Why Do You Need A Furnace Tune- Up? Published on February 16, 2015 Updated 12/21/17 A scheduled check-up for your furnace is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, as we approach the colder 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 prevent a breakdown and make sure it runs like a lean machine is with yearly scheduled tune-ups on your furnace. Just like all 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. In addition, regular cleanings can help pinpoint going 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 take a look at all the various components 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 require routine system maintenance to remain 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. Always get all you can from your warranty by keeping it valid as long as possible with routine furnace system tune-ups from Service Experts. 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 forgotten, but their importance to your home’s furnace efficiency cannot be overstated. Dirty air filters can mean a number of comfort issues for homeowners, including: running Restricted airflow Reduced efficiency Increased 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 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 replaced. 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 certain it is set to Heat and not Cool, and that the temperature setting is greater than the current indoor temperature. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your thermostat’s battery, now is the perfect time to do so. When first switching over to your heat setting, turn your thermostat up a few extra degrees to ensure 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 all of them, as doing so can actually increase the pressure in your furnace, making it work harder to heat your home. This can lead to 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. 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 evaluation. As part of your tune-up, adjustments should 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 normal 1” filter replacement with your service. Many furnace filters need to be replaced at least every 90 days, which can boost efficiency and prevent operational glitches. 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 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. 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 virtually eliminate these factors. During your tune-up, your maintenance technician will clean and check over your unit, identifying areas of corrosion. 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 poorly-maintained HVAC system must work much harder to heat and cool your home, while a furnace or air conditioner that has been professionally tuned can take less energy to maintain indoor comfort. Because your heating system operates 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 professional maintenance you can expect your furnace and air conditioner to last between 8-18 years before you will need to replace the old one. However, poor maintenance is one of the primary reasons for premature 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. Sometimes we have special offers in your local area that you can use to justify your next Starbucks run. It’s better 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.