Does my furnace need annual maintenance?

kevin@mac-works.comHeating

Now that fall is officially here, you’re probably getting your home ready for the upcoming holidays. Not only should you change out your home’s décor to match the season, but you should winterize your home so that it’s ready for colder temperatures. One thing that’s always recommended is that you get your furnace inspected by a professional each year to make sure that everything is working properly and functioning as it should. This way you aren’t hit with any surprises when it’s freezing outside!

Many people wonder if they should get early tune-ups for their furnace as recommended and if they can go longer periods of time without having to get them checked. To be honest, it’s recommended for a reason. Just as you’d go to the dentist twice a year to check your teeth, your furnace needs to be checked regularly to make sure that it’s functioning right.

If you have a newer furnace, you can get away with having it checked every other year, but if it’s older than 10 years, you should have it checked out every year. And the reasons why experts suggest that you get your furnace checked annually are to prolong the life of the furnace, decrease health risks and save energy. Just like a car, if you ignore it, the more problems will arise. But if you want to prevent major breakdowns and have it work longer, checking it out every year will save you more money in the long run.

During the winter, HVAC professionals get a lot of calls in regards to no heat and that’s because their furnace is out. When they go and check it, they realize that annual maintenance would have avoided the breakdown. Now the family is left without any heat in the cold and has to shell out additional money for parts to get it fixed when they could have had it checked before it broke down.

Not checking your furnace regularly can also be a hazard to your health and that of your family. When you get your furnace inspected, it can reveal a number of things like carbon monoxide leaks (which are hard to find because carbon monoxide is both odorless and colorless). When exposed to this deadly gas, a person can experience things like dizziness, headaches, nausea and death. Early detection is key and an HVAC professional can find this during an annual inspection.

Getting it inspected every year will also save energy, thus lowering your electrical bills. An HVAC professional can see if your furnace’s air filter needs changing since a clogged one will restrict air flow that that can hinder the efficiency of the unit and cause health troubles, exposing your home to contaminates. And if you have any questions regarding your thermostat, an expert will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns during the inspection. They’ll be able to show you how to save energy and save up to 10% on electrical bills by utilizing a programmable thermostat.

During an inspection, the HVAC professional will check the unit’s vent system for leaks or blocks, analyze combustion gasses, check the blower access door, check the air intake grilles and louvers for blockage and inspect the heat exchanger. They’ll also check the burners so that they are igniting properly, scope out the drainage system for leaks or blockages and test an amp-draw on the blower motor. All wiring will be checked for damage and corrosion and check the filters. As a homeowner, you can do some of this task, but it’s recommended that you leave it to the professionals who know what they’re doing!