Say Goodbye to the Chill: How Professional Heater Service Keeps Your Furnace Going
Your furnace is critical in keeping a comfortable, warm home throughout the colder months. When it goes out, the need for furnace service is immediately noticed. Intensive repairs and replacements are not only time consuming, but expensive.
There are many factors you may not be aware of that impact your furnace’s functionality. Even if your furnace hasn’t officially quit on you, it may not be running as efficiently as possible, driving up your energy bill. Save your mind and wallet from unnecessary strain by having an HVAC professional perform regular furnace service that helps keep your heating system working optimally.
Why Is Regular Furnace Service Important?
Scheduling regular furnace maintenance at least once per year is important for several reasons.
First and foremost, regular maintenance prevents the need for major repair and costly replacement by bringing small issues to light sooner. The last thing you want is for your furnace to stop working in the middle of winter, creating an emergency situation to get heat back to your family’s home. Having an HVAC technician look at your furnace before the cold hits can go a long way in preventing headaches and emergency service fees.
An efficient furnace also saves money by keeping your heating bill as low as possible. When a furnace is not maintained regularly, dust and dirt can accumulate inside. The system has to work harder to pump warm air into your home, which not only consumes more energy but takes a toll on your furnace’s longevity. Keeping your furnace free of contaminants that buildup over time allows for optimal performance and efficiency.
Can Skipping Furnace Service Be Dangerous?
Furnace service isn’t just about keeping your utility bills down and ensuring your furnace’s lifespan. It’s also a matter of safety.
Disregarding proper maintenance of your furnace can pose a risk to your family’s safety. In extreme cases, dirty air filters can put excess strain on the heat exchanger component of your furnace, causing it to overheat and potentially crack. A cracked heat exchanger allows carbon monoxide exhaust to mix with the tempered air in the home, creating a situation that can become dangerous quickly.
During maintenance visits, a knowledgeable HVAC technician will not only check the heat exchanger and air filters, but they will also likely test the supply air and exhaust fumes to ensure your family is breathing safely.
Common Checklist Items for Your Furnace Service Appointment
There are several things that factor into your furnace’s performance. Some tasks can be easily DIY’ed such as replacement of air filters, however some jobs are better suited for professionals. Below is a compilation of items you might see on your HVAC professional’s checklist when they arrive for your furnace service.
Changing or Cleaning Air Filters
As stated, this can often be done by the homeowner, but for a variety of reasons, some prefer to leave all maintenance to the professionals. Either way, this is a quick step your HVAC technician will likely cross off the list when servicing your furnace.
Evaluating Thermostat Operation
A thermostat provides a convenient way to adjust and monitor the temperature of your home. However, they run the chance of malfunctioning over time which may leave you without heat. A skilled technician will ensure your thermostat has properly functioning batteries and wiring, and that it’s calibrated and reading the room’s temperature correctly.
Measuring Heat Output
Every furnace is designed to operate within certain specifications determined by the manufacturer. An HVAC professional will measure the temperature at both the supply and return air ducts to ensure your home’s space is being heated as it should.
Maintenance of the Combustion Chamber
One crucial component of your home’s furnace is the combustion chamber which houses the burner. This is where gas (from either natural gas, propane, or oil) is combusted to produce heat. The heat is then pushed through your ducts and into your home’s space. The burner and the rest of the chamber itself should be cleaned and thoroughly checked for cracks, as these can lead to toxic gasses being released into your home.
Adjust the Gas Valve
The gas valve serves by regulating the flow of gas pressure to the furnace’s combustion chamber in order to keep it lit. There are different types of valves, some requiring more manual adjustment than others. But regardless of the type, this important piece on your furnace should be checked for both safety and efficiency.
Cleaning and Checking the Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger is the part of your furnace where the heat exchange between the hot gas and the air that ends up in your home occurs (as the name suggests). This part can be made of tubes/coils or corrugated plates which are heated by the flue gasses. Air then blows across the heat exchanger surface, heating up before it enters your home’s living space. This part must be regularly cleaned and checked for cracks or leaks which may interfere with your furnace’s function.
Inspection of the Blower and Blower Motor
The blower is made up of a motor, fan, and electrical component by which it is powered and controlled. This part’s sole purpose is to move air over the hot surface of the heat exchanger and through the ducts of your home. For optimal performance, it should be cleaned and checked for any defects periodically.
Check Related Components of Heating System
Though your furnace is mainly responsible for keeping your home warm, there are other parts of your home’s HVAC system outside of the furnace that should be checked, cleaned, and serviced. This includes wiring, flue pipes and ductwork, and gas lines, all of which can take wear and tear that hurts your furnace’s function.
How Much Does Professional Furnace Service Cost?
The cost of professional furnace service varies depending on multiple factors including the HVAC contractor you choose to work with, local labor rates, the level and intricacy of work provided, as well as any parts and materials needed. Basic appointments for cleaning and inspection of the major furnace parts might start around $100, however appointments requiring more extensive work may cost double that or more.
Nevertheless, having furnace service performed at least once per year is a great way to prevent major breakdowns and costly repairs or even replacement. Spending $100 or even a couple hundred dollars periodically may save you thousands in the long run by keeping your furnace functioning optimally for as long as possible, not to mention the benefit in your monthly energy bills.
Signs You Need to Schedule Professional Furnace Service ASAP
You shouldn’t wait until something is wrong to have furnace maintenance performed. The best way to prevent expensive repairs is to tackle small repairs as they happen, before they can become major issues. However, it’s not always possible to catch problems before they arise. If you experience any of the following, it’s time to get on the phone with your trusted HVAC professionals to schedule furnace service:
- Unusual smells coming from your ducts – if you notice an odor that resembles rotten eggs or something burning, the situation can be urgent. Professional furnace service is likely a must.
- Frequent starting and stopping of your furnace (short cycling) – an issue that can be caused by a number of things, which can be diagnosed and dealt with by skilled HVAC technicians.
- Suspicious sounds
- Lack of heat leaving the supply ducts
- Higher than average energy bills with no explanation
Is It Really Necessary to Schedule Regular Furnace Service?
If you value a nice warm home each winter, and the thought of unexpected performance interruptions stresses you out, then you should seriously consider professional HVAC furnace service. Like any other manufactured item, your furnace will likely malfunction at some point. They require attention over their lifespan to prevent issues and identify potential defects before they become a major problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Time of Year Should You Have Your Furnace Serviced?
The best time of year to have a professional come out and inspect, clean, and perform any needed repairs on your furnace is late summer or early fall. This will ensure you have a properly functioning system when that first cool breeze hits making you want to switch your thermostat to heating mode.
How Long Does a Typical Furnace Last?
A well taken care of furnace will typically last 15 to 20 years before a reduction in optimal performance. However, annual maintenance can extend the life of your furnace even longer. Likewise, neglecting your furnace until there’s a problem could lead to premature repairs and breakdowns.
What Does a Normal Furnace Sound Like?
A properly functioning furnace will produce a quiet humming sound. However, if you notice any sudden or unusual noises such as grinding, scraping, thumping, rumbling, or banging, it’s a good idea to have an HVAC technician out ASAP. Call Bell Brothers today to schedule your furnace service.