A regular check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the frostier 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 most 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 concerns before they become big problems and you end up cashing out for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Additionally, because furnaces burn fuel to heat things up, it’s important to inspect all the various pieces 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 my furnace serviced?
Most manufacturers’ warranties necessitate annual equipment maintenance to stay 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 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 .
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. Dirty air filters can cause a variety of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Decreased 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 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. Refer to 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 simplest tasks that homeowners can do is take a look at 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 that.
- When first moving 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.
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 all of them, as doing so can actually increase the pressure in your furnace, making it work harder to heat your home. This can lead to broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your air ducts, damage to the compressor, a burst 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. 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 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 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 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 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.
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 Functioning 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 it turns the furnace on. 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 drain lines get clogged, 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 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 annual 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 larger problem. A tune-up alone could 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 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 expensive investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with proper maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to last between 8-18 years before you will need to consider replacement. However, poor maintenance is one of the main reasons for earlier 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 break the bank. Frequently 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 first visit Jack Frost makes this year 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.