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When Is the Best Time to Have Furnace Maintenance Done?

Posted on April 3, 2014
by Appleby Systems

Furnace MaintenanceExcept for thermostat adjustments, most homeowners take their furnaces for granted during the winter months. Then, when warmer weather returns, the furnace slips completely off the radar, so furnace inspection and maintenance trips are never scheduled. Neglecting this important maintenance, however, leads to inconvenience and unnecessary expense if the furnace misbehaves during the next cold season.

Does Your Warranty Require Annual Maintenance?

If your furnace is under warranty, it might become void if regular, annual maintenance is not performed. Most warranties express the need for annual maintenance as a strong recommendation, and you would be wise to heed their advice.

Skip the Cheap Inspection Deals

There is no universal definition for what constitutes a furnace “tune-up,” versus a check-up or a safety inspection. Some HVAC contractors issue loss-leader coupons for, say, $29 for a “full” inspection. The purpose of these inspections, however, is to convince you that a deeper inspection and maintenance is needed. You might as well pay for a full maintenance visit in the first place. Besides, regular maintenance ends up saving you money in the end, and you will sleep better knowing that your furnace is dependable and safe.

What a Full Maintenance Tune-up Covers

Furnace Maintenance

Check the following list of tasks against what an HVAC contractor says they perform during a maintenance visit:

  • Exhaust gases are electronically analyzed to ensure combustion is within specifications.
  • The heat exchanger is thoroughly inspected for holes, hairline cracks and corrosion to ensure carbon monoxide is not entering the home.
  • Burners and flame sensors are tested to ensure proper ignition and efficient fuel consumption.
  • The blower wheel is removed, cleaned and bearings lubricated or replaced if necessary.
  • The blower access panel is inspected to make certain it seals tightly.
  • Intake grills, louvers and filters are cleaned or replaced.
  • The venting system is inspected for blockage or leaks all the way from the furnace to the roof cap.
  • Condensation drainage is checked for leaks or blockage including interior hoses.
  • Static air pressure and temperature rise checks are also part of any thorough inspection.

As you can see, furnaces are complicated creatures that require a thorough evaluation each year. Many things could go that will increase your utility bill or pose a safety hazard. Forgoing regular maintenance increases the chance that your furnace breaks down when its service is most required. An emergency visit from an HVAC contractor during their busy winter months will cost you far more than regular maintenance.

The Best Time of Year for a Furnace Inspection

If you have any concerns regarding the condition of your furnace, an immediate check-up is advisable. If your furnace is approaching 10 years of age and it has not had a maintenance check within the last year, it is strongly recommended that you schedule one right away.

For regular annual tune-ups, the best time of year to schedule an inspection is during spring. At that time of year, HVAC technicians will be more available than during the busier months of fall and winter. Additionally, if problems are discovered, you have more time to consider your options than when the weather is turning frigid. Thus, a little foresight and diligence ensures you and your family sleep warmly during winter’s chill.

Why not schedule your maintenance right now with Appleby Systems?

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