A regular 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 smartest time to make sure 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 like a lean machine is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like most mechanical equipment, the 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 paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to inspect all the various components 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 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 my furnace serviced?
Most manufacturers’ warranties require yearly HVAC maintenance to remain valid, so missing your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever stop working in the middle of extreme temperatures. Always get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Kingston Home Services by Enercare.
What can I do to troubleshoot my furnace before calling a tech for service?
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 mean a host of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Reduced 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 most 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 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. Check the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is intended to be used. 2. Double check your thermostat.
3. Open up your air vents.
- One of the simplest tasks that homeowners can do is check the thermostat.
- Ensure 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 it.
- When first going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure that it is operating properly and heating your home’s air.
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 result in broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your ductwork, damage to the compressor, a cracked heat exchanger, and other problems.
4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?
- Full inspection. The service should include a full visual and point review to check all the working parts of your furnace and duct system. An experienced service technician should be able to identify any concerns or signs of excessive wear during this review.
- Lubrication. Mechanical equipment needs lubrication to prevent friction between the operating parts. Your furnace tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
- Pilot and gas pressure adjustment. As part of your tune-up, adjustments should be made to the pilot and gas pressure if needed to return these elements to OEM specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be changed at least every third month, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational problems.
- Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies will also give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance suggestions for the next 12 months. This insightful information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.
Change the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to turn on. If the fan does come on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Working 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 two 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 each day. If the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, 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 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 routine 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 concern. 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 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 decreased utility bills. A poorly-maintained HVAC system must work much harder to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been expertly 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 coming months. A Longer-Lasting HVAC System
Your HVAC system is an expensive investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with professional 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 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. Sometimes we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run.
It’s best to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the first visit Jack Frost makes this year 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.