Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

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

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 most 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. In addition, regular cleanings can help pinpoint going concerns before they become big problems and you end up paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Additionally, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to inspect all the various parts to ensure there aren’t any splits 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 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 furnace does ever stop working in the middle of a cold snap. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Bob Brown 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 forgotten, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Filthy air filters can lead to a host of comfort issues for homeowners, including:
  • running
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Increased 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 more than likely 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 designed to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the easiest tasks that homeowners can do is take a look at 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 swapped out your thermostat’s battery, now is the perfect time to do that.
  • When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain that it is working as it should be 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 occupied. 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 failed 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. 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 system tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure regulating. As part of your tune-up, changes may be made to the pilot and gas pressure as needed to restore these elements to manufacturer specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be changed at least every 90 days, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • Written assessment. Professional HVAC companies always will give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance suggestions for the next 12 months. This insightful 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?

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

5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?


Every furnace includes a power switch (that resembles 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 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. 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. Be sure the space is clear of 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 routine 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 corrosion. 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 house because your HVAC equipment 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 lower utility bills. A poorly-maintained HVAC system must work more to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been finely tuned can take less energy to provide exceptional indoor comfort. Because your heating system operates more efficiently, it will deliver superior heating at lower cost than you otherwise may have had through the winter season.

A Longer-Lasting HVAC System

Your HVAC system is an important appliance 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 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 cost a limb. Frequently we have special offers in your local area that you can run wild with.

It’s better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the middle of winter when your furnace gives up with a sad cough. 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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