Most HVAC companies recommend having your system tuned up once a year, preferably in the fall before you turn the heat on for the coming season. Tune-ups can improve efficiency, quiet down a noisy furnace, and help you get a few more years out of your appliances. But what will the technician do during the tune-up appointment? To some extent, this depends on the type of furnace you have, how old it is, and whether you've been experiencing any problems. But basically, you can expect them to tackle these five tasks.
Check and Change the Filter
You should be changing your furnace filter every one or two months. When the time for a tune-up comes, you can skip this step since your HVAC technician will do it for you. If you tell them how long it has been since you last changed the filter, they will take a look at the amount of dirt on your filter to tell you whether you need to change it more or less often. They may even give you a few filters for the coming months or sell you some at a discount. They may also recommend a different type of filter if the one you are using is not keeping your air adequately clean.
Inspect and Test the Thermostat
If your thermostat is telling your furnace to heat the home at 68, but the furnace is not turning off until the room is 72, you have a problem. One of the things your HVAC tech will do during the tune-up is check to ensure the thermostat and furnace are communicating properly and that the thermostat is correctly sensing the room temperature. If these connections are not working well, your technician can usually solve the problem quite easily by replacing or adjusting a few wires, or at the very worst, replacing your thermostat. (You can get a new digital thermostat for about $200.) Making these changes will save you a lot on energy and also make your home more comfortable.
Clean the Burner
As furnaces age, the burners can sometimes accumulate dust and grime. This makes the furnace less efficient, can lead to banging noises when the heat kicks on, and can also cause unwanted odors. Your HVAC tech can clean the burner and also make changes, like recommending duct cleaning or a different filter, to keep your burner cleaner in the coming years.
Check Air Flow
A blocked duct can keep warm air from making it into certain rooms. Similarly, if your blower unit is not producing a strong enough air flow, then heat may not be making it into all of your rooms. Your HVAC tech can check air flow through various vents and make changes, either in the ducts or by adjusting the blower unit, to ensure more even heating. That means no more shivering away in the living room while your kids sweat in their bedrooms!
Inspect Gas Lines
A gas leak can be very dangerous, exposing you to harmful fumes and putting your home at risk of fire and explosions. Often, an HVAC tech can see that a gas line or valve is weak long before an actual leak occurs. So your HVAC tech will look over the lines and work with the gas company to make any necessary repairs to protect your family and home.
If you have not scheduled your HVAC tune-up for the year yet, make sure you do so soon! A tune-up won't just keep your furnace operating efficiently. It will protect your family, make your home more comfortable, and ensure you don't deal with a loss of heat on a chilly winter day. Speak with a technician at companies like Winters Heating Cooling to learn more.