Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up?

February 16, 2015

Updated 2/27/19 
 
A regular check-up for your furnace isn’t always top of mind or convenient. However, as we approach the frostier months, now is the best time to guarantee your furnace is ready to provide you maximum comfort throughout the winter months.

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 life of a furnace will be extended with preventive maintenance, by ensuring that all the elements of the unit are working efficiently. In addition, regular cleanings can help pinpoint issues 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 provide the heat, it’s important to examine all the various parts 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 tune ups?


Most manufacturers’ warranties call for routine HVAC maintenance to keep valid, so skipping your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your heating or AC system warranty, which can be major money if your equipment does ever malfunction in the middle of a cold snap. Make sure you get all you can from your warranty by keeping it valid as long as possible with routine furnace system tune-ups from Jack Nelson 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. Dusty air filters can cause a host of comfort problems for homeowners, including:
  • working
  • Restricted airflow
  • Reduced efficiency
  • Bigger 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 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 changed. Check the filter packaging to see how long the new air filter is intended to be used.

2. Double check your thermostat.
  • One of the easiest tasks that homeowners can do is keep an eye on 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 replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the ideal 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 operating properly and heating your home’s air.
3. Open up your air vents.

There’s a common misconception that you can save money by shutting the vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t being used. Resist the urge to close all of them, as doing so can actually increase the pressure in your furnace, making it work harder to heat your home. This can cause broken 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 inspection to check all the working parts of your furnace and duct system. This is the best method for the technician to notify you of any components that are beginning to show signs of wear.
  • Lubrication. Mechanical equipment needs lubrication to prevent friction between the functioning parts. Your furnace 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 reestablish these elements to manufacturer 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 third month, which can improve 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 proposal for the next year. This insightful 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 turns on, power is working correctly, 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 (that resembles a light switch) either on the furnace or on a wall close by. 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 each day. If the drain lines aren’t clear and open, the furnace will shut down.

7. Examine 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 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 a variety of issues, 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 expert 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 could 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. 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 maintain indoor comfort. Because your heating system functions 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 install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the top reasons for earlier replacement HVAC systems ahead of end of average life expectancy.

If you’re wondering how much a furnace tune up costs, you can relax knowing it’s not going to break the bank. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run.

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.

 

Contact Us