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 frostier months, now is the ideal time to make sure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the season.

Among the leading ways to reduce furnace breakdowns 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 enhanced with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are performing efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns 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 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 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 my furnace serviced?


Most manufacturers’ warranties necessitate yearly system maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever stop working in the middle of a cold snap. 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 A-PLUS .
  
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. Dusty air filters can mean a number of comfort issues for homeowners, including:
  • operating
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Increased energy bills
If you take 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 replace it. 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. 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 simplest tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on the thermostat.
  • Make sure 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 replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the ideal time to do that.
  • When first going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make certain 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 save money by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being occupied. 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 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 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 eliminate friction between the operating parts. Your equipment tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure regulating. As part of your tune-up, corrections may be made to the pilot and gas pressure when needed to reestablish these elements to the designed 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 third month, which can boost 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 next 12 months. This valuable 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?

Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan turns on, power is working correctly, 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 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 drain lines get clogged, the furnace will shut down.

7. Examine Vents for Blockage


If your home has a furnace that vents out the side of the house, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Confirm the area 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 control these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC technician will clean and check over your furnace, identifying areas of corrosion. 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 much harder 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 a valuable investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with proper 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 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. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can run wild with.

It’s better to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the middle of winter 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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