A regular check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the frostier months, now is the ideal time to ensure 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 life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint going concerns before they become big problems and you end up cashing out for 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 ruptures or leaks that could impact the safety of your household. Taking the time to schedule a tune-up, even when it’s not making that odd rattling noise you’ve been ignoring, 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 routine equipment maintenance to stay valid, so neglecting your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever malfunction in the middle of extreme temperatures. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by keeping it valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from A1 Chesney Service Experts.
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 cause a host of comfort issues for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Decreased efficiency
- Increased energy bills
If you remove 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 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 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 easiest 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 higher than 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 it.
- When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain that it is running properly and heating your home’s air.
There’s a common misconception that you can boost 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 failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your ducts, damage to the compressor, a cracked heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity?
- 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 functioning parts. Your equipment tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure regulating. As part of your tune-up, adjustments should be made to the pilot and gas pressure as needed to reestablish these elements to the designed specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be changed at least every third month, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational problems.
- Written assessment. Credible HVAC companies always will give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance recommendations for the next 12 months. This important information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.
Shift the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan does come on, power is working right, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?
Each furnace has a power switch (just like a light switch) either on the furnace or on a nearby wall. Flip the switch and wait a few minutes to see if the furnace starts working. 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 are clogged with dirt and debris, the furnace will shut down.
7. Assess Vents for Blockage
If your home has a furnace that vents out the side of the house, assess the situation to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Make sure the area 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 a variety of issues, 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 control these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC technician will clean and check over your heating equipment, identifying areas of concern. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a bigger problem. A tune-up alone may instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner home because your HVAC unit will be distributing clean air through a clean air filter. Perhaps one of the greatest 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 provide exceptional 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 expensive investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with regular maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to perform between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the main 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 rest easy knowing it’s not going to cost a limb. 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.