Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune-Up?

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A regular check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the smartest time to ensure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the 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 most mechanical equipment, the life of a furnace will be extended with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are performing efficiently. Also, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns before they become big problems and you end up paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Additionally, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to inspect all the various parts to ensure there aren’t any splits or leaks that could impact the safety of your household. Taking the time to schedule a tune-up, even when it’s not making that odd rattling noise you’ve been ignoring, 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 necessitate yearly system maintenance to remain valid, so neglecting your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever breakdown in the middle of a cold snap. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Golden Seal Service Experts.
  
Furnace burners

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 overlooked, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dirty air filters can lead to a host of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
  • running
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Bigger 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 more than 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 replaced. Read the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is intended to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the most basic tasks that homeowners can do is check the thermostat.
  • Make sure 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 changed your thermostat’s battery, now is the best time to do it.
  • When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure that it is operating as it should be and heating your home’s air.
3. Open up your air vents.

There’s a common misconception that you can increase your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being used. Resist the urge to close too many, 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.
  • 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 furnace tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure regulating. As part of your tune-up, changes may be made to the pilot and gas pressure as needed to restore these elements to their original specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be changed at least every three months, which can enhance 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 important information can help you establish the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills.

4. Is your Furnace Receiving 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 might not be receiving power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?


Every furnace includes a power switch (just like a light switch) either on the furnace or on a nearby wall. Flip the switch and wait a few minutes to see if it turns 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 every day. 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, assess the situation to see 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 many factors, 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 control these factors. During your tune-up, your expert 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 serious problem. A tune-up alone will sometimes instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner home 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 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 will function 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 regular maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to last between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the main 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 break the bank. 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 coldsnap of the century when your furnace gives up with a sad cough. 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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