up paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Additionally, because furnaces burn fuel to heat things up, it’s important to inspect all the various components to ensure there aren’t any ruptures or leaks that could impact the safety of your family. 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 necessitate yearly system maintenance to stay valid, so neglecting your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your system 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 routine furnace system tune-ups from Wesley Wood Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
  
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 overlooked, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Filthy air filters can cause a number of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
  • working
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Increased 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 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 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 changed. Check the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is intended to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • 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 above the current indoor temperature.
  • If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the best time to do so.
  • When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain that it is operating correctly and heating your home’s air.
3. Open up your air vents.

There’s a common misconception that you can increase your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being used. Resist the urge to close too many, 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 air 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 review 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 eliminate 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, adjustments should be made to the pilot and gas pressure when needed to restore these elements to the designed specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every third month, which can enhance 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 next year. This insightful information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.

4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?

Shift the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan comes on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?


Each furnace has a power switch (similar to a light switch) either on the furnace or on a wall close by. Flip the switch and wait two 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 every day. If the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, the furnace will shut down.

7. Assess Vents for Blockage


If your furnace vents out the side of the house, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Be sure the area 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 regular professional tune-ups can control these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC 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 bigger 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 unit 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 decreased 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 maintain 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 last between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the main 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 relax knowing it’s not going to cost a limb. Frequently we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run.

It’s better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the first visit Jack Frost makes this year 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.

 

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