A scheduled 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 best time to make sure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the winter months.
Among the leading ways to stop your furnace from going on strike and make sure it runs efficiently is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like any mechanical equipment, the useful life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running 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 provide the heat, 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 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 tune ups?
Most manufacturers’ warranties necessitate yearly system maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever malfunction in the middle of winter. Be sure to get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Donelson Air Service Experts.
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 forgotten, 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 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 swapped out. Refer to the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is designed 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.
- Make sure 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 replaced 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 make sure that it is working properly and heating your home’s air.
There’s a common misconception that you can save money by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being occupied. Resist the urge to close all of them, as doing so can actually increase the pressure in your furnace, making it work harder to heat your home. This can cause busted blower motors, mold or mildew in your ducts, damage to the compressor, a burst heat exchanger, and other problems. What Does a Furnace Tune-Up Include?
4. Is your Furnace Receiving Electricity?
- Full inspection. The service should include a full visual and point examination 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 reduce friction between the operating parts. Your system 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 their original specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 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 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 turns on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?
All furnaces have 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 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 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 space doesn’t have 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 annual professional tune-ups can help to reduce 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 may instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner house 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 lower utility bills. A poorly-maintained HVAC system must work much harder to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been expertly tuned can take less energy to maintain indoor comfort. Because your heating system will function 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 run between 8-18 years before you will need to replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the top 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 relax knowing it’s not going to force an early withdrawal you’re your 401k. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run.
It’s best 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.