Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the ideal time to guarantee 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 like a lean machine is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like any mechanical equipment, the useful life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working 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 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 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 yearly equipment maintenance to keep valid, so skipping your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever malfunction in the middle of winter. Be sure to get all you can from your warranty by keeping it valid as long as possible with routine furnace system tune-ups from 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 written off, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Filthy air filters can cause a variety of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
  • running
  • Restricted airflow
  • Reduced efficiency
  • Increased 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 more than likely been a while since your last heating service, and likely time to replace it. 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 swapped out. Check 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 take a look at the thermostat.
  • Ensure 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 perfect time to do that.
  • When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain that it is running correctly and heating your home’s air.
3. Open up your air vents.

There’s a common misconception that you can save money 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 broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your ductwork, 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 functioning 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 when needed to return these elements to OEM specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every three months, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • Written assessment. Professional HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance recommendations for the coming year. This insightful information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.

4. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity?

Shift the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. 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 Operating Properly?


Each furnace has a power switch (similar to a light switch) either on the furnace or located on a wall close to the furnace. Flip the switch and wait a couple of minutes to see if it helps to turn the furnace on. Also make sure 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 the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, the furnace will shut down.

7. Examine Vents for Blockage


If your furnace vents out the side of the house, examine 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 virtually eliminate 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 could instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner house because your HVAC unit 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. An overworked HVAC system must work more 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 functions 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 replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the top 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 breathe a healthy sigh of relief knowing it’s not going to cost a limb. 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 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.

 

Contact Us