A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the less-popular winter months, now is the best time to guarantee your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the season.
Among the leading ways to reduce furnace breakdowns and make sure it runs efficiently is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like all mechanical equipment, the life of a furnace will be extended with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running efficiently. In addition, 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 make it hot, it’s important to inspect all the various parts to ensure there aren’t any cracks or leaks that could impact the safety of your household. Taking the time to schedule a tune-up, even when it’s not making that odd rattling noise you’ve been ignoring, 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 equipment maintenance to stay valid, so missing your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever stop working in the middle of extreme temperatures. Always get all you can from your warranty by keeping it valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from All American Air 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 forgotten, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Filthy air filters can mean a number of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower efficiency
- Higher energy bills
If you pull out 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. 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 most basic tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on the thermostat.
- Ensure 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 perfect time to do it.
- When first going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is operating properly 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 utilized. 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. Is the Furnace Getting 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. An experienced service technician should be able to identify any concerns or signs of excessive wear during this review.
- 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, 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 common 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be replaced at least every three months, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational glitches.
- Written assessment. Credible 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 year. This insightful information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to 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 right, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?
Every furnace includes a power switch (just like a light switch) either on the furnace or on a nearby wall. Flip the switch and wait a couple of minutes to see if it turns the furnace on. Also confirm that 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 home has a furnace that vents out the side of the house, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Confirm the area 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 a variety of issues, 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 virtually eliminate these factors. During your tune-up, your expert technician will clean and check over your furnace, identifying areas of concern. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a bigger problem. A tune-up alone could instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner residence because your HVAC equipment will be distributing clean air through a clean air filter. Perhaps one of the best benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is diminished utility bills. An overworked HVAC system must work much harder to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been finely 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 coming months. 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 run between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the primary 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 breathe a healthy sigh of relief knowing it’s not going to cost a limb. Sometimes 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 middle of winter 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.