A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. 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 reduce furnace breakdowns and make sure it runs efficiently is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like any mechanical equipment, the life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Plus, 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 heat things up, it’s important to take a look at all the various parts to ensure there aren’t any cracks or leaks that could impact the safety of your home. 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 require yearly equipment maintenance to keep valid, so missing your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating 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 making sure it stays valid as long as possible with routine furnace system tune-ups from Finch .
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. Filthy air filters can cause a host of comfort issues for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower efficiency
- Higher 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 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 replaced. 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 simplest tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on 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 swapped out your thermostat’s battery, now is the best time to do so.
- When first going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is working correctly and heating your home’s air.
There’s a common misconception that you can boost 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 result in failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your air ducts, damage to the compressor, a burst heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Is your Furnace Receiving Electricity?
- Full inspection. The service should include a full visual and point review 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 functioning parts. Your equipment tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure regulating. As part of your tune-up, adjustments should be made to the pilot and gas pressure as needed to restore 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 swapped out at least every third month, which can improve 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 suggestions for the next year. This insightful information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.
Change the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to turn on. If the fan turns on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?
All furnaces have a power switch (that resembles 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 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. Check Vents for Blockage
If your home has a furnace that vents out the side of the house, examine if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Confirm the surrounding region 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 many factors, 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 HVAC 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 serious problem. A tune-up alone will sometimes instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner home because your HVAC unit 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 lower utility bills. A neglected HVAC system must work overtime 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 through the winter season. A Longer-Lasting HVAC System
Your HVAC system is a valuable investment 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 consider replacement. However, poor maintenance is one of the top reasons for early replacement HVAC systems ahead of 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 break the bank. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can take advantage of.
It’s better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the coldsnap of the century 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.