Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A regular 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 cold season.

Among the leading ways to stop your furnace from going on strike and make sure it runs like a lean machine is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like any mechanical equipment, the life of a furnace will be extended with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are performing efficiently. In addition, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns before they become big problems and you end up cashing out for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, because furnaces burn fuel to heat things up, 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 home. 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 call for yearly system maintenance to remain valid, so skipping your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever breakdown in the middle of winter. Be sure to get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with routine furnace system tune-ups from Stevenson Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
  
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 written off, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dusty air filters can lead to a variety of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
  • working
  • Restricted airflow
  • Reduced efficiency
  • Bigger 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 more than likely been a while since your last heating service, and likely time to get a new one. 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 changed. Check the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is designed 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 greater than 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 so.
  • When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain that it is working properly and heating your home’s air.
3. Open up your air vents.

There’s a common misconception that you can boost your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being occupied. 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 broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your air ducts, damage to the compressor, a cracked heat exchanger, and other problems. What Does a Furnace Tune-Up Include?
  • Full inspection. The service should include a full visual and point examination to check all the working parts of your furnace and duct system. This is the best method for the technician to notify you of any components that are beginning to show signs of wear.
  • 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 as needed to reestablish these elements to their original specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every 90 days, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • Written assessment. Professional HVAC companies will also give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance recommendations for the coming year. This valuable information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.

4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?

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 may not be getting power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?


Each furnace has 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 the furnace starts working. 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 every day. If the drain lines aren’t clear and open, the furnace will shut down.

7. Check 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. Confirm the space 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 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 control 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 house because your HVAC equipment 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 lower utility bills. A poorly-maintained HVAC system must work overtime 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 will function 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 perform between 8-18 years before you will need to consider replacement. However, poor maintenance is one of the main reasons for early replacement HVAC systems ahead of 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. Sometimes we have special offers in your local area that you can run wild with.

It’s best 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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