In order to maximize the efficiency and performance of the furnace in your home, routine maintenance should be completed. No matter the age, make, or model of your furnace, consistent service of your equipment can help to extend its life and prevent further malfunctions.
As the cold weather approaches, the last thing anyone wants is to be caught in a situation where their furnace stops functioning. You are then left in the cold until a contractor can make his way to your house, which may not be for some time depending on the amount of calls coming in. By getting your furnace maintained and checked by a professional, you significantly reduce the risk of an event like this occurring, and you can spend the plethora of frigid days to come in the solace of a toasty abode.
One major benefit of routine service is the impact that a full-functioning furnace will have on your energy bill. Professionals will suggest small changes to keep things running smoothly, such as changing your air filter. A switch is recommended every three months to prevent restriction of air flow throughout your home. Another common step to save money on your energy bill is using a programmable thermostat. Simply setting the dial down a mere seven or eight degrees can save you up to 10 percent. These changes, along with routine service, can reduce your bill annually by 30%.
It may not seem like a lot preliminarily, but over time these totals really start to add up. Switching out your filters and reducing the expenditure of heat by your furnace will also help extend the life of the furnace. As filters grow old and the furnace is used often, corrosion and degradation tend to take their toll on the system much quicker. By conserving just a small amount of energy, you’ll be saving your money in the short term and the long term by lowering your energy bill now and reducing the risk of any expensive repairs later on down the road.
How Often and Why
Your furnace should be checked once a year for heating, as well as once a year for cooling. Depending on the work needed, the average service cost can range anywhere from $60-$85. You may think that you don’t need to check your equipment annually, or you may not want to pay a fee once or twice a year, but you may regret your decision if you and your family are left without heat this winter! HVAC experts claim that up to 75% of no-heat calls each winter are due to lack of maintenance. Proper inspection will help to prevent you and your loved ones from being stuck in a cold house. There is also no guarantee that your service provider will be able to reach you immediately, due to an influx of service calls or inclement weather that is preventing him/her from reaching you. It may be hours before they can get to you, or worst-case scenario a few days. Not only is this affecting the comfort of your home, but it is also putting the safety of you and your family at risk in case temperatures decide to dip even further.
Perhaps the most important aspect of yearly service links directly to your safety. Controls, burners, and wires are checked for damage. The vent system, as well as all air intake and blower systems are checked for blockages. Air pressure is tested, and combustion gasses are analyzed to meet unit specifications. Your equipment will also be thoroughly looked over for carbon monoxide leaks. This is especially important, due to the fact that carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless. Exposure can cause harm, injury, and even death if left undetected. Two liquids that could potentially be pooling around your furnace are water and gas. Pooling water can lead to corrosion, rust, mold, injury if exposed to an open electrical current or slipped on, and damage to your property. Pooling gasoline is, for lack of better words, much worse because if it goes unattended and unnoticed, your entire home could be at risk. Then the problem escalates from getting heat back on to your home to finding any temporary home that can protect you from the elements and severe cold weather.
Now that we have gone over the benefits of furnace maintenance, here’s what you can expect at the time of service. Routine inspections include a full inspection, as well as a pilot and gas pressure evaluation. There will be lubrication to the equipment, as well as an air filter change. At the end, your service provider will give you a written assessment, and explain their findings directly to you. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
Contractors can often be seen as villains out to scam you for all of your money by taking advantage of your lack of knowledge to throw in additional fees, but this is truly an unfair assessment. The reason furnace maintenance is recommended biyearly is because these contractors care about your safety and well-being, and understand how important certain appliances are to your home.