It’s important to ensure that your furnace is working well especially before the winter season arrives, since your furnace will most likely have to work overtime to keep you warm during the cold weather. A tune-up is necessary if you want to detect any potential issues and fix them before they cause any damage. The question is, how often should you schedule your furnace for a tune-up session?
The quick answer is at least once every year. Ideally, you schedule the tune-up in the fall since it’s right before the winter season when your furnace is expected to be put into heavy use. You’d want to make sure that your furnace is ready for maximum utilization once the cold weather sets in and you really need the heat to be optimized.
Going for an annual tune-up is a good way to protect your investment. Most furnaces have a clause in their warranties saying improper maintenance or negligence to take care of the unit can void the warranty. Additionally, by keeping your furnace regularly maintained and inspected, you can save a lot of money on repairs by avoiding significant damages and on energy bills by avoiding inefficiency.
Why a Furnace Tune-up is Always a Good Thing
According to HVAC companies, around 75 percent of customers who call in for inadequate heating during winter lack proper furnace maintenance. If a furnace isn’t properly maintained, it can accumulate small issues over time, leading to inefficient energy usage until it suddenly stops working due to excessive damages. When that happens, it’s going to cost even more in repairs because you’ll need to buy new parts to replace the damaged ones. It’s even worse if this happens in the winter, since your family will be left cold while waiting for repairs to finish, which won’t be quick since most shops that sell spare parts will be closed.
Unchecked furnaces can also present a health hazard for your household. Carbon monoxide leaks, for instance, can be lethal and are hard to detect due to the gas being odorless and colorless. Most people don’t begin to suspect a carbon monoxide leak until they feel the symptoms such as light-headedness, dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Around 500 people die every year due to significant exposure to carbon monoxide, with at least 15,000 needing emergency care to resolve the symptoms mentioned above.
How Much Do Furnace Tune-ups Usually Cost?
On average, a furnace tune-up costs between $60-85, including basic maintenance such as cleaning parts of the furnace and checking safety systems to ensure there won’t be any accidents due to heating. Of course, it’s best to be upfront with your furnace company by asking about their rates and services before committing to anything to make sure you’re on the same page. Asking for a direct quote on their professional fees is often helpful since a lot of HVAC companies include separate charges for some services, including small trip fees if they had to travel quite a distance to service your home.
When hiring a professional business for your furnace’s tune-up and maintenance, it’s important to check if their services include the following steps:
- Looking into your thermostat settings to see if your system is running properly
- Checking all electrical connections on your heating system, as well as testing voltage on the furnace’s components to detect any possible component failure in the near future
- Inspecting the condensate drain for any obstructions, and removing them as necessary
- Checking the system’s moving parts for fluidity, and applying lubrication if needed
- Examining the furnace’s start-up and shutdown controls to see if everything is operating as it should
- Checking the air filter’s conditions and replacing it if necessary
A Final Word on Taking Your Furnace for a Tune-up
Since your furnace is only set for a professional tune-up once a year, it’s on you to make sure it’s working properly the rest of the time. There are simple steps that you can take to keep the furnace working optimized without needing to add any professional skills, such as checking if the air filter is still working. You need to examine your air filter once every two to three months to check its activity. Many homeowners fail to detect that their air filter is already clogged, leading to higher energy coast because the furnace has to work harder than usual to provide heat. A clogged air filter can also cause health problems by restricting airflow inside the house, keeping contaminants inside instead of blocking them out.
For the best professional services regarding your HVAC system, you can always turn to All Year Sacramento. All Year is the number one HVAC service in the Sacramento area and is sure to provide you with the best customer experience both in terms of quality and affordability.
(Sources: Stay Comfy, Angie’s List, and FOX Business.)