A furnace tune-up is a regular maintenance service that ensures your appliance is operating at peak efficiency and performance. Furnace maintenance usually includes a system cleaning and then a closer inspection of various parts to see what may need to be adjusted or repaired.
Of course, keeping your furnace maintained is just one of the many costs of being a homeowner. However, what you pay for regular maintenance can save you money in the long run as it reduces the risks of costly issues down the road.
Read on to learn more about the average furnace tune-up cost and when to get one.
How Often Does Your Furnace Need a Tune-Up?
Furnace manufacturers recommend an annual furnace tune-up carried out by a qualified technician. Some manufacturers even have clauses in their warranties stating that any damage done to the appliance due to a lack of maintenance will not be covered.
Annual maintenance aside, there are also several signs that indicate a need for a tune-up:
- You can’t keep a comfortable temperature throughout your home. For example, one room is noticeably hotter or colder than the rest of the house.
- You notice a lot of dust buildup. If your home seems dustier than usual or there are visible dust particles coming from your vents, your furnace’s venting system may need to be cleaned.
- You’re hearing strange noises, like hissing, grinding, grating, clanging, humming, or machine-like groaning.
- Your utility bills have gone up higher than usual, particularly during the winter time.
- The air in your home never seems to get hot enough or reflect the temperature on your thermostat.
- The furnace’s pilot light is orange or yellow. (A normal pilot light should be blue).
- Your furnace consistently has short cycles. Short cycling is when the appliance keeps turning on and off without finishing a complete heating cycle.
How Much Does Furnace Maintenance Cost?
Regular furnace maintenance can run you anywhere from $100 to $500, costing around $300 on average. Generally speaking, electric furnaces tend to cost less maintenance-wise, while gas furnaces are the more expensive investments.
However, there are several factors that contribute to the ultimate cost of your furnace tune-up. For example, there’s the type of fuel the furnace uses, starting inspection costs, whether or not you need a filter change, the amount of cleaning it requires, and so on. Any repairs that are required will also come at an additional cost.
Let’s take a closer look at what goes into the costs of a furnace tune-up:
One of the biggest factors that determine the cost of your furnace’s maintenance is whether your furnace uses gas, electricity, or oil as fuel. All furnaces require an inspection and cleaning of parts, but only gas and oil furnaces require fuel line or tank inspections. Since there’s more work involved, the job tends to cost more.
Gas and oil furnace tune-ups can run you up to $200 or more, while electric will cost significantly less.
The inspection process is crucial in furnace maintenance. During inspections, a technician will carefully examine each working part of your furnace to ensure everything is functioning properly and that those parts will continue to function properly throughout the colder months.
A standard inspection of each system component plus the required diagnostic report of all the technician’s findings can cost between $70 and $130. An advanced inspection, also referred to as a full tune-up, includes the inspection, diagnostic report plus filter changes and basic system cleaning — which usually costs up to $200.
Cleaning costs will vary depending on how much cleaning actually needs to be done. A standard inspection does include some minor cleaning, a full tune-up will involve a much more in-depth cleaning. In other words, every part of the appliance and system will be cleaned.
Any parts that can be removed will be for cleaning and then put back in their place. This includes sensors and electrical components, all of which are very delicate. It should be noted that such an in-depth cleaning isn’t recommended annually along with the tune-up. However, it’s a good idea to request these types of cleanings every few years.
The cost of a detailed cleaning will vary based on the company you use.
The filters are designed to capture dust and dirt that circulates in your furnace and throughout your air ducts. To maintain your indoor air quality, they’ll need to be replaced regularly — this is especially important if anyone in your home has allergies or asthma or any other ailments.
The average cost of a furnace tune-up typically includes the cost of the filter replacement as it’s a fairly simple procedure. Most often, the homeowner can buy this filter and switch it out themselves according to the furnace manufacturer’s recommended schedule, which makes it much more convenient. Furnace filters usually cost anywhere between $10 and $30, depending on the brand and size requirements and whether or not you install it yourself.
Another large contributor to your furnace tune-up costs is the labor involved. The technician on the job must take the time to run through a tune-up checklist and ensure that everything is examined thoroughly as they clean and tune-up your furnace.
The labor can run between $75 and $125 per hour for the entire process, and the job usually takes an hour or two, assuming no repairs need to be made. If there are any issues requiring repairs, this will add to the total time it takes — and that’s on top of the repair costs.
What Happens if You Go Without Annual Furnace Maintenance?
It can be difficult for homeowners to notice that they’re having any real issues until it’s too late. That’s why it takes a trained professional to perform this annual maintenance to ensure everything is working properly and that any minor issues are repaired before they become major issues.
However, if you neglect to have your furnace inspected and maintained, you’ll likely end up with one or more of the following issues:
- Total failure of your home’s furnace. When various components break down and are left unchecked, your home’s entire heating system will break down. This means no more heat and you’ll have to buy a whole new furnace.
- Heating your home will become far more costly. Without proper maintenance, your furnace will have to use more energy to heat your home efficiently and consistently. The increase in energy consumption will directly cause your bill to increase.
- You’ll be at risk for a house fire. If you neglect your furnace, it can become a fire hazard. While this isn’t a very common thing, it’s a very real possibility as frayed wires are listed as the first reason why furnace fires start.
- You’ll have poor indoor air quality. Mold, dust, dirt, pollen — you name it, it’s circulating in your furnace and HVAC system. This is why it’s so important to change your furnace filter, to ensure that these pollutants aren’t passing through your home as you heat it.
Get Your Furnace Inspected Today
If you haven’t yet this year, it’s time to schedule a tune-up for your furnace. It’s the only way to avoid unnecessary expenses as well as a fire hazard.
At Aquarius Home Services, we perform 21-point furnace inspections that guarantee to keep your furnace in peak condition— so it won’t ever break down. Schedule your appointment today and receive $100 off the total cost!