A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the smartest time to ensure 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 all mechanical equipment, the working life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns before they become big problems and you end up paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to examine 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 my furnace serviced?
Most manufacturers’ warranties require annual system maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can actually result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever stop working in the middle of a cold snap. Be sure to get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Midway Services.
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 written off, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dirty air filters can cause a variety of comfort issues for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Decreased 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 get a new one. 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 changed. Read 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 check the thermostat.
- Ensure it is set to Heat and not Cool, and that the temperature setting is greater than the current indoor temperature.
- If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the ideal time to do it.
- When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain that it is operating properly and heating your home’s air.
There’s a common misconception that you can increase your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being utilized. 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 cause failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your air ducts, damage to the compressor, a ruptured heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Is your Furnace Receiving Electricity?
- Full inspection. The service should include a full visual and point inspection 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 eliminate friction between the moving parts. Your furnace tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure adjustment. As part of your tune-up, changes may be made to the pilot and gas pressure as needed to return these elements to manufacturer specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be changed at least every three months, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational problems.
- Written assessment. Professional 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 valuable information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.
Change the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan does come on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting 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 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 on a daily basis. If drain lines get clogged, the furnace will shut down.
7. Examine 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 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 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 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 may instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner home because your HVAC system 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 expertly 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 through the winter season. 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 perform 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 before 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 break the bank. Sometimes 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 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.