It’s easy to forget about your furnace. It hangs out in your basement year-round, only reminding you that it exists when the heat turns on for the fall and winter. However, regular furnace maintenance is one of the most important things to check off your list of chores every season.
Don’t trick yourself into thinking a furnace tune-up is an unnecessary expense that you get to skip for a while longer. If you’re unfamiliar with furnace tune-ups or not sure why they’re so important, this page will look at everything you need to know.
Why You Need a Furnace Tune-Up Right Now
When you get a furnace tune-up, you’re taking care of several things at once while protecting yourself against future issues. You’re making sure your furnace lasts longer, getting a better performance from your heater, increasing your safety, and saving heaps of money all of the while.
Attain Optimal Performance
Every time your furnace runs, it’s under heavy load while it tries to pump heat throughout your Champaign, IL, home. All of the moving parts and internal components constantly experience wear and tear.
Over time, without proper furnace maintenance, this wear and tear can lead to severe degradation in performance. Your furnace might not heat as well, or it might heat unevenly, and it will work a lot harder to make up for the difference.
By maintaining your furnace, you ease the effects of wear and tear and keep your furnace humming through the cold months without a hitch.
Address Safety Concerns
Gas furnaces are, by far, the most common type of furnace throughout the country. This popularity exists because natural gas is far less expensive than electricity. While gas furnaces are relatively inexpensive to run, some very important components need a regular inspection for the sake of your safety at home.
Components like the burners and heat exchangers are potential sources of carbon monoxide leaks, which can lead to serious health hazards.
The heat exchanger can develop micro-cracks, allowing carbon monoxide to slowly seep into the air. Your burners can fail to burn natural gas efficiently, which can lead to leaks, as well as carbon build-up.
Preserve Energy Efficiency
One of the more frightening aspects of running your furnace is the amount of money you need to spend on energy bills each month. The good thing is that most modern furnaces offer a very high level of energy efficiency. The bad thing is that if you don’t maintain your furnace, you lose that efficiency very quickly.
It’s natural for furnaces to lose efficiency over a decade, but a lack of proper care intensifies that loss. Lower energy efficiency means higher energy bills, and that’s money you could have kept in your pocket.
Regular furnace tune-ups will keep your furnace as efficient as possible for as long as possible. These savings are significant enough that they essentially pay for the tune-up themselves.
Get Ahead of Big Problems
Nobody wants to search for “an HVAC technician near me” for a furnace repair in the middle of the night because their furnace broke down unexpectedly.
When you get a furnace tune-up, your technician will perform a thorough inspection of your furnace. If any issues are discovered, you’ll have the option of getting them fixed before they become bigger issues. At the very least, you’ll be aware of the current health of your furnace.
Maintain Your Warranty
Your furnace is most likely covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. In the event of a breakdown, this warranty might just save you a ton of money on parts and labor when you get a repair.
However, most manufacturer warranties require that a qualified HVAC technician perform regular maintenance every year. If you skip out on your yearly tune-ups, your manufacturer’s warranty might be void. If that’s the case, you’re left holding the bag when the time comes for a furnace repair.
How Long Do Furnace Tune-Ups Take?
Time is precious. Anything that wastes our time or otherwise impedes us from using our time efficiently is likely to be seen as an annoyance. Oftentimes, people throw furnace tune-ups into that category because they don’t want to spend the time.
However, furnace tune-ups are pretty quick operations. Your furnace tune-up should only take about an hour or so out of your day. After that, you’re all set until next year.
What’s Involved in a Furnace Tune-Up?
Furnace tune-ups are comprehensive inspections of the unit and all its connections and components. An HVAC technician will inspect your furnace’s igniter, pilot light, gas pressure, flame operation, heat exchanger, and electrical components.
They will also clean the blower and burners and check your ductwork for air leaks, and perform a thermostat calibration.
What Can I Do to Help My Furnace Between Tune-Ups?
Let’s say you just got done with your yearly furnace tune-up. You might be wondering if there’s anything you can do at home to keep your furnace healthy. You’re in luck! Here are some simple things you can do to make things easier for your furnace:
Change the Air Filter
Your air filter doesn’t last forever. Filters generally only last a few months. In some cases, it might only last a single month. While it’s tempting, don’t get into the habit of leaving your air filter in place for years at a time. All of the particles and debris your filter screens out will build on the surface of your filter.
With enough build-up, your air filter becomes an obstacle in the way of airflow. Your furnace will work harder to push air through the filter, putting extra wear and tear on components and potentially sucking the air filter into the system.
Check on your air filter and see how dirty it has become. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations if you’re unsure what dirty looks like for your Champaign, IL, home. Typically, filters call for replacement after a few months, depending on the quality of the filter.
Check Your Thermostat
A working thermostat is critical to your furnace’s operation. Make sure your thermostat is set to “Heat” and that the desired temperature is set to above the current indoor temperature.
Change your thermostat’s battery when you get the chance. If you’re about to switch your thermostat to Heat for the first time this season, bump up the desired temperature to make sure your furnace is heating as it should.
Open Your Vents
Closing or blocking your vents can result in your furnace working harder than it needs to, which leads to wear and tear you could otherwise avoid. It’s a popular misconception that closing vents will save money.
Instead, all that’s happening is that your house isn’t being heated evenly, and your furnace is working harder to make up the difference. Too many closed vents can lead to a damaged blower motor, mold and mildew growth in your ducts, a cracked heat exchanger, and other issues.
Schedule Your Furnace Tune-Up in Champaign, IL Today
Castle Home Comfort Heating & Cooling cares about your home heating system and your comfort at home. If it’s time to schedule your regular furnace tune-up, or if it’s been a while since your last tune-up, we can help.
Call or contact us today to schedule service with Castle Home Comfort Heating & Cooling, and we’ll come out as soon as possible. One of our knowledgeable HVAC technicians will visit your home and perform a comprehensive tune-up of your furnace.
You’ll be glad that you did when cold weather hits and you and your family remain toasty and warm inside your efficiently heated home.