A pre-emptive check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. However, as we approach the colder months, now is the best time to make sure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the cold season.
Among the leading ways to reduce furnace breakdowns and make sure it runs as it should is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace
. Just like all mechanical equipment, the working life of a furnace will be prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are running efficiently. In addition, 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 examine all the various pieces to ensure there aren’t any cracks or leaks that could impact the safety of your household. 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 system maintenance to remain valid, so skipping your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever stop working in the middle of a cold snap. Always get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Rolf Griffin.
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. Dusty air filters can cause a host of comfort annoyances for homeowners, including:
- Restricted airflow
- Lower efficiency
- Higher 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 get a new one. If it’s a simple disposable air filter, just replace it with 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 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 keep an eye on 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 ideal time to do that.
- When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure that it is running 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 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 air ducts, 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 examination to check all the working parts of your furnace and duct system. A qualified technician should be able to let you know if your equipment or individual parts are showing signs of wear during this review.
- Lubrication. Mechanical equipment needs lubrication to prevent friction between the functioning 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 return these elements to their original specifications.
- Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be replaced at least every three months, which can improve 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 proposal for the next 12 months. This insightful information can help you determine the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.
Shift the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. If the fan comes on, power is working correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace might not be receiving power.
5. Is the Furnace Switch Working Properly?
All furnaces have a power switch (just like 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 helps to turn 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 every day. If the drain lines are clogged with dirt and debris, 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. Be sure the surrounding region 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 many factors, 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 unit, identifying areas of concern. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a bigger 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 unit 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 diminished utility bills. An overworked HVAC system must work overtime to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been expertly tuned can take less energy to maintain 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 coldest months of the year. 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 replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the main reasons for early 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. Sometimes 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 isn’t working. 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.