Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune-Up?
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 guarantee 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 as it should is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like any mechanical equipment, the useful life of a furnace will be extended with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are performing efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns before they become big problems and you end up paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to examine all the various parts to ensure there aren’t any splits or leaks that could impact the safety of your family. 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 HVAC maintenance to remain valid, so missing your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating system 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 making sure it stays valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Stallion Heating and Air Conditioning.
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. Dusty air filters can lead to a host of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower efficiency
- Higher 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 more than likely been a while since your last heating service, and likely time to replace it. 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. Refer to the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is designed to be used.
2. Double check your thermostat.
- One of the easiest 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 replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the ideal time to do that.
- When first going 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 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.
- 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 furnace 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 reestablish these elements to OEM specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be replaced at least every 90 days, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational complications.
- Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies always will 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 figure out the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.
4. Is your Furnace Receiving Electricity?
Shift the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to turn on. If the fan comes on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking 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 wall close by. Flip the switch and wait two minutes to see if it helps to turn 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 each day. If the drain lines aren’t clear and open, 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. Confirm the surrounding region doesn’t have leaves, animal nests, or snow/ice.
What Should You Expect After a Furnace Tune-Up?
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 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 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 more to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been finely 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 through the winter season.
A Longer-Lasting HVAC System
Your HVAC system is an expensive 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 top reasons for premature replacement HVAC systems prior to 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 take advantage of.
It’s better 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 215-259-5850 or schedule an appointment online.
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