Struggling with the headache of a malfunctioning furnace? Looking for an HVAC company to perform a thorough inspection? Call Georgia Air Cooling & Heating today at 912-200-6170!
Keeping your home comfortable all year round requires a fully functioning HVAC system to ensure ideal temperatures. When the reds and yellows of autumn shift into winter blues, you’ll need your furnace at top performance to keep you and your loved ones warm, which is why regular maintenance is critical.
But how often should a furnace be serviced, and how does one know when it’s time to call a professional?
As providers of Richmond Hill’s expert furnace maintenance services, we’re quite familiar with a standard HVAC system’s intricate inner workings and how to extend your system’s lifespan. This article will explain how often you should call a professional to service your furnace and the benefits of routine maintenance.
When Is the Best Time to Get Your Furnace Serviced?
Generally speaking, you should have an HVAC professional service your furnace at least once per year, but twice a year is more optimal. Assuming your furnace isn’t experiencing any issues, it’s best to schedule professional HVAC maintenance services during autumn before winter comes and during spring before summer.
HVAC professionals recommend this maintenance schedule because winter and summer usually present the most extreme temperatures and weather, meaning you’ll definitely want your furnace working to keep you cool or warm, depending on the time of year.
However, your furnace’s maintenance needs will also depend on the type of furnace. Oil and gas furnaces have different components that require varying types of cleaning and servicing.
For example, since gas tends to burn cleaner than oil, homeowners can usually clean the air filters themselves every month or so. On the other hand, those with an oil furnace must change the filters more frequently, as buildup tends to occur more quickly, and unaddressed buildup on a dirty filter can cause damage to the system and present a fire hazard.
Likewise, if you have an older furnace in your home, it’s usually safer to schedule maintenance services more often. Furnaces 10 years and older must have at least one checkup a year to prevent problems in the system.
Regular Maintenance Could Save You Money — And Your Life
Without regular repairs and inspection, your furnace may have to work harder to run, which puts stress on the equipment inside and decreases energy efficiency. As a result, you may end up with higher energy costs — not to mention expenses down the road if your furnace shuts down.
If your furnace suddenly stops working, you may be unable to warm or cool your home when you need it most. Even worse, undetected damage, such as a cracked heat exchanger, may result in a carbon monoxide leak, which presents a significant threat to your health and safety.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and headaches. In the worst cases, it can lead to death. Approximately 500 people die annually following carbon monoxide exposure, and 15,000 others end up in the emergency room because of it.
These statistics serve as a reminder that regular maintenance is crucial. If you suspect your furnace may be experiencing issues or you haven’t scheduled a checkup in a while, consider contacting your local HVAC expert to perform a thorough furnace inspection.
What Are the Steps of Furnace Maintenance?
If you’ve been wondering, “How often should a furnace be serviced?” you may also be curious about what furnace maintenance services entail. The exact services you receive will depend on whether or not your furnace has sustained any damage, but the typical furnace maintenance process looks something like this:
- Your chosen HVAC professional will check the thermostat settings to ensure that your system is running correctly.
- They’ll also inspect all electrical connections and test the voltage. This step ensures that none of the internal components are at risk of failing.
- They may remove and replace filters and check for any blockages or clogging in the drainage system.
- Your technician will ensure that the heat exchanger is intact and not rusting.
- Finally, they’ll make sure to lubricate all the moving parts in the system to keep them fully operational.
An added benefit to regular service is having time to take advantage of any warranties. If it turns out that a component or part in your furnace breaks, your HVAC technician will be able to tell you whether or not your warranty still stands. If you go without maintenance for too long, your warranty may run out.
How to Maintain Your Furnace
Several aspects of preventative and reparative furnace maintenance require a professional eye. However, you can extend the life of your unit and keep it in good condition by regularly performing the following tasks:
- Cleaning and changing the filters
- Keeping the vents clean and clear
- Testing your thermostat
- Scheduling regular inspections
Clean Your Air Filters
No matter what type of furnace you have, whether it uses disposable filters or reusable ones, cleaning and regularly changing the filters is one of the easiest ways to keep your system working. It’s a chore that some homeowners tend to overlook as other household chores take priority. However, neglecting to clean the filters can be disastrous for your furnace.
The filters keep debris and dirt from clogging the system. If the filters accumulate a lot of buildup, it takes more mechanical effort for the furnace to maintain airflow. As mentioned earlier, this will decrease your furnace’s efficiency and increase energy bills.
Beyond improving the system’s functionality, keeping the air filters clean also improves the indoor air quality of your home. Cleaner indoor air is good for everyone, but it’s especially nice for those with allergies.
How often should a furnace be serviced in this way? Generally, it’s best to clean or change your air filters once a month. At the very least, you must check them once a month to inspect for buildup, particularly in the colder months when your furnace is running consistently.
Keep the Vents Clean
Keeping the furnace and vents clean is also essential to maintaining your system. Avoid putting anything too close to the furnace to prevent furniture, storage containers, and other belongings from obstructing airflow or creating a fire hazard. Likewise, it’s best not to put furniture in front of vents.
You can use a standard scrubbing brush and the hose attachment on your vacuum to clean your vents. Be careful when cleaning dust off the furnace itself, and be sure to turn off the breaker powering the furnace before you start cleaning. If you discover that any component of the unit is rusted, cracked, or damaged, consider calling a professional to assist you.
Test Your Thermostat
Before it gets cold, try setting your thermostat to a temperature warmer than what it is outside. If the heat comes on, your system is likely running correctly, although it’s helpful to wait and see if the indoor temperature actually reaches the one you chose.
Schedule Regular Inspections
With other responsibilities taking center stage, it can be easy to neglect routine furnace maintenance — but failing to schedule regular inspections could result in a far more expensive repair. You can avoid these extra costs by keeping up with your system’s annual checkups.
Likewise, an expert HVAC technician can look for damage or issues you may not be aware of and perform maintenance with minimal safety risks.
What to Look for When Hiring an HVAC Expert
HVAC units cool and heat your home with several intricate components that require skill and experience to repair and replace. When you’re looking for an HVAC technician to service your furnace, you’ll want to choose a reputable company with contractors that can expertly provide solutions to your problems.
Make sure the company you choose is bonded, insured, and licensed. Search for online reviews to read accounts from previous customers, or ask around to see if anyone you know has worked with them in the past.
Superior HVAC Care With Georgia Air Cooling & Heating
Regularly checking the air filters, keeping vents clear, and scheduling an annual checkup for your furnace will keep your unit in good condition for longer. Ensuring that your unit functions appropriately is critical for your safety, comfort, and convenience — not to mention easier on your wallet.
At Georgia Air Cooling & Heating, our expert HVAC technicians have years of experience in the industry, with the high-quality workmanship and extensive HVAC knowledge to prove it. Our team can thoroughly inspect your furnace for any damage and perform necessary maintenance with ease.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “How often should a furnace be serviced?” or wondering if your unit needs repairs, trust our highly trained technicians to answer all of your HVAC-related questions and identify any problems your system may be facing. Combining our technical skills with excellent customer service, we provide maintenance services to customers in and around Richmond Hill with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. For emergency furnace help or comprehensive repairs, call our Georgia Air Cooling & Heating team today at 912-200-6170!