Are Annual Furnace Tune-ups Really Necessary?
No one wants to shell out dough if they don’t need to.
So when homeowners hear furnace contractors talk about annual furnace tune-ups and maintenance, they ask, “If my furnace is working fine, do I really need a furnace ‘tune-up’ each year? What’s involved in a tune-up that I can’t do myself?”
Great questions. Let’s tackle both.
Are furnace tune-ups needed each year?
Needed, no. Recommended, yes.
Think of it like changing oil in a car. Do you absolutely need to have the oil changed at every 3000 miles exactly? No, but it is recommended because running the car beyond those miles increases the chance of trouble.
What kind of trouble do you run into when you don’t get annual furnace maintenance? You’ll have:
1) Higher utility bills
Without maintenance, dust and other debris builds up on your furnace parts, causing it to work inefficiently.
For example, if the heat exchanger has a layer of dust, it won’t transfer heat well to your home’s air, causing the furnace to run longer to heat your home.
Another example: If dust builds up in the blower fan, it struggles to circulate air, running up your electricity bill.
2) Greater chance for failure
Everything we listed above also contributes to a higher chance of furnace failures including:
- Blower motor burnout
- Cracked heat exchanger
3) Voided parts warranty
Many manufacturers require furnace maintenance, otherwise your parts warranty is void. After all, why would they pay to replace a part that wasn’t taken care of?
What’s involved in a furnace tune-up/maintenance visit?
Depends on who you ask. What’s provided in furnace maintenance varies from contractor to contractor.
But for an unbiased source for what SHOULD be included, check out ENERGY STAR’s maintenance checklist. Use it as a reference for what contractor should provide in their maintenance service.
As you can see, it’s a lot of work the average homeowner can’t (nor wouldn’t) want to tackle.
Here’s a list of what we provide for furnace maintenance to:
- Ensure all parts are working properly (blower, burners, etc.)
- Test the gas pressure
- Clean the burners
- Inspect electrical components and connections
- Voltage/amp/ohm check
- Check heat exchanger for rust, cracks and corrosion
- Test and inspect the carbon monoxide alarm
- Ensure that there’s proper airflow and temperature rise
- Check the thermostat to make sure it’s working properly
Furnace maintenance that YOU can do
Do yourself a huge favor and inspect your furnace air filter once a month and change it if it’s dirty, like this:
If you don’t change it, then, “A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure.” according to ENERGY STAR.
Best time of year to get furnace maintenance
The best time of year to get furnace maintenance is fall. Once winter comes, contractors get busy and you may not get maintenance at a time that’s convenient for you.
Do you live in Minnesota and need furnace maintenance?
We’ve got you covered. Schedule a tune-up today.