The temperatures are dropping fast in Michiana. Before you crank up the heat this fall, be sure you’ve had your furnace inspected.
Whether you’ve had your furnace on for a few weeks or are holding out until you can see your breath indoors, you need to put a furnace tune up on your calendar. Why? There are plenty of reasons to get your furnace inspected annually-the most important being safety. However, there are many benefits to this simple, annual service.
What is a furnace tune up?
Much like an oil change on your car, your furnace needs some annual TLC to keep it running efficiently, safely, and to detect any potential problems. During a tune-up, a skilled technician will inspect the unit carefully, clean components that are prone to build-up, and test the unit to be sure it’s functioning properly.
Generally, you can expect your HVAC technician to perform the following steps:
- Clean blowers and fan blades of dirt and buildup
- Test burners, pilot light, thermostat
- Inspect wiring and check connections
- Check for overall wear-and-tear internally
- Check for safety issues
- Replace air filter if necessary
- Perform any minor repairs
Completing these steps each season will ensure your system can function optimally during the winter months.
Why get a furnace tune up?
Beyond just keeping it functional for the coming season, there are many other benefits to getting your furnace inspected annually.
Maintain Your Warranty
Manufacturers only uphold their warranties when a homeowner stays up-to-date on their annual inspections and maintenance. While it’s convenient to pass on a service appointment when your unit is working fine, an unexpected repair may end up costing more if you’ve skipped out on annual maintenance.
You might have the skills to troubleshoot your system on your own, but manufacturers generally require proof of service for warranty claims. This is why it’s important to read the fine print on your system’s warranty.
Avoid Breakdowns and Repairs
While you may not need to think about your furnace often, an annual tune-up can ensure you continue to have carefree comfort indoors.
Your furnace has a lot of parts that can wear out or degrade overtime. A skilled professional will be able to carefully examine internal parts that are prone to wear-and-tear to help prevent costly repairs in the future.
Save On Energy Costs
It’s estimated that the average household spends more than $2200 per year on energy bills. A furnace tune-up is a great way to increase the efficiency of your system to help reduce your annual energy bills. A poorly maintained furnace has to work extra hard to heat your home and in turn puts extra strain on your system, which may lead to further breakdowns and repairs.
Did you know that approximately 50,000 people visit the hospital due to carbon monoxide poisoning every year? When the temperatures drop, your furnace is working hard to heat your home, which may increase your risk of CO poisoning if your system isn’t functioning properly.
CO from heat sources like your home’s furnace can build up in enclosed spaces. People and animals can be poisoned or even die from breathing carbon monoxide gas.
Avoid a potentially fatal incident and have your system inspected annually by a qualified technician. Check the batteries in your CO detector every 6 months and if you don’t have a CO detector in your home, get one. You can learn more about preventing and recognizing carbon monoxide poisoning here.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
A furnace tune up will include a thorough cleaning of fans and blowers and the changing of your air filter, if necessary. This will prevent dust, debris, and allergens from circulating in your home, which can be especially troublesome during the winter months when your home is closed up.
Signs it’s time to replace your furnace
Generally, a furnace can last up to 20 years if it’s well-maintained. Performing regular services, like a seasonal tune-up, can help your furnace last longer. If your furnace is older, annual maintenance becomes event more important as your technician will be able to alert you that your furnace needs repairs or needs to be replaced before it becomes an emergency (like a breakdown in the middle of winter).
Some signs that your furnace may be ready for an upgrade:
- Repair costs are becoming greater and more frequent
- Energy bills are increasing more than normal
- Your system runs constantly
- You have uneven temperatures in your home
- Unusual smells or sounds
- Poor indoor air quality
The pros at Legacy recommend researching high-efficiency models if an upgrade is something you’re preparing for. You can learn more about these modern systems here.
When is the best time to get a tune up?
The early fall is typically the best time to get your furnace inspected. Not only will it be ready if the temperatures drop suddenly, you can be sure to get a convenient appointment before the busy season begins. However, any time before you start using your furnace heavily is a great time to get a trusted tech in for a service visit.