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

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 prolonged with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. Also, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns before they become big problems and you end up breaking into your piggybank for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Plus, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to examine all the various parts 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 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 call for annual system maintenance to keep valid, so neglecting your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your furnace does ever breakdown in the middle of extreme temperatures. Be sure to get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with annual furnace system tune-ups from Winnipeg Supply 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. Dusty air filters can mean a host of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
  • working
  • Restricted airflow
  • Lower 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 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 most basic tasks that homeowners can do is take a look at 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 replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the best 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 running correctly 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 them all, 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 air ducts, 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 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 reduce friction between the operating parts. Your furnace tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure evaluation. As part of your tune-up, adjustments should be made to the pilot and gas pressure if needed to restore these elements to the designed specifications.
  • Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a common 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every three months, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational problems.
  • Written assessment. Quality 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 valuable information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and how you can lower your energy bills.

4. Is the Furnace Getting Electricity?

Change the thermostat to “on” from “auto” to force the fan to operate. If the fan comes on, power is working right, 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 (similar to 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 turns 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 each 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, examine if anything could be blocking the intake or exhaust. Be sure 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 routine professional tune-ups can help to reduce these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC technician will clean and check over your heating equipment, identifying areas of wear and tear. 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 system 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 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 functions 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 professional maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to perform 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 breathe a healthy sigh of relief 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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