Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A scheduled check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the smartest time to guarantee your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the season.

Among the leading ways to prevent a breakdown and make sure it runs efficiently is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like all mechanical equipment, the useful life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are performing efficiently. Also, regular cleanings can help pinpoint issues 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 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 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties require annual HVAC maintenance to stay valid, so neglecting your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever stop working in the middle of extreme temperatures. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Becht/Givens 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. Dirty air filters can mean a number of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
  • working
  • 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 probably 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 replaced. 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 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 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 it.
  • When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain that it is working as it should be 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 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 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 inspection 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 furnace 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 return these elements to their original specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be replaced at least every 90 days, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational glitches.
  • Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance proposal for the next year. This valuable information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.

4. Is your Furnace Receiving Electricity?

Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. If the fan turns on, power is working properly, 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 nearby wall. Flip the switch and wait a few minutes to see if it turns 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 every day. If the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, the furnace will shut down.

7. Assess Vents for Blockage


If you have a furnace that vents out the side of the house, assess the situation to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Be sure the surrounding region 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 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 virtually eliminate 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 home because your HVAC system 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 diminished utility bills. A neglected 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 during the coming months.

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 rest easy knowing it’s not going to break the bank. Sometimes we have special offers in your local area that you can run wild with.

It’s preferable to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the coldsnap of the century when your furnace takes a dive. 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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