Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. However, as we approach the colder 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 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 useful life of a furnace will be enhanced with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running efficiently. In addition, 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. Additionally, because furnaces burn fuel to provide the heat, it’s important to take a look at all the various pieces to ensure there aren’t any splits or leaks that could impact the safety of your home. 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties call for annual HVAC maintenance to keep valid, so missing your tune-ups can actually result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever breakdown 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 annual furnace system tune-ups from Pardee 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 cause a variety of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
  • operating
  • Restricted airflow
  • Reduced efficiency
  • Bigger 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 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. Refer to 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 check the thermostat.
  • Ensure 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 perfect time to do so.
  • When first switching 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 increase your savings by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being utilized. 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 busted blower motors, mold or mildew in your air 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 examination 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 moving parts. Your system tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure evaluation. As part of your tune-up, corrections may be made to the pilot and gas pressure if needed to reestablish these elements to manufacturer specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 1” filter replacement with your service. Typically, furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every third month, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • Written assessment. Credible HVAC companies will also give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance recommendations 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. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity?

Shift the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. If the fan turns on, power is working properly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?


Each furnace has a power switch (that resembles a light switch) either on the furnace or located on a wall close to the furnace. Flip the switch and wait two 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 every day. If the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, the furnace will shut down.

7. Assess Vents for Blockage


If your furnace vents out the side of the house, check to see if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Be sure the space 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 several reasons, including dust and dirt, natural wear and tear, and buildup in drains or on burners. Keeping your heating system maintained with regular professional tune-ups can help to reduce these factors. During your tune-up, your maintenance 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 will sometimes instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner residence because your HVAC unit will be distributing clean air through a clean air filter. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits you’ll enjoy following a fall furnace or AC tune-up is decreased utility bills. An overworked HVAC system must work more to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been expertly tuned can take less energy to guarantee indoor comfort. Because your heating system operates more efficiently, it will deliver superior heating at lower cost than you otherwise may have had through the winter season.

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 run between 8-18 years before you will need to replace the old one. 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 break the bank. Frequently 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 middle of winter 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.

 

Contact Us