So what is a furnace tune-up? You likely know it’s a great way to get your HVAC system ready for winter, but do you know what the HVAC technician who handles your tune-up will do? During a comprehensive HVAC tune-up, they’ll carefully inspect and optimize various components to keep your heating safe, affordable, and reliable.
A Comprehensive Furnace Tune-Up Checklist
You might not realize just how much is going on behind the scenes to keep your home warm, but the professionals know just what it takes.
Your HVAC tune-up here in Twin Falls, ID, will focus on all of the different components of the furnace, including the combustion, mechanical, and electrical systems.
Ductwork is another important part of your heating system that technicians will carefully inspect for any potential damage.
In general, you can expect your furnace tune-up to cover:
- Cleaning and adjusting the pilot light and ignition system
- Lubricating moving parts like motors and fans
- Checking the current and voltage of electrical components
- Inspecting the heat exchanger for damage or corrosion
- Checking all electrical connections
- Testing for carbon monoxide or gas leaks
- Cleaning the furnace interior to improve efficiency
- Verifying the gas pressure
- Inspecting ductwork for leaks
- Calibrating the thermostat
- Changing the air filter
- Testing all controls
- Checking the gas line connections
- Verifying the exhaust system
- Cleaning the blower to ensure optimal airflow
As you can see, this is a very comprehensive list. Each of these elements plays an important role in your tune-up, providing improved efficiency and increased safety while extending the useful life of your furnace.
Keeping Your Home Safe
The top priority for your HVAC technician is going to be keeping your home safe. Your furnace burns natural gas to heat your home, which opens the door to two primary safety concerns.
The first is that any leaks from your gas supply present a significant fire hazard. The second is that burning gas can produce carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that can enter your home if your furnace is damaged.
Preventing Gas Leaks
Natural gas presents a risk of fires and even explosions if a leak goes undetected. That’s why gas companies add a strong rotten egg scent to the naturally odorless gas. If you smell a gas leak, exit your home and call the professionals immediately.
An annual HVAC tune-up helps prevent gas leaks from happening in the first place. The technician will carefully inspect your gas lines and the fittings connecting them. Loose fittings are a common cause of gas leaks, and simply tightening them is often enough to prevent calamity.
Your gas lines might have become corroded or damaged over time, especially if exposed to certain weather. A visual inspection can identify gas lines that could develop a leak shortly, and replacing those sections is a quick and convenient furnace repair.
Avoiding Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, meaning you won’t be able to sense any leaks directly. This gas is a product of natural gas combustion. It can be made worse by dirty or damaged burners reducing the combustion efficiency of the furnace.
The serious threat here is a cracked or broken heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a series of tubes that pass through the combustion chamber. As fresh air passes through the pipes, it’s heated and then circulated through your home.
Carbon monoxide can enter your home if there’s a crack in the heat. One common sign of a damaged heat exchanger is soot appearing around your vents.
Your HVAC tune-up specialist will be able to identify a damaged heat exchanger. Replacing an individual heat exchanger is an extensive repair, and getting a new furnace installation might be the best choice, especially if dealing with an older model.
Efficient Heating After Your HVAC Tune-Up
A furnace tune-up here in Twin Falls, ID, keeps your house safe, but it also helps you save on your heating bill. By ensuring proper operation of your burner, blower, ductwork, and thermostat, a professional tune-up can make a huge difference throughout the winter.
A big part of the tune-up is going to be thoroughly cleaning the interior of your furnace. This cleaning includes the heat exchanger and the burner. When soot and other dirt accumulate on the heat exchanger, they create resistance to heat transfer.
This resistance means less heat is entering your home, and more is leaving with the furnace exhaust. Cleaning solves this problem quickly.
Cleaning the burner allows for higher efficiency by promoting complete combustion. Complete combustion also reduces the concentration of carbon monoxide produced within the furnace. The technician will ensure that the gas pressure is correct for your furnace, creating an optimal air/gas ratio for combustion.
Proper Air Circulation
Your furnace heats the air that passes through the heat exchanger, but the amount of heat delivered to your home depends on how much air reaches the rooms that need heating.
The HVAC technician will carefully clean the blower assembly that pushes this air to ensure it’s working properly and oil its motor for better efficiency.
The air filter covering your furnace’s air intake builds up dust and other dirt over time, which makes the blower have to work that much harder. Replacing this filter lets the blower run more efficiently.
Any leaks within your ductwork lead to a less efficient distribution of heat throughout your home. You could be losing a significant amount of heat, which can drastically raise your heating bill. Checking ductwork for tears and any problems with your vents can greatly improve efficiency.
Your furnace runs in cycles, turning on and off intermittently to keep the temperature in your home consistent with what you set on the thermostat. If something is wrong with the thermostat or its connection to your furnace, the furnace might instead keep your home either too cold or too warm.
A simple calibration ensures that your furnace is working towards the temperature you set on the thermostat. This important step prevents your heating system from wasting energy by keeping your home warmer than you intend.
Extending the Life of Your Furnace
An HVAC tune-up is an important part of ongoing furnace maintenance. Furnaces generally last for decades, and getting an annual furnace tune-up can help extend their lifespans even further while saving your money on utility bills and repairs along the way.
For any HVAC system, catching problems early generally makes them easier and cheaper to repair. What could be a minor issue today can become worse over time, eventually requiring a completely new furnace installation to solve.
Instead, a regular tune-up includes a thorough inspection of all systems. This work lets the technician identify parts that aren’t working at full capacity or could fail shortly. Replacing these parts now will be much more convenient than needing emergency furnace repairs in the dead of winter.
You should also consider that faulty parts are likely to cause damage and wear to other features as well. Anything that’s causing your furnace to run less efficiently is making every other component work harder, and you could find yourself having to replace those parts.
Keeping Your Warranty
In most cases, any new furnace installation is going to carry a manufacturer’s warranty. What you need to know is that almost every manufacturer’s warranty will require annual maintenance to stay in effect. You should check the specific terms of your warranty to make sure you understand its terms.
This stipulation will also mean that you need a professional HVAC tune-up, not just an attempt to carry one out yourself. That’s the only way that the manufacturer can be satisfied that proper maintenance has been performed.
Of course, it’s best to go with professional maintenance in any case. A furnace is a complex system that takes experience and knowledge to handle properly. Because of the risk of gas leaks and other hazards, attempting a comprehensive furnace tune-up on your own could have serious consequences.
The Outcome of Your Furnace Tune-Up
Your furnace tune-up is going to have a few possible outcomes depending on the condition of your furnace. For newer and well-maintained furnaces, none of the hardware will likely have to be replaced.
If you have an older furnace, there’s a decent chance that you may need some type of repair. Any HVAC technician will be able to provide you with a quote for any work to be done and explain all of your options. If your furnace is very old or has taken on significant damage, you might need a replacement.
This knowledge may seem like a major inconvenience, but it’s better to know ahead of time. A thorough inspection helps uncover problems that would become a disaster later on in the winter.
Home Heating & Air Conditioning Furnace Tune-Ups
Home Heating & Air Conditioning can provide you with the annual furnace tune-up you need here in Twin Falls, ID. With our professional team, you’ll be getting the safety, efficiency, and longevity you need from your heating system.
Reach out to us today for your next tune-up or for any HVAC services you might need. Our team of HVAC tune-up experts is ready to put your mind at ease for the coming winter.