If your house has a furnace, it's crucial for keeping your home warm during the winter months. Because of this, it's important to schedule regular maintenance checkups to ensure it is working and will keep working correctly. If you're planning a service for your furnace, you may be wondering what it will include. Well, we've done the research and have an answer for you!
Furnace services will include a technician who will:
- Check for any corrosion or damage
- Examine any electrical connections
- Clean and check the blower and air filter
- Examine the pilot light
- Inspect the airflow throughout the furnace
- Make sure all safety components are working correctly
- Lubricate any moving parts
Now you know the basic steps that will be taken during a furnace service, but keep reading as we elaborate on this further. We will also discuss why a service is important. Additionally, we will answer some other questions you might have about maintaining a furnace.
Why is a Furnace Service Important?
There are three main reasons a furnace service is important. It will prolong the life of the furnace, keep your family safe, and provide cleaner air in your home.
Prolonging The Furnace's Life And Maintaining Your Warranty
Getting regular services will ensure your furnace will run correctly and get the most out of its lifespan. Just like a vehicle, taking care of any issues with the furnace quickly and before they become dire, can prevent even bigger issues in the future.
Also, if you don't keep up with your furnace's maintenance, you may void your furnace's warranty, resulting in hefty bills for repairs should something go wrong.
Furnace services are not only important to keep your furnace running as long as possible, but they are also paramount in keeping your home safe for you and your family.
A dirty or damaged furnace can increase the risk of a fire in your home, and if you have a gas furnace, it's important to check that it isn't leaking carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning kills hundreds every year, so getting your furnace checked regularly can save lives.
If your furnace is dirty or its air filter needs replacing, you may be getting an influx of dust blown around your home. Getting regular tune-ups will ensure the furnace and its air filter are in top condition and provide your home with cleaner air.
When Should the Furnace be Serviced?
It is recommended that a service be performed on the furnace at least once a year. However, some companies recommend getting your furnace serviced twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall.
If you decide to just service your furnace once a year, it's best to do it right before the winter months, so you can be sure it will work properly during the colder part of the year.
The Service And What It Involves
Furnace services are very thorough processes. An HVAC technician will come to your home to inspect your furnace and ensure it is working safely and correctly. Let's discuss some of the tasks they will complete during the service.
Checking For Any Corrosion Or Damage
When an HVAC technician checks for corrosion or damage, they will primarily be looking at the heat exchanger.
The heat exchanger is where the byproducts of the fuel travel through. If the heat exchanger is broken or damaged, it can result in a carbon monoxide leak, which, as we mentioned earlier, can be deadly.
Damage to the heat exchanger can be difficult to notice, which is why it is important to get your furnace serviced frequently.
Examining Electrical Connections
This is a relatively self-explanatory part of the furnace's service but also very important. Furnaces move and vibrate, and this can cause the wiring to become loose.
The technician will check for any loose connections and tighten them appropriately. They will also check to make sure everything has the correct voltage output.
Cleaning And Checking The Blower And Air Filter
The blower will distribute the air from the furnace throughout your home. It is comprised of a fan and motor. The technician will likely check for any cracks in the fan and give it a thorough cleaning.
The air filter's job is to protect the blower, but a dirty air filter can also lead to a cracked heat exchanger. If your filter is dirty, the HVAC technician will change it for you.
How often should you change your furnace filters?
The frequency furnace filters should be changed depending on the type of filter you have installed. Filters that are one to two inches need changing every one to three months.
And you should change filters that are three to four inches every three to six months, while you need to change filters that are thicker than four inches yearly.
Examining The Pilot Light
Not all furnaces have pilot lights, but if yours does, the technician will examine it and clean the area around it if necessary. One of the main causes of a pilot light not staying lit is dirt.
Inspect The Airflow Throughout The Furnace
During the service, the technician will check that all areas that need airflow are clear of any restrictions. If the airflow is restricted, it can cause your furnace to work harder than necessary, leading to other maintenance issues.
Making Sure All Safety Components Work
We already touched on how a damaged furnace can cause a number of safety problems, so it's likely no surprise that the HVAC technician will be checking to make sure your furnace is as safe as it can be.
Furnaces are often equipped with many sensors to ensure that the furnace is operating safely. The technician will check that these components are working.
Lubricating Any Moving Parts
Finally, if your furnace has any moving parts, such as motor bearings, the technician will take the time to lubricate them. This will ensure they are able to keep moving while the furnace operates.
What is the Average Cost of a Furnace Tune-Up?
So we've talked about how important a furnace tune-up is and how often you should get one, but how much can you expect a tune-up to set you back? Well, it will depend on the type of furnace you have, but typically you can expect to pay between $100 and $200.
Some HVAC companies will offer monthly subscription plans that offer an annual service, and these range between $5-$20 a month.
How Do I Know if my Furnace Needs Cleaning?
During an annual service, your furnace will get a thorough cleaning, but there are some tell-tale signs you should look out for that might indicate you should schedule a cleaning sooner rather than later.
Lots of Dust
If you're noticing a lot more dust than usual, whether it's within the furnace itself or in your air, this is a sign your furnace needs cleaning. Dust build-up in the air filters can cause a plethora of issues with your furnace.
It's Working Harder Than Usual
When a furnace needs cleaning, it may struggle to maintain the heat that you want. The furnace may seem that it is working harder to obtain the temperature you want. You may even notice it making noises you haven't noticed before or that it's louder than usual.
You Notice A Strange Odor
You've probably noticed a smell whenever you've turned on your furnace each year. Often described as the smell of "heat," this odor is completely normal and shouldn't alarm you. However, if you notice any other burning smells, it's time to get a furnace inspection and cleaning.
You Don't Know When It Was Last Cleaned
Maybe the most obvious sign of all is that you can't quite remember the last time you cleaned it. Since you should get your furnace cleaned every year, you should be able to remember the last time you cleaned it f you're keeping to the schedule. If you can't recall when this was, it's time to call an HVAC technician for a tune-up.
How Long Does a Furnace Last?
Typically, a furnace will last at least 15 years and up to 30 years. In some rare cases, a furnace can last longer than 30 years, but on average, most will last around 20 years. To ensure you get the longest time from your furnace, it's important to keep up with the routine tune-up we've discussed in this post.
Hopefully, our article has helped you understand more of what's comes with a furnace tune-up and service. We also hope that our article has helped you realize the importance of maintaining routine tune-ups for your furnace. So, if you haven't scheduled a service yet, go ahead and do so! It's worth it!
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