A scheduled check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the less-popular winter 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 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 most mechanical equipment, the 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 issues 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 heat things up, it’s important to take a look at all the various pieces 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 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 call for routine system maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever breakdown 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 yearly furnace system tune-ups from Rob's Albertan .
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 problems for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Reduced efficiency
- Increased energy bills
If you take out your home’s air filter, hold it up to a light. If you can’t see light coming through it, it’s most likely been a while since your last heating service, and likely time to swap it out. 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 swapped out. 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 keep an eye on 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 changed your thermostat’s battery, now is the best time to do that.
- When first moving 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.
There’s a common misconception that you can increase your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being utilized. 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 lead to failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your air ducts, damage to the compressor, a cracked heat exchanger, and other problems.
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. 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 moving parts. Your equipment tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure regulating. As part of your tune-up, corrections may be made to the pilot and gas pressure if needed to return these elements to the designed specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be replaced at least every three months, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational problems.
- Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies will also give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance proposal for the next year. This important information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.
Shift the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. If the fan comes on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?
Every furnace includes a power switch (similar to a light switch) either on the furnace or located on a wall close to the furnace. Flip the switch and wait a few minutes to see if it helps to turn 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 each day. 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, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Make sure the area 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 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 maintenance 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 will sometimes 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 best benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is decreased 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 finely tuned can take less energy to maintain indoor comfort. Because your heating system operates 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 regular 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 early replacement HVAC systems prior to end of average life expectancy.
If you’re wondering how much a furnace tune up costs, you can rest easy 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 better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the first visit Jack Frost makes this year 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.