Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A scheduled check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. 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 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 working life of a furnace will be enhanced with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. In addition, 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. Also, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to inspect all the various pieces to ensure there aren’t any ruptures or leaks that could impact the safety of your home. 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 require routine HVAC maintenance to remain valid, so missing your tune-ups can actually result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever malfunction in the middle of a cold snap. Always get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with routine furnace system tune-ups from Chief / Bauer 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. Dusty air filters can lead to a number of comfort issues for homeowners, including:
  • working
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Higher energy bills
If you remove your home’s air filter, hold it up to a light. If you can’t see light coming through it, it’s probably 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 supposed to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the easiest 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 above the current indoor temperature.
  • If you can’t remember the last time you swapped out your thermostat’s battery, now is the best time to do it.
  • When first going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is running as it should be 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 used. 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 lead to busted blower motors, mold or mildew in your ductwork, 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 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 operating parts. Your system 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 as needed to restore these elements to manufacturer specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every 90 days, which can improve efficiency and prevent operational glitches.
  • Written assessment. Quality HVAC companies should give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance proposal for the coming year. This insightful information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to lower your energy bills.

4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?

Shift the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. If the fan turns on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking 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 few minutes to see if it turns the furnace on. 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 the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, the furnace will shut down.

7. Assess 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 area 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 annual professional tune-ups can help to reduce these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC technician will clean and check over your unit, identifying areas of wear and tear. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a bigger 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 largest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is lower 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 guarantee indoor comfort. Because your heating system functions 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 last 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 breathe a healthy sigh of relief knowing it’s not going to break the bank. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can run wild with.

It’s best to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the coldsnap of the century 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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