A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the smartest time to ensure 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 cashing out for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to heat things up, it’s important to inspect all the various pieces to ensure there aren’t any splits 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 require annual equipment maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can actually result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever breakdown in the middle of extreme temperatures. Be sure to get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from D & K Home Services.
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 annoyances for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Reduced efficiency
- Increased energy bills
If you pull 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 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. Refer to the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is intended to be used. 2. Double check your thermostat.
3. Open up your air vents.
- One of the most basic tasks that homeowners can do is check the thermostat.
- Make certain 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 replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the ideal 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 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 used. 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 ruptured heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Is your Furnace Receiving 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. 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 prevent friction between the moving parts. Your furnace 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 as needed to return these elements to OEM specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every third month, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational glitches.
- Written assessment. Credible 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 next year. This important information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and how you can 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 may not be getting power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning 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 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 every day. If drain lines get clogged, the furnace will shut down.
7. Examine 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. Be sure the area 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 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 annual professional tune-ups can help to reduce these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC 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 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 best benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is lower utility bills. A neglected HVAC system must work overtime to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been expertly tuned can take less energy to maintain indoor comfort. Because your heating system will function 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 important appliance with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with professional maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to last between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the main 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 force an early withdrawal you’re your 401k. Frequently 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 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.