Does a Furnace Need to be Serviced Every Year?
Your furnace is essential when it comes to heating your home during the winter months. A breakdown or a malfunctioning furnace is the last thing you want to deal with on a cold winter night. Regular furnace maintenance can prevent such emergencies, but how often should you have it serviced?
Professionals should service a furnace every year to ensure it’s in tip-top shape for the coming seasons. Ideally, you should opt to have it serviced during “off-season” periods like fall and spring. HVAC companies are less likely to be busy with emergency visits during these months, and you may benefit from discounted services.
This article will explain why annual furnace maintenance is critical to preserving your system, the types of maintenance you need, the costs associated with that maintenance, and how to tell when you need to repair or replace your furnace.
Why Annual Furnace Maintenance Is Important
Furnaces lie dormant for most of the year, leading many people to believe that they don’t require regular maintenance. However, it’s these lengthy periods of idling that make furnaces more vulnerable to malfunction.
During the months you don’t use your furnace, it collects dust and debris, and the parts that don’t move may rust or seize. Cracks can also develop, and cracked furnaces can result in carbon monoxide leaks which can be fatal if not addressed.
When you hire maintenance services, qualified technicians will tune-up your furnace, ensuring that it’s able to properly run when you need it the most.
Annual furnace maintenance helps your pocketbook by increasing your home’s energy efficiency, saving you money on costly repairs, and extending the life of your machine. By investing in quality furnace maintenance services, you save yourself time and money in the long run.
What Maintenance Does a Furnace Need?
Furnace maintenance checks can vary depending on the type of furnace you have and the company you hire for the services.
Although there is no industry standard for furnace maintenance, we believe technicians must inspect specific points to ensure that your system is in working condition in time for the winter months. When you’re having your maintenance completed, you should expect the following:
- Inspection of your vents for blockages or leaks
- Analysis of the combustion gases
- Assessment of the blower access door
- Examination of the fresh air intake grills for blockages
- Review of the heat exchanger for rust or corrosion
- Testing of the burners for proper operation
- Clearing the drainage system of any blockages or leaks
- Cleaning of the blower wheel, if necessary
- Scrutinization of the electrical wiring for corrosion
- Trial of the blower motor
- Replacement of the filter
Covering all these things can be a daunting task if you aren’t familiar with the components of a furnace. A licensed HVAC technician will have in-depth knowledge of these systems and perform a thorough inspection to ensure it’s working properly.
How Much Does a Furnace Inspection Cost?
A quality annual furnace inspection can cost you between $100 and $200. The type of heating system in your home will drive this price because of the different inspection services included in your maintenance plan.
Other factors, like location, may also be factors in pricing, but ultimately the cost of a furnace inspection pales compared to the cost of completely replacing or repairing your heating system.
When Should You Consider Replacing Your Furnace?
Now that you know when and how to have your furnace maintenance completed, you may also wonder how often a furnace needs to be replaced. The typical lifespan of a furnace is between 15 and 20 years, and the more regular maintenance you perform, the greater chance you will have of reaching the 20-year mark.
Aside from the age of your machine, there are a few other indicators that conditions might warrant a furnace replacement:
Whether it’s rattling or humming, any sound other than the sound of your system turning on and off is cause for concern. While these noises can point to several different problems, big issues like a damaged blower motor mean it’s time for a replacement.
Expanding Energy Bills
Suppose your furnace is over a decade old, and you’re starting to feel noticeable changes in your home’s temperature and see an increase in your energy bills. In that case, it may indicate serious, ongoing problems with your furnace.
Yellow Furnace Flames
An efficient furnace will produce a steady blue flame in the burner compartment; this is a sign of complete combustion. On the other hand, if your furnace is burning a yellow flame, this can indicate incomplete combustion, potentially causing carbon monoxide leaks or gas leaks. Each of these can be fatal if left unchecked.
Contact a specialist immediately if your furnace is producing a yellow flame.
The Ultimate DIY Annual Furnace Maintenance Checklist
Having your furnace serviced every year is a great way to keep it in top condition. However, there are also some maintenance items that you should perform throughout the year to keep it working efficiently. These maintenance items can be completed by you or a qualified professional.
Clean Around Your Outdoor Units
Start your at-home furnace maintenance by inspecting your grounds. Walk around your property and visually inspect for vegetation and debris. Carefully remove any obstructions from the A/C compressor or exterior heat pump and any vents for adequate airflow.
Change Your Air Filters
Air filters should be inspected monthly and changed out every quarter. Filters are your first line of defense for air contaminants. Regularly changing them out improves the air quality of your home and affects how well your unit functions.
We recommend that you upgrade your filters to high-efficiency pleated ones if you haven’t already. These are better at attracting dust and other irritants in the air.
Clean the Floor Vents and Registers
Remove floor registers, and vacuum out the ducts, which are magnets for dust, hair, and food scraps — all of which pollute your home’s air and reduce efficiency, forcing you to crank up the heat.
Move heavy furniture and other items that might block registers and strain your system, and make certain combustible products are safely stored away. If your home has a chimney and fireplace, it’s critical to have them professionally cleaned and serviced every year.
Change Oil Filters
For oil-fired furnaces and boilers, replace the oil filter with an identical one every year. With the fuel supply turned off, you can unscrew the old filter and install the new one.
Just make sure the old filter is disposed of properly. Oil nozzles tend to get clogged with buildup from impurities in the fuel. If your technician suggests replacing the nozzle, have them verify the new one has the correct flow rate and angle in case the model already in place is inaccurate.
TSS Home Comfort: Your Solution for Annual Furnace Maintenance
At TSS Home Comfort, we understand the importance of completing annual furnace maintenance. We have decades of experience working with furnaces and other HVAC system components, and we can help you keep your system in tip-top shape.
Keeping you and your family safe and comfortable during the winter months is our top priority. You will benefit from skilled, efficient, and on-time services when you choose us for HVAC servicing needs.
Our commitment to delivering high-quality HVAC services has earned us an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and, most importantly, the repeat business of our local clients.
If you are searching the web for “annual furnace maintenance near me,” your search stops with us. Contact us today for more information about our furnace services.