With chilly weather right around the corner, it’s time to fire up the furnace. But before you do, have you scheduled a furnace tune-up yet?
What is a furnace tune-up? During this service, a professional HVAC technician will check out the unit and clean, adjust, and repair critical components to ensure problem-free heating all season long. Preventive maintenance also extends the lifespan of the equipment and reduces the likelihood that it will need expensive repairs.
At Georgia Air Cooling & Heating, we’re proud to be the trusted source for the most reliable heating repair in Pooler, GA. We help local homeowners stay warm and cozy on the coldest days with professional services that keep their furnaces working efficiently. That includes providing regular maintenance.
Why Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up Every Year?
Many customers ask why they need to have the furnace serviced every fall before the heating season begins. After all, if the furnace seems to run fine and produce heat, is there a need to invest time and money in a service visit?
The short answer is that an annual furnace tune-up is a vital task for several reasons.
Reduce Wear and Tear
Furnaces must withstand a great deal of wear and tear under normal circumstances. If there’s a problem somewhere in the machinery, it can put more strain on other components and cause even more wear. This excess strain can eventually lead to a breakdown and the need for potentially expensive repairs.
The older your heating system, the more likely it is to have issues. An annual furnace tune-up can help catch trouble before it leaves you in the cold.
Damage or malfunctioning parts inside your furnace can put your family in danger — and not just from cold temperatures inside your home. For example, if the heat exchanger develops a crack, the furnace can release harmful carbon monoxide into living areas and sicken your family.
During a regular maintenance appointment, the technician will identify potential safety concerns and either make repairs or recommend further work or a replacement. You gain peace of mind knowing that your furnace is safe to operate and won’t put your family and home in danger.
During a furnace tune-up, the technician conducts tests to ensure air moves freely throughout your home without restrictions or limitations. Proper airflow ensures comfort and that the furnace doesn’t have to work harder than necessary, which can shorten its lifespan or lead to malfunctions.
HVAC technicians also perform calibrations and cleanings to ensure that the furnace produces the right temperature and doesn’t have to work too hard to achieve it.
Better Air Quality
Cleaning the furnace and changing the air filter, two tasks typically included in a furnace tune-up, can remove dust and other contaminants from the system and improve the overall air quality in your home.
Maintain the Manufacturer’s Warranty
If your heating system still has warranty protection, the manufacturer may stipulate regular professional maintenance and record-keeping as part of the coverage requirements. Skipping annual furnace tune-ups could void the warranty and leave you on the hook for the cost of any repairs or a replacement if something goes wrong.
A Furnace Tune-Up Checklist
Now that you know why you need a furnace tune-up, you may still wonder, “What is a furnace tune-up, exactly? What does the technician do during the visit to keep the furnace in top condition?”
During a typical maintenance visit, the technician follows a checklist of tasks.
- Airflow testing, including static pressure tests, checking duct connections, and testing the voltage and current
- Blower compartment tests and cleaning to remove airborne dirt and dust from the blower wheel to ensure it works efficiently
- Calibrate the thermostat
- Perform carbon monoxide testing
- Check the connections to oil or gas lines
- Check the fan belt tension and adjust when necessary
- Clean and adjust the burners for maximum fuel efficiency
- Clean the furnace’s interior and exterior
- Electrical inspection and testing to check connections and tighten wires to prevent costly malfunctions
- Inspect and clear the condensate lines and drain if needed
- Inspect the heat exchanger
- Lubricate moving parts like motor bearings
- Inspect the pilot light to ensure it functions properly
- Test and inspect the exhaust system
- Test the gas pressure and adjust it when necessary
- Test the ignition system
- Test system controls
- Replace the air filter (or clean a reusable filter) to preserve energy efficiency and indoor air quality
Ultimately, the furnace tune-up helps ensure it operates efficiently and safely. It’s a good chance for you to ask questions and get advice from an experienced professional about how to get the most out of your heating system and save money. You’ll have a clear picture of your furnace’s condition and whether it needs additional attention.
During the service visit, the technician can also offer insight and suggestions for ways to improve your home heating system. They can help you determine whether you need an HVAC system upgrade or if a humidifier, dehumidifier, air purifier, or other equipment can help you feel more comfortable.
Don’t Skip Annual Furnace Maintenance
If you have a relatively new furnace, you might wonder, “What is a furnace tune-up going to do for me?” It’s common for homeowners to skip regular maintenance if they recently installed a new furnace or even if they had a visit last year.
Putting off regular maintenance isn’t a good idea. Regular maintenance is essential to extending the lifespan of your furnace. The average unit lasts about 15-20 years, but only if you care for it.
Skipping maintenance means that the components inside the furnace have to withstand additional wear and tear, which can result in a decline in performance, lowered efficiency, and breakdowns. Even if you didn’t make an appointment last year and never had any trouble, that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same luck this year. Every time the furnace kicks on, it stresses the internal components, which causes wear and tear that can eventually cause a breakdown.
Investing in preventive maintenance is significantly less expensive than buying a new furnace. Whether your heating system is only a year old or close to the end of its lifespan, an annual tune-up is the best way to keep it in good condition.
What to Expect During a Furnace Tune-Up
Most furnace tune-ups only take about an hour or two to complete. The overall condition of the furnace, how clean it is, and whether it requires any repairs or additional work determine the actual appointment length.
The cost of the visit varies as well, depending on the extent of the work, but the typical bill is just a few hundred dollars at most. Enrolling in a program like Georgia Air Cooling & Heating’s PeachCare Club can save money on routine maintenance, which includes two annual visits for inspections and tune-ups, as well as additional discounts.
Again, the expense of a furnace tune-up is much less than what you’ll pay for an emergency repair or brand-new system if your current one fails.
Other Tips to Keep Your Furnace in Top Condition
Preventive maintenance with a furnace tune-up every year is the best way to keep your furnace working reliably for decades, but you can do a few simple care tasks to help prevent problems.
- Change the air filter. Staying on schedule with air filter changes (usually every 60 to 90 days) maintains good airflow, so the furnace doesn’t have to work as hard to produce heat.
- Keep the area around the furnace clear. This is important for safety as well as maintaining good airflow.
- Make sure the thermostat is working. Be sure to install the thermostat out of direct sunlight and away from drafts so that it accurately senses the ambient temperature and doesn’t force the furnace to work harder than necessary.
- Keep vents open and unblocked. Closing vents to try and control the temperature in specific rooms or placing furniture and other items in front of them can cause a buildup of pressure in the ducts that can cause damage.
- Check the vents. Keeping the vents clean and free of debris or blockages protects your family from carbon monoxide buildup and ensures the furnace works as it should.
Trust Georgia Air Cooling & Heating to Keep Your Furnace Running
With help from the NATE-certified technicians of Georgia Air Cooling & Heating, you never need to worry about whether your furnace will keep your home toasty warm. When you schedule a preventive maintenance tune-up, you’ll know the condition of the equipment and have confidence that it will work perfectly all season without inconvenient breakdowns or other headaches.
We hope that this guide answered all your questions about “What is a furnace tune-up?” and helped you understand why you need to put an appointment on your calendar. To schedule a visit from one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members, call (912) 513-3741 or make an appointment online. We’re also here to help you with any issues you encounter during the heating season, like a soft lockout on a furnace or inconsistent heating, with the affordable and attentive service you expect from the local HVAC leaders.