A warm, cozy winter home needs an HVAC system in optimal condition and efficiently. In order for your furnace to keep doing its job, it requires regular servicing. Furnaces are built to last, but they are also precision-engineered units with lots of parts that can suffer wear and tear over time. That kind of technology requires regular maintenance, and when properly maintained, a good furnace can provide up to 15 or 20 years of reliable service.
You may ask yourself if you genuinely need regular servicing for your heating system, particularly if you live in an area without temperature extremes. You may also wonder why you can’t just keep your furnace clean and in good working order yourself. The truth is, annual servicing for your furnace by a qualified professional—ideally in early fall, before the cold weather arrives and technicians get busy—will benefit both you and your HVAC, both now and in the long term. You’ll save on energy bills and have peace of mind for the year. Your furnace, meanwhile, will enjoy a longer life span and be spared sudden breakdowns.
Here are five reasons why servicing your furnace should be done by a professional.
An annual furnace service is a bit like a yearly medical check-up. There’s usually nothing wrong, but if there is anything abnormal, it’s best to catch it early, and your doctor is best qualified to do so. Your furnace is similar, and an HVAC technician knows all its parts and is well-trained to notice even small concerns. Under their trained eye, anything that needs fixing, cleaning, tightening, adjusting, or replacing will be visible at once.
A professional also knows what to look for. While anyone can learn to change a dirty filter, for example, servicing a furnace requires a detailed check of numerous points, including:
- Thermostat settings
- Electrical connections and voltage on all system components
- Fuel line and fuel levels
- Pilot light
- Condition of furnace’s heat exchanger, blower motor, and flame sensor
- Air ducts
- Safety shut-off equipment
This is why it takes specialized knowledge to identify any necessary repairs or potential issues.
It’s easy to get complacent about your HVAC system when everything is working as expected. There is usually no outward sign of minor issues—until they become larger problems. By servicing your furnace annually, however, a professional technician will help you add years of life to your HVAC system. And you’ll also be spared any sudden system failures in the middle of winter. Some experts say that up to three-quarters of emergency repairs for no heat in winter are due to poor servicing. In contrast, a furnace that is well looked after won’t break down and can last up to 30 percent longer.
As a homeowner, you can contribute to the smooth operation of your furnace by changing the air filter. It’s a fairly simple task as far as furnaces go. But most people don’t have the experience, knowledge, or tools necessary for fully servicing a furnace. Tasks like adjusting your furnace’s temperature rise, lubricating moving parts, cleaning the fuel line and pilot light mechanism, checking carbon monoxide levels, and so on require specialized equipment and know-how. And so do any repairs that may need to be completed.
Regular furnace servicing also keeps you and your family safe, with the primary risks coming from poor air quality or leaks. Depending on what type of furnace you have, wear and tear to certain parts over time can cause dangerous gas leaks, which are a fire hazard.
Another potential issue is a carbon monoxide leak, which can occur if there is inadequate airflow from a clogged filter or dirt inside the unit. Since carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless, it is undetectable without a measuring device. Most homeowners don’t notice the leak until there’s already a danger to the household. A technician, however, can detect any risk of CO in your home and correct the problem. They may also suggest installing sensors for added protection.
It’s also very common to experience issues with reduced indoor air quality due to mold, mildew, dust particles, bacteria, and so on that make their way into or build up in your furnace. It’s not just the filter that needs to be cleaned to do its job. While servicing your furnace, an HVAC technician will clean all parts of the system, ensuring you and your family are getting the best air quality possible.
Furnace manufacturers are happy to back up their warranties with repair or replacement services when things go wrong. But most will want evidence that you’ve been taking proper care of your furnace and HVAC system as a whole to make sure the issue is not caused by inadequate servicing. Many warranties actually include terms that require regular servicing of your furnace and state clearly that they don’t cover damage due to lack of maintenance.
A professional technician will provide paperwork to prove they have examined your furnace and carried out any necessary tune-ups, maintenance, or repairs.
As you can see, annual professional servicing of your furnace is a valuable investment. Who doesn’t want to have peace of mind knowing their heating is not going to quit on them unexpectedly? You can be confident of cleaner air, fewer breakdowns, and years of warm winters when you hire a professional HVAC technician to service your furnace.
In the Pacific Northwest, Entek has been in the trade for over 75 years and is the longest-serving Carrier provider in the region. They know HVAC systems inside out. Contact them today to discuss your servicing options and keep your furnace running at its best.