Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A regular check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. However, as we approach the less-popular winter 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 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 extended with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Also, 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 make it hot, it’s important to take a look at 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 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 system maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can actually result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever malfunction in the middle of winter. Always get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Barlow 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. Dirty air filters can cause a variety of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
  • running
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Higher 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 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 intended to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the simplest tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on 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 replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the perfect 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 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 them all, as doing so can actually increase the pressure in your furnace, making it work harder to heat your home. This can cause broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your ducts, 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 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 eliminate friction between the moving parts. Your system tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure evaluation. As part of your tune-up, adjustments should 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 common 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be replaced at least every third month, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • Written assessment. Professional HVAC companies always will give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance suggestions for the coming year. This important information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.

4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?

Change the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. If the fan does come on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning Properly?


Every furnace includes a power switch (just like a light switch) either on the furnace or located on a wall close to the furnace. 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 drain lines get clogged, 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. Be sure the surrounding region 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 expert technician will clean and check over your furnace, identifying areas of concern. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a serious problem. A tune-up alone could 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 largest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is lower utility bills. A neglected HVAC system must work more to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been professionally 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 run 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 ahead of end of average life expectancy.

If you’re wondering how much a furnace tune up costs, you can breathe a healthy sigh of relief knowing it’s not going to cost a limb. Sometimes we have special offers in your local area that you can run wild with.

It’s better 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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