Scheduling an Annual Furnace Tune-Up and Maintenance

Despite using their furnace daily throughout the heating season, many homeowners don’t think about what it takes to keep it running – until it quits on what seems to be the coldest day Minnesota has seen all year. When a furnace does quit working, it is typically because of the lack of proper maintenance and upkeep.

Just like your car, your furnace needs regular tune-ups. You probably use your car nearly every day, and you wouldn’t wait more than a year to have the vehicle serviced because you know it’s important for safety and to keep the vehicle running properly. The same goes for your furnace whether you have oil, gas or electric: routine maintenance and upkeep is vital to the quality of performance and level of safety of your furnace.

Why It’s Important

Safety
When it comes to your furnace, safety is the key. If your home uses a gas furnace, it’s especially important to have it inspected at least once a year. If not properly maintained and inspected, you could be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced from the burning of fossil fuel. Common carbon monoxide sources are often oil or gas-powered furnaces and wood-burning stoves.

A professional inspection will include a check of the carbon monoxide levels produced by your furnace. This is particularly important if you own an older unit with heat exchangers susceptible to cracking.

In addition to carbon monoxide concerns, a professional tune-up will include an inspection of the furnace for loose wires or signs of corrosion, burning or exposed metal along insulated wires. If your furnace is gas powered, a thorough inspection of the gas line might also be a good safety measure. The line should be inspected for leaks and the current pressure should be evaluated. Gas pressure that is too high can lead to a an increased risk for carbon monoxide poisoning and can also cause the unit to over fire and use more gas than is really needed.

Efficiency
If your furnace isn’t running efficiently, it’s costing you money. Professional tune-ups can help improve the performance and efficiency of your furnace significantly.

No matter the type of furnace you have, to run smoothly, regular cleaning and upkeep is a must. A professional is equipped with the experience and knowledge to identify weaknesses in the unit’s components as well as potential problems that can lead to future breakdowns. While more modern units require less attention and maintenance than their older counterparts, their increasingly complex electrical components do typically require the expertise of a service professional in order to be assessed and cleaned properly.

Regular maintenance not only helps you avoid unexpected breakdowns, but it also can significantly improve the life of the unit. With annual tune-ups, your furnace can afford you more years of reliable comfort.

What You Can Do
Changing your air filter is one of the most common and important types of maintenance you can do on your own. Your air filter should be changed every 1-3 months, depending on the kind.  A clean air filter can play a powerful role in how efficiently your furnace runs. When an air filter is dirty, your unit has to work much harder to warm your home. The harder it works, the more money you spend in energy costs.

If your furnace seems to be running just fine, scheduling an annual tune-up might seem like an unnecessary expense.  With Minnesota’s frigid and unforgiving winter already knocking at our doors, the peace of mind and improved comfort you get from a tune-up is well worth your time and money both now and in the long run.

Contact your One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning specialists online today for questions or to request an appointment.

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