Typically out of sight and out of mind, your home’s furnace is often ignored until something goes wrong. That’s when your furnace suddenly becomes your number-one priority. A broken furnace on a freezing cold day can create both comfort and safety issues.
One of the best ways to prevent an unexpected breakdown is with routine furnace maintenance. We recommend having your heating system tuned up once per year, preferably in the spring before you need to use it for the first time. This allows an HVAC technician to thoroughly inspect the system, test the thermostat and examine the exhaust system.
In our most recent blog, the heating and cooling professionals at Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric discuss what’s included in a furnace tune up and the common benefits of this service.
What Happens During Furnace Maintenance?
Some of the most important tasks included in a furnace tune up include:
Inspecting and Maintaining Furnace Parts
The biggest part of a furnace maintenance visit is the actual maintenance of the main components of the furnace. The HVAC technician visually inspects your unit for signs of damage and wear, then turns the unit on to check its operation. He or she will check moving parts to ensure they are moving freely, listen for noises that could be indicative of problems, and even check for the presence of excess carbon monoxide. The HVAC tech will also look at electrical connections and components to ensure they are not corroded, properly connected, and working as they should be. The technician will recommend any necessary repairs that should be made at this time.
Testing the Thermostat
Next up on the list is the thermostat, and your HVAC tech will be sure to stop here, too. We will test to ensure the thermostat is starting and stopping the furnace as it should. Some HVAC technicians may even look at your programmed settings or help you create them if you haven’t quite figured out how to do it on your own.
Examining the Exhaust System
Last, but most certainly not least, the technician will visually inspect the exhaust piping which carries dangerous combustion gasses away from the furnace and outside of your home. The technician will make certain that the flue is not blocked or corroded, that it is not leaking inside your home, and that there is no significant buildup of condensation, which could be indicative of serious issues that may threaten your health.
There’s a lot that goes into a regular maintenance visit, but when it comes to your family’s health and comfort, the more thorough the visit, the better. If anything is in disrepair, now is the time to get it fixed – long before the winter cold sets in and leaves you uncomfortable.
Benefits of Furnace Maintenance
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 they become 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 of in the middle of the night when suppliers are not open.
Preventing Premature Replacement
When furnaces aren’t properly maintained, they wear out much more quickly than normal. In fact, for every year your furnace isn’t properly maintained, it could cut its expected lifespan by a year. 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. If you’ve found that you are replacing your furnace earlier than this, a lack of maintenance may be to blame.
Keeping Up with the Simple Things
Not all 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 works 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 energy efficiency, too. Be sure that you’re changing your air filter according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
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 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.
Contact Ravinia Plumbing for Furnace Maintenance Services
There is no doubt that furnace tune-ups save 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. To schedule a furnace tune-up, repair or installation, or any other HVAC system services contact Ravinia Plumbing today.