Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A scheduled check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. However, as we approach the less-popular winter months, now is the ideal time to ensure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the winter months.

Among the leading ways to reduce furnace breakdowns and make sure it runs as it should is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like most 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. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to heat things up, 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 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 call for yearly equipment maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever stop working in the middle of winter. Always get all you can from your warranty by keeping it valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Roland J. Down 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 written off, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Filthy air filters can cause a host of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
  • working
  • 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 more than likely been a while since your last heating service, and likely time to replace it. If it’s a simple disposable air filter, just get 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 designed to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the simplest tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on the thermostat.
  • Make sure 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 best time to do that.
  • When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure that it is operating 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 utilized. 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 lead to 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 review to check all the working parts of your furnace and duct system. A qualified technician should be able to let you know if your equipment or individual parts are showing signs of wear during this review.
  • Lubrication. Mechanical equipment needs lubrication to reduce friction between the operating 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 as needed to reestablish these elements to manufacturer specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be replaced at least every 90 days, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies always will give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance proposal for the next 12 months. This insightful information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.

4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?

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

5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning Properly?


All furnaces have a power switch (just like 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 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 each day. If the drain lines aren’t clear and open, the furnace will shut down.

7. Check Vents for Blockage


If your home has a furnace that vents out the side of the house, examine if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Be sure the space 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 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 virtually eliminate 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 greatest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is decreased utility bills. A poorly-maintained HVAC system must work overtime 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 coming months.

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 consider replacement. However, poor maintenance is one of the primary reasons for premature replacement HVAC systems ahead of 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. 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.

 

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