If your home has a furnace installed, you may be wondering whether you need to schedule an annual tune-up. In short, yes. A yearly maintenance check of your heating and air conditioning system is going to help you to prolong its life while saving money on your energy bills. The cold weather hits every year – sometimes more than once – and you need to have an annual service to keep it in the best possible condition so that it doesn’t die on you when you need it the most.
Any professional HVAC contractor will tell you that a qualified technician must complete an annual inspection. Your furnace repair costs will depend on the level of maintenance required, and you need to ensure that you get your routine checks so that you don’t end up voiding your warranty before it’s up. It doesn’t necessarily mean that without the annual checkup your warranty will be voided; it just means that if you neglect your furnace, you could find yourself in a situation that could have been avoided with that annual appointment.
You wouldn’t miss going to the dentist because you believe your teeth are healthy: you’d have a professional check it over for you to make sure. Some HVAC contractors out there will recommend a two-yearly check because it’s better to be safe than sorry. Once yours is over 10 years old, those checks need to be annual to ensure that your furnace doesn’t have any issues.
What Annual Maintenance Includes?
There’s not a specific list that companies stick to for a tune-up with your furnace, so each company has their own way of doing things. If you are going to hire an HVAC contractor for furnace and heating repairs, you need to ask them what it will include. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the system repair issues that will be tackled on a normal annual inspection.
- Check for Gas Leaks and Test Safety Controls
- Blower access door goes through an inspection to ensure a tight seal is maintained at the furnace.
- Rust and corrosion checks on the heat exchanger
- Ignition, burner flame, burners, and flame sensors are all inspected for proper ignition.
- Blocks and leaks in the drainage system.
- Blower wheel and motor are to be checked and cleaned (when appropriate). All debris should be removed.
- Check the flue for proper draft and clearances.
- Corrosion and damage checks on the wiring.
- Filter check, which should be done more than once a year.
As well as this list, it’s essential to go through air pressure checks and temperature rise checks.
Do I Need a Professional for This?
Homeowners can do this themselves, but they need to know enough to know what to look for – which usually means that the homeowners that can complete these checks are also HVAC contractors, too! Your furnace technician should be comprehensive in their work, and they should be able to do more than just get rid of the dust.
Manufacturers recommend having your heating and air conditioning system serviced at least once a year by a certified HVAC professional.
You should always check what’s included in your furnace check before you hire anyone so that you know exactly what you’re paying for during your annual inspection.
Is It Worth the Money?
Yes. Absolutely. You need to think about the charges that a professional will put onto your inspection, and then what that will mean for your home safety. It’s not just safety, either, as the preventative maintenance that you achieve from your furnace inspection will sometimes catch an issue before it becomes a life or death situation.
Why You Need a Furnace Inspection?
Almost three-quarters of the calls about heating repairs and issues with the heating system in the winter are due to a lack of maintenance. A furnace that isn’t serviced regularly can stop working, freeze up and leave your family feeling the outdoor chill. Not only will you be left feeling the cold, but a furnace left to its own devices is a health hazard, and you risk carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon Monoxide is tough to detect because it’s colorless and you cannot smell it.
Five hundred people a year die because of exposure to carbon monoxide, which means that the money that you would spend on inspection could literally save your life. Choosing not to have your furnace inspected can make sure that you are running it less efficiently and increasing how much you pay for it. So, let’s take a look at a few reasons you should book your appointment today.
Annual servicing keeps you all safe and your house comfortable. Heating units can be run on fossil fuels like oil or natural gas, and if the furnace is not well-maintained, it can develop cracks and issues that can cause those fuels to leak. This is a huge safety risk and can lead to death.
Some heating and cooling systems on the market need you to have an annual certification so that your warranty stays valid. Not every furnace company needs this, but it’s always worth checking the small print just in case.
The winter months are particularly hard on a furnace, as it works harder to keep up with your heating needs. As your furnace is something that runs continuously in your home, you should be aware that the chances of a system failure are quite high. The worst possible time for failure is in the dead of a wintery night, so keep up with maintenance can be vital to your heating and keeps your furnace efficient.
4. Longer Life
As with anything, when you look after it, it lasts longer. Replacing a whole unit because you neglected it will cost you far more than the annual check you avoided!
5. Energy Savings
Poorly running furnaces use more energy to keep going, which can be noticed in your monthly energy bills. That annual checkup could save your wallet as well as your life!