A regular check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. However, as we approach the frostier months, now is the ideal time to make sure 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. Also, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns before they become big problems and you end up breaking into your piggybank for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Additionally, 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 ruptures 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 necessitate yearly equipment maintenance to remain valid, so neglecting your tune-ups can actually result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever breakdown in the middle of a cold snap. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Donelson Air .
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. Dirty air filters can mean a host of comfort issues for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Decreased efficiency
- Increased 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 swap it out. 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 replaced. Refer to the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is supposed to be used. 2. Double check your thermostat.
3. Open up your air vents.
- One of the simplest tasks that homeowners can do is take a look at the thermostat.
- Ensure it is set to Heat and not Cool, and that the temperature setting is above 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 going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is working 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 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 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 inspection 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 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 reestablish these elements to OEM specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every third month, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational problems.
- Written assessment. Quality 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 12 months. This insightful information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.
Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan comes on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?
Each furnace has a power switch (similar to a light switch) either on the furnace or on a wall close by. Flip the switch and wait a few minutes to see if the furnace starts working. Also make sure 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 furnace vents out the side of the house, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Be sure the space 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 regular professional tune-ups can virtually eliminate these factors. During your tune-up, your maintenance 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 could instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner home because your HVAC equipment 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. A poorly-maintained 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 functions more efficiently, it will deliver superior heating at lower cost than you otherwise may have had during the coldest months of the year. A Longer-Lasting HVAC System
Your HVAC system is a valuable investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with proper maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to last between 8-18 years before you will need to replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the primary reasons for earlier 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 force an early withdrawal you’re your 401k. Sometimes we have special offers in your local area that you can take advantage of.
It’s best to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the middle of winter 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.