Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

    February 16, 2015

    Updated 2/27/19 
     
    A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. However, as we approach the frostier 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 prevent a breakdown and make sure it runs as it should is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like all mechanical equipment, the life of a furnace will be extended with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running 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. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to provide the heat, it’s important to examine 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 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 annual HVAC maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever malfunction in the middle of a cold snap. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Strand Brothers 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 overlooked, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Filthy air filters can mean a host of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
    • working
    • Restricted airflow
    • Lower efficiency
    • Bigger 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 more than 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 buy 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 most basic tasks that homeowners can do is check 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 replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the perfect time to do that.
    • When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is operating 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 them all, as doing so can actually increase the pressure in your furnace, making it work harder to heat your home. This can cause busted blower motors, mold or mildew in your ductwork, damage to the compressor, a ruptured 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. 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 operating parts. Your equipment tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
    • Pilot and gas pressure regulating. As part of your tune-up, changes may be made to the pilot and gas pressure as needed to restore these elements to their original specifications.
    • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every third month, which can enhance 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 proposal for the coming year. This valuable information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.

    4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?

    Shift 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 could be lacking power.

    5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning Properly?


    All furnaces have a power switch (just like a light switch) either on the furnace or on a nearby wall. Flip the switch and wait a couple of 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. Check 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. Make sure 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 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 expert 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 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 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 diminished utility bills. An overworked 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 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 consider replacement. However, poor maintenance is one of the primary 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 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 use to justify your next Starbucks run.

    It’s better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the middle of winter 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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