Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune-Up?

Updated 2/27/19

A regular check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the ideal time to guarantee your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the season.

Among the leading ways to stop your furnace from going on strike and make sure it runs as it should is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like all mechanical equipment, the working life of a furnace will be enhanced with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. In addition, regular cleanings can help pinpoint issues before they become big problems and you end up paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, 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 ruptures or leaks that could impact the safety of your household. 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 my furnace serviced?

Most manufacturers’ warranties necessitate yearly 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 extreme temperatures. Be sure to get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

Close-up of furnace burners

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 overlooked, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dusty air filters can lead to a host of comfort issues for homeowners, including:

    • Running
    • Restricted airflow
    • Reduced efficiency
    • Increased 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 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 replace it with 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 swapped out. Read the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is supposed to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat. 

    • One of the most basic tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on the thermostat.
    • Make certain 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 it.
    • When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain that it is operating correctly and heating your home’s air.

3. Open up your air vents. 

There’s a common misconception that you can boost your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being used. 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 busted blower motors, mold or mildew in your air ducts, damage to the compressor, a ruptured heat exchanger, and other problems.

    • Full inspection. The service should include a full visual and point inspection 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 eliminate 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, changes may be made to the pilot and gas pressure when needed to return these elements to OEM specifications.
    • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be changed at least every three months, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational complications.
    • Written assessment. Credible HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance proposal for the coming year. This valuable information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.

 4. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity? 

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

5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning 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 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 drain lines get clogged, the furnace will shut down.

7. Check Vents for Blockage 

If you have a furnace that vents out the side of the house, examine if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Be sure the surrounding region 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 help to reduce these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC technician will clean and check over your furnace, identifying areas of wear and tear. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a serious problem. A tune-up alone could 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 largest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is decreased 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 provide exceptional 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 last between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the main reasons for early replacement HVAC systems before 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 break the bank. Frequently we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run.

It’s better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the first visit Jack Frost makes this year 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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