How Often Should I Get My Furnace Serviced?

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Michael Foster
June 20, 2024
Heating & Cooling
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"Is a furnace tune-up worth it?"
"What maintenance is needed on a furnace?"
The cold winter months are upon us, and you depend on your furnace to keep your home warm. However, regular maintenance is necessary to ensure your equipment runs efficiently and safely. But how often do you need to get it serviced?
This blog post explores the importance of furnace maintenance, frequency of service, and what to expect from your service provider. We will also provide a DIY maintenance guide to help keep your system in great condition. So find out now how often you should service your furnace and how to keep it running smoothly!

The Importance of Furnace Maintenance

Furnace maintenance ensures your heating system's safety, efficiency, and longevity. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to increased energy bills, dangerous breakdowns, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. By having a professional HVAC technician inspect and clean it annually, you can catch potential issues before they become bigger problems.
This service also helps to improve the system's efficiency, leading to lower energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your furnace, saving you money in the long run. Don't wait for a problem to arise. Schedule your service maintenance today for a safe, efficient, cost-effective heating system.

How Often Should You Have Your Furnace Serviced?

Does a furnace need to be serviced every year? It is recommended to have it inspected and cleaned annually, but the actual frequency of service depends on several factors, such as:
  • Age - It affects the frequency of service maintenance because as it ages, its components wear out and become less efficient, increasing the risk of malfunction. Regular maintenance can extend its lifespan and ensure its safe operation.
  • Usage - Also, usage is one factor in service maintenance frequency because heavy usage can cause wear and tear, reducing efficiency and increasing the risk of malfunction. Regular maintenance helps prevent problems and ensure safe operation.
  • Type of furnace - This factor in maintenance frequency as different models have different maintenance requirements and potential for wear and tear. Regular maintenance ensures efficient and safe operation for all types.
As a general rule, it is recommended to have your furnace inspected and cleaned annually. However, it may need more frequent service if it is older or heavily used. A professional HVAC technician can assess it and provide a personalized maintenance schedule. It's important to prioritize service maintenance to ensure its safety and efficiency and avoid costly repairs or replacements.

Signs Your Furnace Needs Maintenance or Service

When should you get a furnace tune-up? Several signs indicate your system needs maintenance, including:
  1. Strange noises: If it is making unusual noises like banging, clanging, or rattling, it may be a sign of a problem that needs to be addressed.
  2. Decreased heating efficiency: If your home is taking longer to warm up or your energy bills have increased, it may be time for a tune-up.
  3. Yellow pilot light: A yellow pilot light can indicate a carbon monoxide problem, which is a serious hazard.
  4. Strange smells: If you notice any strange or burning odors from the system, it's time to inspect it.
  5. Irregular cycling: If it turns on and off frequently, it may be a sign of a malfunction that needs to be addressed.
So you have to pay attention to these warning signs and have your furnace serviced by a professional HVAC technician to ensure its safe and efficient operation. Regular maintenance can prevent bigger problems and extend the lifespan of your system.

What to Expect From Your Service Provider

When you schedule a maintenance appointment, you can expect your service provider to perform the following tasks:
  • Inspection: A thorough inspection of the system and its components to identify any potential problems or areas of wear and tear.
  • Cleaning: Cleaning the system's interior and exterior, including the burners, heat exchanger, and blower components.
  • Testing: Testing its components and systems to ensure proper operation.
  • Tune-up: Adjustment of its components and settings to improve its efficiency and performance.
  • Maintenance report: A maintenance report detailing the results of the inspection and tune-up, including any recommendations for repairs or upgrades.
Your service provider should also ensure a clean and safe work environment and be equipped with the necessary tools and equipment to complete maintenance tasks effectively. Choosing a reputable and experienced service provider is important to ensure that your system receives the proper maintenance and care to operate efficiently and safely.

How much is a tune-up on a furnace?

The cost of a tune-up can vary depending on several factors, such as:
  • Type of Furnace - This affects maintenance costs due to differences in complexity, components, and required repair services. For example, gas types typically require more maintenance, while electric ones are simpler but more expensive. High-efficiency types are more complex and require specialized knowledge and equipment, resulting in higher maintenance costs. That is why the type affects maintenance expenses, so it's important to consider this when choosing one for your home.
  • Location - Location is a factor in the cost of a tune-up because HVAC service prices can vary based on regional differences in the cost of labor and materials. For example, the cost of a tune-up in a densely populated urban area may be higher than in a rural area due to the higher cost of living and competition for HVAC services. Additionally, local regulations and licensing requirements can affect the tune-up cost, as some areas may require additional certifications or permits for HVAC technicians. So, the location of your home can impact the cost of a tune-up, so it's important to consider this when budgeting for HVAC services.
However, a furnace tune-up can cost anywhere from $75 to $200. Some HVAC companies offer seasonal promotions or tune-up discounts, which can lower costs. Choosing a reputable and experienced service provider is important to ensure that your system receives the proper maintenance and care to operate efficiently and safely. The cost of a furnace tune-up is a small investment compared to the potential savings on energy bills and the cost of repairs or replacements that can be prevented with regular maintenance.

DIY Furnace Maintenance Guide

While it's recommended to have your system inspected and serviced by a professional HVAC technician, there are some basic maintenance tasks that you can perform on your own to help keep your heating system in good condition.
  1. Change air filters: Changing the air filters is one of the most important and easiest tasks. Dirty air filters can reduce airflow and increase energy consumption, so it's important to change them every three to six months.
  2. Clean furnace exterior: Clean the exterior to prevent dust and debris buildup.
  3. Check thermostat settings: Ensure that your thermostat is set to the proper temperature and is functioning properly.
  4. Inspect the blower belt: Check it for cracks or fraying and tighten or replace it as needed.
  5. Clean the burners: It will ensure they function properly and prevent soot buildup.
It's important to remember that some tasks are best left to a professional HVAC technician, such as inspecting the heat exchanger and testing the system's safety controls. Regular maintenance helps to ensure that it operates safely and efficiently and prevents larger and more costly problems from developing.

How to Keep Your Furnace Running Smoothly

Keeping your heating unit running as it should require regular maintenance and attention to potential problems. Here are some tips to help keep your furnace in good condition:
  1. Schedule regular maintenance: Have your furnace inspected and serviced by a professional HVAC technician at least once a year or more frequently if the manufacturer recommends it.
  2. Change air filters regularly: Dirty air filters can reduce airflow and increase energy consumption, so it's important to change them every three to six months.
  3. Keep the furnace area clean: Keep the area around your furnace free of debris and dust to prevent clogging the airflow.
  4. Monitor the furnace's performance: Pay attention to changes in the furnace's performance, such as unusual noises, reduced airflow, or inconsistent heating.
  5. Address problems promptly: If you notice any problems with your furnace, have it inspected by a professional HVAC technician as soon as possible to prevent larger and more costly problems from developing.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your furnace operates safely and efficiently and continues to provide reliable heating for your home.
So what happens if you don't service your furnace? If you don't service your furnace, it can become less efficient, break down more frequently, and pose safety risks, such as releasing carbon monoxide. Regular maintenance is essential for efficient and safe operation. A qualified technician like us here at Home Alliance will be able to evaluate its condition and ensure that it runs safely and efficiently. We have been in the industry for years and are known as one of the top-rated professionals providing top-quality HVAC services, so you know you are in capable hands. To learn more or schedule an appointment, give us a call now!