Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up? Published on February 16, 2015 Updated 12/21/17 A regular check-up for your furnace is about as exciting as it sounds. However, as we approach the less-popular winter months, now is the ideal time to guarantee 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 efficiently is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like most mechanical equipment, the working 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 concerns before they become big problems and you end up cashing out for emergency rates on a cold winter night. Also, because furnaces burn fuel to make it hot, it’s important to examine all the various components 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 when it’s not making that odd rattling noise you’ve been ignoring, 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 routine equipment maintenance to keep valid, so missing your tune-ups can possibly result in losing your furnace warranty, which can be major money if your system does ever breakdown in the middle of a cold snap. Be sure to get all you can from your warranty by ensuring it’s valid as long as possible with yearly furnace system tune-ups from Hammond Plumbing. 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. Dirty air filters can cause a host of comfort issues for homeowners, including: operating Restricted airflow Decreased 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 more than likely 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 replaced. Check 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 check 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 swapped out your thermostat’s battery, now is the best time to do it. When first going over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to make sure that it is working 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 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 broken blower motors, mold or mildew in your 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. 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 reduce friction between the moving parts. Your system 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 as needed to return these elements to OEM specifications. Filter replacement. A comprehensive furnace tune-up should include a standard 1” filter replacement with your service. Most furnace filters need to be swapped out at least every 90 days, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational glitches. Written assessment. Professional HVAC companies will also give you their analysis in writing or on the receipt with your tune-up, including their professional maintenance suggestions for the next year. This valuable information can help you figure out the current condition of your furnace and outline ways to lower your energy bills. 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 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 concern. They can identify failing parts in need of replacement before they become a serious problem. A tune-up alone may instantly improve energy efficiency by up to 30%. You’ll also enjoy cleaner air and a cleaner house because your HVAC unit 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 lower utility bills. A poorly-maintained HVAC system must work more to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been professionally 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 expensive investment with a limited lifetime. Depending on use, with regular maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to last between 8-18 years before you will need to install a new one. However, poor maintenance is one of the main reasons for earlier replacement HVAC systems before 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 cost a limb. Often we have special offers in your local area that you can run wild with. It’s best to take action now and be prepared than to regret it during the first visit Jack Frost makes this year when your furnace isn’t working. 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.