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It’s Time for Your Furnace Tune-Up

FurnaceTuneUpBlogTeaser.jpgYour furnace is responsible for heating your home. The most commonly used heating system, furnaces burn fuel or electricity to heat air, then push it to rooms throughout your home through your ductwork. Your furnace is probably located in your basement, attic, closet or crawlspace.

During the cold winter months, your furnace is the key to your home’s comfort, so it needs to be cared for with preventative maintenance. And maintaining your furnace with regular tune-ups can extend your unit’s lifespan, maximize its efficiency, prevent breakdowns, eliminate safety hazards, and lower your heating costs.

It’s best to schedule your annual furnace tune-up at the beginning of the fall, when you’re making the switch from air conditioner to furnace season. Doing so will ensure optimum performance before temperatures drop. Read the following Q&A to learn more about how an annual furnace tune-up will save you time and money.

What services does a furnace tune-up include?

A furnace tune-up is a checklist of tasks that your HVAC technician performs to ensure your unit is operating properly. While exact services vary from company to company, your tune-up prepares your furnace to run in winter weather. ARS®/Rescue Rooter®’s furnace tune-up includes the following services:

  • Clean blower compartment
  • Clean and adjust burners
  • Inspect and tighten wiring and connections
  • Inspect the heat exchanger
  • Inspect the gas pressure and flame operation
  • Inspect igniter and pilot light
  • Look at and vacuum indoor filter
  • Check ductwork and connections for proper airflow

Are annual furnace tune-ups really necessary?

In short, yes. Nobody wants to wake up shivering in the middle of the night to discover their furnace isn’t working, and furnace tune-ups pinpoint minor problems before they require major repairs. If you’re on the fence about whether to schedule your annual tune-up, remember that the cost of a tune-up doesn’t compare to the emergency rates your HVAC technician will charge to fix your unit on a cold Sunday night. Investing in preventative maintenance upfront will save you extra energy, repair and re-installation costs caused by furnace neglect.

Does my older furnace need a tune-up or does it need to be replaced?

A well maintained furnace can last 15 to 20 years — so if you’re not the furnace’s first owner, you might have to do a little research to figure out its age. But there are other telltale signs, besides age, that your unit might need to be replaced. If you’ve noticed that your furnace requires increasingly frequent repairs or that your energy bills keep climbing, it may be time to replace your furnace. Your furnace blower may be cycling on and off more often than it used to. Other red flags include uneven heating in different rooms of the house, rattling or banging sounds while running, or debris coming from your vents. If you’re not sure whether you need a replacement, our HVAC technicians can take a look at your system and talk to you about repair and replacement options if needed.

How long does a furnace tune-up take?

You can expect the inspection process to take up to an hour, depending on the configuration of your system. Upon completion, your service technician should present their checklist and share any professional recommendations about your system.

Will a furnace tune-up validate my warranty?

Yes! If your furnace is under a manufacturer’s warranty, it’s important to schedule your furnace tune-up. Most furnace manufacturers recommend annual maintenance by a qualified HVAC technician, and won’t cover damage caused by improper maintenance. If you have a home warranty, regular furnace tune-ups may be included in your plan.

Is there anything I can do in-between tune-ups to optimize my furnace’s performance?

Yes! First, you should make sure to store flammable items, such as paint, gasoline or cleaning products, away from your furnace. Always make sure to change furnace filters regularly, every 1 to 6 months depending on the filter. And make sure to set your thermostat from air conditioning mode to heating mode. Your furnace works hard to keep your house comfortable, so consider using a programmable thermostat to help give your furnace a rest by running at cooler temperatures while you’re at work or asleep.

Regular use takes its toll on your HVAC system. You can protect your home’s HVAC system and improve your family’s comfort year-round with an ARS®/Rescue Rooter® Home Service Plan, which includes 2 regularly scheduled furnace tune-ups. Our Home Service Plan offers preferred pricing on HVAC service repair and installation, a one-year warranty on labor and parts, priority emergency service, and more! Call ARS®/Rescue Rooter® today at 1-800-277-9400 to learn more.

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