Tips & Resources
An annual furnace tune-up may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, when considering the costs associated with a new furnace, high monthly energy bills and unexpected or emergency repairs, the relatively low cost of furnace maintenance becomes much more reasonable.
Make sure the tune-up you are getting is thorough and, at a minimum, consists of these of basic steps:
The technician is trained to spot signs of trouble such as cracks, excessive wear and tear, corrosion and leaks, and will also check the air filter and make sure there is proper ventilation. Identifying an issue early can mean the difference between a minor repair or expensive one following a breakdown.
Equipment that is damaged, broken or poorly vented can create safety hazards including carbon monoxide poisoning. The inspection should include the furnace exhaust outlet in the chimney or direct vent pipe section to check for broken components and cracks and also include the fuel pressure, airflow and the pilot or ignition.
Safe and efficient operation also requires clean burners with proper ignition. The technician will make sure that the burners are free of dust and debris that can build up over the summer months and that the flame is burning consistently and cleanly.
This should include the outdoor unit, blower, fan blades and drain line which get dusty and dirty over time as well as the indoor components.
A special lubricant is applied every few years to prevent the motor parts from drying out and becoming damaged.
Starting the season with a new air filter, and then replacing it every 30 to 90 days as needed, is a crucial step in keeping your furnace running smoothly for years.
Your annual fall maintenance appointment is the perfect time to test the carbon monoxide detector and should be on your technician’s checklist.
The technician will make any necessary adjustments to return your system to proper specifications for efficient and trouble-free operation throughout the winter.
A written analysis including professional maintenance recommendations for the year should be part of the annual inspection and service.
The tune-up itself can improve the function and efficiency of your furnace, which translates into fewer repairs, no unexpected breakdowns, lower energy costs and a longer life for your system.