A pre-emptive 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 make sure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the cold season.
Among the leading ways to prevent a breakdown and make sure it runs efficiently is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like any mechanical equipment, the useful life of a furnace will be enhanced with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint issues before they become big problems and you end up cashing out for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, 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 my furnace serviced?
Most manufacturers’ warranties call for yearly HVAC maintenance to remain valid, so neglecting your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever breakdown in the middle of a cold snap. Always get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Teays Valley Service Experts.
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 host of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower efficiency
- Bigger energy bills
If you take out 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 swap it out. 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 replaced. 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 sure 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 best time to do that.
- When first going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure 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 occupied. 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 failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your ducts, damage to the compressor, a cracked heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?
- 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 moving parts. Your furnace 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 manufacturer specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every 90 days, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational glitches.
- Written assessment. Professional HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance recommendations for the next year. This valuable information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.
Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan comes on, power is working right, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?
All furnaces have a power switch (similar to a light switch) either on the furnace or on a nearby wall. 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 the drain lines aren’t clear and open, the furnace will shut down.
7. Assess Vents for Blockage
If your home has a furnace that vents out the side of the house, assess the situation to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Confirm the surrounding region 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 annual professional tune-ups can control these factors. During your tune-up, your expert technician will clean and check over your heating equipment, identifying areas of concern. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a bigger problem. A tune-up alone will sometimes 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 greatest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is diminished utility bills. An overworked HVAC system must work overtime to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been finely 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 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 replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the main 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 rest easy knowing it’s not going to cost a limb. Frequently we have special offers in your local area that you can run wild with.
It’s preferable 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.