You might take a few things for granted in our modern world of wonders.
Twist a sink handle and clean, safe water flows forth. Flick a switch and the room lights up, no flame needed.
Arrive home on a cold day and step into a warm…wait – it is freezing in here.
A furnace may be a very important part of your life, but chances are it works so well that you never think about it. These marvels are certainly designed and built to run like strong workhorses for many years, yet they need some occasional care to keep up their reliable reputations.
In this article, you’ll discover the reasons why you need a furnace tune-up and what the process looks like.
How Can I Keep My Furnace in Good Shape?
These complex machines need regular maintenance to help ensure they run at full efficiency and carry on their day-and-night work throughout a long life. Overlooking this need paves the way for heating system components to work harder than necessary, electric bills to rise, furnace lifespan to shorten, and possible system failure.
Schedule professional maintenance on a regular basis to keep your furnace humming along in a healthy, efficient shape.
Why Is a Furnace Tune-up So Important?
Those who ignore the need for furnace maintenance before the cold-weather season begins may not realize the full extent of potential benefits:
Refresh Internal Components
Your furnace is consistently drawing in large amounts of air, filtering and heating it, then blowing it back into your home. Moisture can work its way into your system from condensation or humidity. This dampness, and the microbial growth it may foster, may collect on system components and lead to corrosion, a drop in efficiency, reduced system lifespan, and possible breakdowns. Regular professional inspection and maintenance provide a thorough means of controlling pollutant buildup.
Inspections allow technicians to monitor possible issues that can develop slowly over time and take preventative action as needed. This helps to avoid premature problems and system failure during those cold periods when you need that furnace the most.
Furnace tune-ups are usually required to keep your furnace warranty valid, too.
Although it makes for dull reading, take a look at your system’s manufacturer warranty – the documentation may indicate that maintenance performed by a licensed HVAC technician is a key part of the warranty conditions. While a system is under warranty, nobody wants to pay for repairs simply because basic warranty requirements were not met.
Help Keep Your Home Safe
Regular furnace tune-ups will greatly reduce the odds that you will return home from a trip and discover…a frozen home. If that heater stops working during a sharp cold snap, you may face frozen or burst pipes, water damage, or worse.
Additionally, carbon monoxide leaks are a potentially fatal malfunction that can be avoided with repeated care of your system.
Neglected furnaces may rebel against you by heating and distributing air unevenly, and they may present unwanted odors and noises. A furnace tune-up will keep your system happy and well-behaved.
The U.S. Department of Energy indicates that properly maintained furnaces running at peak efficiency can drop utility bills by as much as 30%. Just as a vehicle needs regular care to run efficiently and consume less fuel, your furnace needs the care to avoid wasting energy and dollars.
Keeping your system in well-maintained shape may also cut your chances of a costly breakdown by as much as 95%.
Provide Thermostat Assistance
Your thermostat has probably become such an everyday fixture that you do not pay any more attention to it than a doorknob.
Consider asking your technician about it – today’s devices have powerful features to sense current occupancy and to program personal comfort and energy efficiency settings that can change throughout the day.
What Will Happen During Furnace Tune-ups?
Generally, the technician will examine your furnace’s function during different modes of operation, then cut off its gas and electric supply to begin inspection and cleaning.
When complete, many providers will supply a written recap of all test and inspection results and perhaps give recommendations.
The service call may:
- Ensure proper thermostat function
- Verify filter is clean, replace if needed
- Measure air temperature at strategic points in the home while the furnace operates in heating mode
- Verify temperatures in compliance with the manufacturer specifications
- Inspect gas valve, adjust as needed
- Examine burner, crossover, cleaner, and clean components
- Inspect, clean, and tune the pilot light system in older furnaces
- Verify heat exchanger has no holes, cracks, or leaks
- Ensure air inlet and vent are not obstructed
- Examine and clean the blower, blower motor
- Verify furnace support structure shows no sags, cracks, or gaps
- Ensure there is no evidence of burned wire or excessive temperature
- Inspect ducts and flue
- Verify no leaks in the gas line, fuel-supply components
Can I Do Anything Besides Schedule Maintenance Service?
Why, yes you can. Every furnace has some type of filter – perhaps just one in the blower cabinet, maybe one in a separate cabinet external to the furnace. These simple mesh-like objects play a critical role in the functioning of your system.
Improve Air Quality Indoors
Filtration removes pollutants from the air flowing into your furnace system. Hair, dust, debris, and other pollutants are trapped within the mesh and will not continue to float through your home.
Protect the Furnace System
Your furnace constantly circulates air throughout your home. As pollutants are pulled in, they will quickly build up on machinery parts like the burners, blower motor, and heat exchanger if not trapped by a filter.
These sentinels are quite effective at halting unwanted particles – yet their mesh material can only hold a limited amount of pollutants. Replacing filters regularly will help keep your system in good shape and prevent it from working too hard to accomplish its job.
Your furnace is a major, complex piece of equipment considered by most of us to be utterly critical to comfortable living. Treat it with the care it deserves by contacting us for professional, regular service.