Updated for 2017
Winter is coming. We’re not making a Game of Thrones joke. Winter really is only a few months away, and that means that the temperature is dropping.
To be better prepared for when Jack Frost makes his first appearance, we recommend getting a fall furnace tune up. You’ll beat the seasonal rush and be better equipped for the seasonal chill.
We know what you’re thinking. “My furnace is fine, why would I want to do that?”
You may think your furnace is fine, but in reality you could be missing signs that you’re in need of a fall furnace tune up. Even if it turns out your furnace is in good working order, there are a lot of benefits that come it.
Signs Your Furnace Needs a Tune Up
While an annual check up is HVAC professional-recommended, sometimes your furnace needs a tuneup. If you notice any of these warning signs, make sure you call us right away.
1. Unusual Noises
Furnaces that are about to fail may rattle, hum or buzz. While this many seem like a clear cut sign, the problem is that healthy furnaces make these noises as well.
This makes it important for you to actively listen to your furnace, so you can recognize the good noises from the bad ones.
When your furnace is running well, record the sound it makes using your phone and compare that recording to future noises.
2. Visible Damage
A furnace should generally look the same throughout its lifetime – just maybe a little dustier than when it was first installed! So if there is some visible signs of damage like worn out spots or rust, there could be an internal problem that is much worse.
Look for cracks in the metal or signs of discoloration. If you see anything that isn’t quite right, schedule a furnace tune up. We always say it’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Inadequate Heating
Have you got the heat turned all the way up, but still find yourself reaching for that extra layer? It can be remarkably uncomfortable waiting for you home to heat up while the temperature outside continues falling far below freezing.
Before you slip on that extra pair of wool socks and chalk it up to a draft or how you’re always cold, consider booking a tune up.
When your furnace struggles to heat your house to your desired temperature, even running at full capacity, it could be an indication that your furnace is about to fail.
A well-tuned furnace shouldn’t take a long time to heat up your home, and will be a lifesaver come December.
4. Higher Bills That Aren’t Weather Related
When you’ve had your furnace for a few winters, you’ll have a good idea how much your heating bill generally is. It also depends on the weather; the colder the winter, the higher the bills.
But if you’re noticing that the bill seems much higher than usual when set to its regular temperature, this could be a sign of a problem.
As a furnace struggles to compensate for damage or poor ventilation, you may see a rise in your electricity or gas bill. This is because your furnace is having to work harder, using more energy.
The best way to identify this problem is to understand how much energy your furnace will use at a given temperature. This information should be in your owner’s manual, or you can call a professional for assistance.
If you notice your heating bill steadily climbing, and the weather isn’t significantly colder, make an appointment for a furnace tune up right away.
The Benefits of a Fall Furnace Tune Up
Even if you haven’t seen any warning signs, we still recommend scheduling a fall furnace tune up, because it comes with many benefits.
1. A Fall Furnace Tune Up Will Save You Money
It’s true! Having a fall furnace tune up will save you money on your energy bill. You may see savings as high as 30% on heating!
So how does a fall furnace tune up save you money? A well-maintained furnace will run more efficiently, which means that you use less energy to heat your home. Less energy use means a lower bill to pay each month.
Heating Tip: There are other things you can do to cut your heating costs, like actively using your programmable thermostat.
2. Tune Ups Maintain Your Warranty
It’s right before the winter season, and your furnace has completely given out. There are no amount of repairs that can save it. Normally you would be worried, but you’re still within the time frame of your manufacturer’s warranty. You’re ready to make good on it, and get a new furnace. The company then asks for records of regular maintenance to make sure that you’ve been taking care of it properly. And you don’t have any.
If you haven’t been regularly taking care of your furnace, this makes it a lot harder to cash in on your warranty, as some furnace companies need to see proof.
Depending on the company and the furnace, a warranty could be as long as 15 years. A well-cared for furnace can last as long as 20 years. The best way to make sure you are covered for the full warranty is to invest in a fall furnace tune up every year.
That way, if there is something wrong, you’ll be able to prove that you did what you could to keep it running.
3. A Tune Up Keeps You and Your Family Safe
Your furnace is often just a thought in the back of your head, and only brought to the forefront when you’re adjusting the temperature. But it can actually be a big safety risk if it is not regularly inspected.
Potential dangers include gas leaks and carbon monoxide leaks. These are both very dangerous to your health. A fall furnace tune up will catch any potential leaks, and make sure that your furnace is operating safely.
Safety Tip: Check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they are working properly with the time changes in the spring and fall, and replace the batteries. You should also make note of the expiration dates; most carbon monoxide alarms expire after 5 years.
4. A Fall Furnace Tune Up Means a Happy, Peaceful Winter
There are so many things people don’t like about winter, and a potential furnace problem just adds to the list. Getting a fall furnace tune up will let you know the state of your furnace before that happens.
We’ll be able to do run of the mill maintenance, make necessary repairs, or let you know that you’re in need of a new furnace. Since it’s the fall, you’ll have plenty of time to shop for a new one before you really need it. We can help you choose the furnace that will work best in your home, and install it for you.
What Can I Do to Keep My Furnace Running Smoothly?
Now that your furnace is working soundly, and you’re beginning to reap the benefits, there are several things you can do after your fall furnace tune up to keep it running smoothly.
1. Clean and Change Your Filters
A dirty filter forces a furnace to work harder to pump air. This can cause strain on the system and reduce the life of your unit. It also won’t filter your air as effectively.
We recommend checking your filter every month. Most filters need to be cleaned or changed every 3 months, but depending on your home, this may need to be more frequent. Check your furnace’s user manual for the type of filter it uses, and how often they should be cleaned or changed.
If possible, buy pleated filters, rather than fibreglass filters. Fiberglass filters, while cheaper, need to be cleaned more often, and do not filter out smaller particles.
Washable filters are more eco-friendly, but still need to be cleaned just as often. Make sure you follow the directions in your manual when cleaning them, and do not use corrosive materials as they can damage the filter.
2. Keep Your Vents Clear
Throughout the fall and winter, garden debris, snow, and ice can get into a furnace’s intake vent. This causes a lot of clogs, and prevents proper airflow, making your furnace much less effective.
Clogged vents have become so common that many furnace inspectors have built it into their regular checklist. You should also make it a part of your fall checklist.
Build clearing these vents into your regular raking and, eventually, shoveling routine. If snow gets high enough to block them completely, shovel a moat in the snow to keep ice from forming and blocking the vents.
Our Workmanship Comes With Its Own Guarantee
While we can never guarantee that you’ll have a winter free of furnace problems, we can guarantee our workmanship. We’ll give you the assurance that when we do your furnace tune up, we will fix any problems we find. If any repairs or installations we make breaks within 2 years, we’ll come back and fix it for free.
Be an early bird and request a quote for our fall furnace tune ups. You’ll be able to enjoy the fun parts of winter without worrying about coming back to a freezing cold home.