How Often Should A Propane Furnace Be Serviced?

Getting proper heating during the winter months is a blessing. You get to rest at home at a comfortable temperature. But, like most things, furnaces need maintenance. How often should your propane furnace be serviced? If that's your concern, we've researched the matter for you! 

HVAC contractors recommend getting your propane furnace serviced twice a year, preferably in the fall and spring. However, if you're not keeping track, you should at least get it serviced once a year. You can benefit a lot by getting it checked annually. Sometimes you might be able to catch problems early. 

What exactly does getting your propane furnace serviced do? Is it better for the long term? What if you skip out on getting it checked annually? These are some aspects to take into consideration. We cover these issues and more further ahead.

A propane furnace control panel on repair, How Often Should A Propane Furnace Be Serviced?

The General Furnace Servicing Recommendation

Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home during the winter months is great! But, you'll only have to use the furnace for three months or so. The rest of the year, it won't be used as heavily. 

So, this might make you wonder if getting a propane furnace serviced matters. After all, you need to pay out of pocket to get it checked annually. And, depending on where you live, it can cost anywhere from $99 to $300. 

Technician checking the propane furnace

There is some truth to the argument above. If your propane furnace is new, it's generally acceptable to have it serviced every other year. The reason is that there shouldn't be any worry about performance in its first few years of running. 

However, as your furnace gets older, HVAC professionals recommend getting it serviced annually. And once it reaches 10-15 years of use, you might need to get it serviced more frequently. 

Why You Should Have Your Propane Furnace Serviced

A technician repairing the propane furnace

While it might seem like a viable option to get it serviced every other year, there are various reasons why you might want to get it serviced annually. Most would think you should get it serviced during the winter season, but some HVAC contractors recommend getting it serviced during the off-season. 

Let's go over why that would be the case.

Catch Problems Ahead of Time

The first reason you would want to get it serviced during the off-season is less competition. When temperatures begin to drop, it's more likely that other people face a similar situation like yours. They're picking up the phone to get their propane furnace serviced during the winter months. 

So, you can imagine that the HVAC professionals would be busy during this season. In the worst case, if there's a problem with getting your furnace running, you might have to wait longer to get someone to come to fix the problem. 

By taking care of this during the off-season, you give yourself some buffer time to catch issues before you start relying on the furnace.

Ensure Safe Use

Of course, one of the benefits of using propane instead of the alternatives is that it burns cleanly and safely. However, if there are blockages or cracks on components, you might be putting yourself in danger. For example, one user found that their flue pipe had an opening. 

As a result, carbon monoxide made its way into their home. In general, you wouldn't have to worry about carbon monoxide when using a propane furnace. But if there's a problem with the combustion process, it can produce it! 

Thus, instead of waiting for the last minute to get your furnace checked, getting it serviced annually can prevent a situation like this from happening. 

Maintain Efficiency

It's no secret that your propane furnace will generally run less efficiently as the years pass. After use and when you're not using the propane furnace, there will be a buildup of dust in the air filters. And, if you're not getting your furnace serviced annually, the dust and debris from last year's usage are still there. 

Getting it cleaned will ensure it runs more efficiently. So, you wouldn't expect to see a rise in your energy bills if the conditions outside are roughly the same. 

One could argue that this aspect isn't as essential as the others because you can do this yourself, and you'd be technically correct. However, you'd be wrong too. Cleaning isn't the only thing HVAC contractors do when they service your propane furnace. 

The only way you'd be doing the same job is if you are an HVAC contractor yourself. 

Prolong the Life of Your Propane Furnace

To piggyback off of the point above, you're also prolonging the life of your propane furnace. Running it dirty for years without noticing will only wear it down faster. Getting annual checks will ensure the furnace will run for the long haul. 

You can think of it like a dentist's appointment—but for your furnace! It's not a requirement to get your teeth checked and cleaned up every six months. This case is especially so if you're on top of your responsibilities. But, on the off chance that they have a problem, it makes the visit worthwhile. 

If you're not convinced yet, let's look at some user experiences! In one instance, an HVAC professional found a gas leak while inspecting the furnace. Another homeowner skipped the annual checkup and had to wait for parts while temperatures were dropping. 

The rest seem to agree that getting the furnace serviced annually brings them peace of mind. This way, they know it's is running without a problem. However, this experience may vary because you can't guarantee you'll get quality service from every HVAC contractor. 

How Much Does It Cost To Service a Propane Furnace?

The cost of getting your furnace serviced will depend on several factors. In general, you can expect to pay around $100 to $300 or more. You're more likely to see the lower side if maintenance is a priority.

However, if you get it serviced every other year, you might need to pay more for repairs if they find any problems. In some cases, it could cost cheaper than $100 because of deals an HVAC contractor might offer. But, in most cases, you can expect to see the range mentioned above. 

What Is Included in a Propane Furnace Servicing?

Another reason people are hesitant to get their furnace serviced is that they don't see the value that they're getting. Some would argue that you could do the inspection yourself. Of course, you'd need to learn what they do during this visit.

That raises the question—what do they include in propane furnace servicing? For an accurate answer, you'd need to call your HVAC contractor and ask them to list the things they do during service calls. But in general, here's a list of things they would check for:

  • Analyze the combustion process
  • Check for gas leaks
  • Inspect components like the igniter, flame sensor, heat exchanger, etc.
  • Check the gas pressure
  • Inspect and clear the drain trap

How Do You Service a Propane Furnace?

As mentioned, servicing a propane furnace yourself can be a DIY job. So, what do you have to do? It's relatively simple as long as you know what to do. 

Before you begin, you need to shut off the power to the furnace. Make sure to turn the gas valve off too. 

A propane furnace control panel

The first thing they would check is the air filter. Depending on the filter the furnace uses, you'll most likely need to replace it. Finding a replacement should be easy, as the filter should have its dimensions written somewhere on the body. 

Next, you'll need to check the area of combustion. More specifically, HVAC technicians check the burners for signs of contaminants. In general, the burners should be free of any lint, dirt, or dust. 

You can move on to the safety devices and sensors. Inspect them for any signs of damage. The other inspections aren't easily doable by any homeowner. If you want to check combustion efficiency, you'd need a tool to do the reading. 

If you want a quick rundown of what an HVAC technician does during servicing, here's a YouTube video demonstrating what they look for:

How Often Should a Propane Furnace Be Inspected?

In general, if you want to ensure your propane furnace lasts a long while, it should be inspected once a year. Preferably, get it inspected before the winter season starts. This way, you can catch problems ahead of time.

Of course, sometimes it's hard to justify spending $100 or so for what seems like a short inspection. But you have to remember these are preventative actions. In the short term, the return might not be suitable for what you're paying. 

However, if you look at it for the long term, you're paying a fraction of what a repair would cost. In the worst case, the problem might even force you to get a new furnace! Would that seem better than forking over $100 annually? It wouldn't. 

Still, it's mostly a recommendation. You don't have to do it. But, it's better for you in the long run. Regardless, only you can tell what's best for your situation.

In Closing

A propane furnace control panel on repair

As a homeowner, there are so many things that you need to keep track of. Sometimes, getting your propane furnace serviced can slip your mind, and it's not the end of the world if this happens. However, you'll be glad you took the steps to ensure your furnace runs as long as it can!

We hope you found the information above helpful. Before you go, do you have other furnace concerns? Are you thinking about replacing one with a heat pump? If you'd like to learn the tradeoffs, check out this post:

Can A Heat Pump Replace A Furnace? [And How To]

Are you curious to know if you can run a natural gas furnace on propane? To find out more, check out this post:

Can A Natural Gas Furnace Run On Propane?

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