When it comes to annual furnace maintenance, are you someone who schedules it every single year, or do you seem to put it off until it’s absolutely necessary? If you belong to the second group of people – and many certainly do – you may be putting yourself at risk for completely unnecessary and incredibly expensive home repairs. Here are five ways that scheduling regular furnace maintenance can actually help avoid those repairs.

#1 – Catching Issues Early On

By far, the best way in which furnace maintenance prevents costly home repairs is by providing professional HVAC technicians with the opportunity to spot issues early on – before it becomes an expensive emergency. For example, a blower motor that is failing can be identified and replaced during regular business hours when a replacement motor is available instead in the middle of the night when suppliers are not open.

#2 – Preventing Premature Replacement

When furnaces aren’t properly maintained, they wear much more quickly than normal. In fact, for every year your furnace isn’t properly maintained, it could take a year off of its expected lifespan. This can become an expensive habit and result in the need to buy a new furnace far more often than ordinary. On average, your furnace should last you about 15 years, give or take a few. If you’ve found that you are replacing your furnace earlier than this, a lack of maintenance may be to blame.

#3 – Keeping Up with the Simple Things

Not all of the maintenance that prevents expensive repairs must be carried out by a professional. In fact, simple things that homeowners should be doing themselves – such as regularly changing the air filter – are just as important. The harder your furnace has to work to pull air through the filter, the more wear and tear it experiences. Something as simple as a clogged filter can result in a huge reduction in efficiency, too. Be sure that you’re changing your filter every month for 1” filters or every 6 months for 4” thick filters.

#4 – Being Proactive

Many home and business owners will attribute strange noises to the age of the furnace. However, if a furnace has been properly maintained and if it is in good repair, it should not make any unusual noises whatsoever. If you hear something out of the ordinary, whether it’s constant or only occurs sometimes, it’s important to call for maintenance and service right away. It could be something simple that can be resolved easily now; letting it go, however, could result in a catastrophic component failure that is expensive to fix.

#5 – Preventing Fires

Though furnace fires are very rare, they can and do occur from time to time, and in almost every single case, regular maintenance carried out by a trained professional would have prevented it. These fires occur when there is not enough oxygen reaching the fire that warms the air. When this happens, the fire reaches out and tries to find oxygen, and this can be devastating. Regular maintenance and inspections will prevent this, so don’t put them off. It could save you not only money, but also your home or your life.

There is no doubt that furnace maintenance saves money in the long run. Rather than viewing it as an added expense, you should view it as an investment and a way to save money or prevent damage to your home over time. Once per year is the recommendation, so if it’s been a while since your last maintenance or service call, schedule one today.