Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A scheduled check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the frostier months, now is the best time to ensure your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the winter months.

Among the leading ways to prevent a breakdown and make sure it runs as it should is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like any mechanical equipment, the 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 issues 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 take a look at all the various components to ensure there aren’t any ruptures 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties require routine HVAC maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can actually result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever stop working in the middle of winter. Always get all you can from your warranty by making sure it stays valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Sunbeam 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 forgotten, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dusty air filters can lead to a number of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
  • running
  • Restricted airflow
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Increased energy bills
If you pull 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 swap it out. 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 swapped out. Read the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is designed 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 higher than 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 that.
  • When first moving over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure 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 boost 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 result in failed 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 inspection 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 functioning parts. Your furnace tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure regulating. As part of your tune-up, adjustments should be made to the pilot and gas pressure if needed to return these elements to the designed specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be replaced at least every three months, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • Written assessment. Credible 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 determine the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.

4. Does the Furnace Have Electricity?

Switch the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to function. If the fan does come on, power is working right, but if it doesn’t, your furnace may not be getting 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 couple of minutes to see if it helps to turn 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 on a daily basis. If the drain lines aren’t clear and open, the furnace will shut down.

7. Check Vents for Blockage


If you have 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 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 unit, identifying areas of concern. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a bigger 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 equipment 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 lower utility bills. A neglected 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 guarantee 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 a valuable 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 replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the top reasons for earlier replacement HVAC systems before 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 force an early withdrawal you’re your 401k. Often 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 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.

 

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