Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
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 best time to guarantee your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the cold season.

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 all mechanical equipment, the useful life of a furnace will be enhanced with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. In addition, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns before they become big problems and you end up paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to inspect all the various pieces to ensure there aren’t any cracks 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties require routine HVAC maintenance to keep valid, so neglecting your tune-ups can actually result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever stop working 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 routine furnace system tune-ups from Service Experts.
  
Furnace burners

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. Dusty air filters can mean a host of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
  • running
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Bigger 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 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 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 supposed to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the most basic 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 swapped out your thermostat’s battery, now is the best time to do so.
  • When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is operating as it should be 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 utilized. 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 result in 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?
  • 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 eliminate friction between the moving 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 if 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. Typically, furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every three months, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies should 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 determine the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.

4. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity?

Change the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to turn on. If the fan turns on, power is working right, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?


Every furnace includes a power switch (that resembles 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 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 each day. 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, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Be sure 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 help to reduce these factors. During your tune-up, your maintenance technician will clean and check over your furnace, identifying areas of corrosion. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a larger problem. A tune-up alone will sometimes instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner house 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 diminished 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 maintain 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 an expensive investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with proper maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to perform between 8-18 years before you will need to replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the primary 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 relax knowing it’s not going to cost a limb. 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 first visit Jack Frost makes this year when your furnace isn’t working. 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.

 

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