While homeowners count on their furnaces to keep their homes warm and comfortable during the cold winter months, many do not take the important step of scheduling professional furnace maintenance before the cold weather sets in each year. Routine maintenance may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it will most likely save you money over the life of your system. Many manufacturers require annual maintenance as part of the warranty.
Benefits of annual maintenance
- Uncover and address problems
Even small problems can lower the efficiency of your furnace and decrease its performance. A part that is beginning to wear will go unnoticed without regular inspection. A technician performing regular tune-ups, however, will be able to discover any defects and suggest solutions before the problem gets worse, and consequently more expensive to address.
- Prevent breakdowns
Catching problems or potential problems early greatly decreases the chance that your furnace will break down when you need it. Not only is a repair call in the middle of winter more expensive, it is far more inconvenient. To prevent unexpected breakdowns, schedule your maintenance appointment at your convenience in the fall, before the cold weather sets in. During the heating season, technicians are far busier, with less availability to meet your scheduling needs.
- Extend system life
Regular maintenance keeps your system in peak working order, which ensures that it will keep performing for many years, whereas neglecting maintenance will likely shorten the life of your furnace.
What to expect
- Thorough inspection
Your annual maintenance appointment should include an extensive examination. The technician will thoroughly inspect all the components, from the air filter, to the flame sensor, vent system, heat exchanger, burners, blower, and even the electrical wire. Some furnace components can become safety hazards if they are not working properly. If the flame sensor malfunctions and doesn’t shut the furnace off in the event the flame goes out unexpectedly, carbon monoxide or other gases could create a dangerous, even deadly, situation.
- Thorough cleaning
As your HVAC system circulates air throughout your home, dust, dirt and other debris can end up inside the furnace. This can happen even if you change the filter regularly, but it will definitely happen if you don’t. Dirt prevents the furnace from operating at peak efficiency and, over time, can cause parts to strain and eventually break. Your technician will thoroughly clean the entire system. This, along with changing the filter, will not only keep your system working properly, it will improve your indoor air quality as well.