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 frostier months, now is the best 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 efficiently is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like most mechanical equipment, the working life of a furnace will be enhanced with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are performing efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint going 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 parts to ensure there aren’t any cracks or leaks that could impact the safety of your family. 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 call for routine equipment maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever stop working in the middle of extreme temperatures. Always get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Midland Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
  
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. Dirty air filters can lead to a host of comfort issues 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 get a new one. 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 simplest 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 higher than the current indoor temperature.
  • If you can’t remember the last time you swapped out your thermostat’s battery, now is the perfect time to do so.
  • When first going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is working correctly 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 result in broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your 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 inspection 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 equipment tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure adjustment. As part of your tune-up, corrections may be made to the pilot and gas pressure as needed to return these elements to the designed 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 three months, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • Written assessment. Credible HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance proposal for the next year. This important information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.

4. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity?

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

5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?


Each furnace has 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 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 on a daily basis. If drain lines get clogged, the furnace will shut down.

7. Assess Vents for Blockage


If your home has a furnace that vents out the side of the house, examine if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Make sure the surrounding region doesn’t have 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 control these factors. During your tune-up, your maintenance technician will clean and check over your unit, identifying areas of concern. 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 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 decreased utility bills. A poorly-maintained 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 provide exceptional 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 coldest months of the year.

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 top reasons for earlier replacement HVAC systems prior to 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 cost a limb. Frequently we have special offers in your local area that you can take advantage of.

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.

 

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