Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

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 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 like a lean machine 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 working efficiently. Plus, regular cleanings can help pinpoint concerns before they become big problems and you end up paying emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, because furnaces burn fuel to provide the heat, it’s important to inspect all the various parts to ensure there aren’t any splits or leaks that could impact the safety of your family. 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties necessitate yearly HVAC maintenance to stay valid, so skipping your tune-ups can sometimes result in losing your heating system warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever malfunction 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 annual furnace system tune-ups from Broad Ripple 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 overlooked, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dusty air filters can lead to a variety of comfort issues 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 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 swapped out. Read 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 above the current indoor temperature.
  • If you can’t remember the last time you changed your thermostat’s battery, now is the ideal time to do so.
  • 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.
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 lead to failed blower motors, mold or mildew in your 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. 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 equipment tune-up should include a complete lubrication.
  • Pilot and gas pressure adjustment. As part of your tune-up, corrections may 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. Most furnace filters need to be changed at least every 90 days, which can enhance efficiency and prevent operational complications.
  • 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 coming year. This valuable information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and what can be done to 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 correctly, but if it doesn’t, your furnace could be lacking power.

5. Is the Furnace Switch Functioning Properly?


All furnaces have a power switch (that resembles a light switch) either on the furnace or on a nearby wall. Flip the switch and wait a few minutes to see if the furnace starts working. Also confirm that 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. Check 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. Confirm the surrounding region 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 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 control these factors. During your tune-up, your HVAC 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 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 home because your HVAC equipment will be distributing clean air through a clean air filter. Perhaps one of the best 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 guarantee 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 coldest months of the year.

A Longer-Lasting HVAC System

Your HVAC system is an expensive investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with regular maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to run 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 ahead of 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. Frequently we have special offers in your local area that you can take advantage of.

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.

 

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