Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. 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 like a lean machine 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 issues before they become big problems and you end up cashing out for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, 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 home. 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties call for annual equipment maintenance to stay valid, so neglecting 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 keeping it valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Midway Services.
  
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 variety of comfort issues for homeowners, including:
  • operating
  • 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 probably 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 changed. Read the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is intended to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the most basic 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 greater than the current indoor temperature.
  • If you can’t remember the last time you changed your thermostat’s battery, now is the perfect 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.
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 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 broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your air ducts, damage to the compressor, a ruptured 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. 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 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. Typically, furnace filters need to be replaced at least every 90 days, which can improve 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.

4. Is your Furnace Receiving Electricity?

Change the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan does come on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning Properly?


Each furnace has a power switch (that resembles a light switch) either on the furnace or on a wall close by. Flip the switch and wait a few 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 on a daily basis. If the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, 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 area 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 help to reduce 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 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 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 professionally 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 install a new one. 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 relax knowing it’s not going to cost a limb. 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 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.

 

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