Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A scheduled check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the less-popular winter months, now is the best time to make sure 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 all mechanical equipment, the working life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Plus, 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. Additionally, because furnaces burn fuel to provide the heat, it’s important to examine all the various components 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 it looks like it’s working just fine, 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 necessitate yearly system maintenance to remain valid, so missing your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever breakdown in the middle of extreme temperatures. Be sure to get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Mountainwest 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 variety of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
  • running
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased 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 get 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. Read the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is designed to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the most basic tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on the thermostat.
  • Make certain it is set to Heat and not Cool, and that the temperature setting is greater 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 make sure 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 cause busted blower motors, mold or mildew in your air 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 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 prevent friction between the functioning parts. Your equipment 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 if needed to reestablish 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 swapped out at least every 90 days, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational problems.
  • Written assessment. Quality 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 valuable 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 turn on. If the fan turns on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Operating Properly?


Every furnace includes a power switch (similar to a light switch) either on the furnace or on a wall close by. Flip the switch and wait a couple of minutes to see if the furnace starts working. 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 on a daily basis. If the drain lines aren’t clear and open, the furnace will shut down.

7. Check 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 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 routine 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 serious 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 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 more to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been finely tuned can take less energy to guarantee 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 important appliance with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with proper maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to run between 8-18 years before you will need to consider replacement. However, poor maintenance is one of the top reasons for early replacement HVAC systems before 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 force an early withdrawal you’re your 401k. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run.

It’s preferable 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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