Does Your Furnace Really Need a Yearly Inspection?

By: Reuben Saltzman

A recent blog post about fall maintenance mentioned having your furnace inspected/tuned up by a qualified heating contractor annually. One reader sent an email asking if this was really necessary – here’s his original question:

“I have a question about furnace tune-ups. You say get one every year – is that really necessary? What do the HVAC guys actually do to the furnace to ‘tune’ it up? There’s no spark plugs to replace like a car tune-up, and my understanding is they basically vacuum out dust and inspect it. Couldn’t the homeowner do this himself? Or do I really need to pay $80-$150 every year for a professional to do it?”

These are great questions worthy of a post all on their own.

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Furnace manufacturers all recommend annual inspections and maintenance by a qualified technician. They also have language in their warranties saying that damage to the units caused by improper maintenance is not covered under the warranty. Does this mean that an annual furnace checkup is really required, or the warranty is voided? Probably not, but it’s recommended. The best analogy is going to the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning; probably not necessary, but recommended.

Some HVAC contractors recommend getting newer furnaces checked every other year, but once they’re more than 10 years old, have them checked annually.

Furnace Maintenance

By: Fix It Club

Heating systems are usually trouble-free and easy to maintain, even when you have dramatic temperature swings like we have in Waldorf, White Plains, Mechanicsville and La Plata. Efficient operation is a function of good regular maintenance. No matter what type of furnace you have, there are several things you can do to keep your heating system in top condition. In this article, we will tell you how to service and troubleshoot your furnace, regardless of the type.

When a heating or cooling system malfunctions, any one of its three components — heat/cold source, distribution system, or thermostat — may be causing the problem. If the furnace or air conditioner doesn’t run, the malfunction is probably at the source. The furnace or air conditioner may have lost power. Fuel may not be reaching the unit. If the fuel is gas or oil, it may not be igniting. If the furnace or air conditioner turns on but the warm or cool air isn’t reaching the rooms of your home, the problem is likely to be the blower or distribution system. And a faulty control, or thermostat, could keep the system from turning on or could cause it to turn on and off repeatedly. Whatever the problem, start with the simplest procedures. In most cases, all it takes is patience and common sense.

If you don’t feel comfortable services your own system Aire Care specializes in the Waldorf, White Plains, La Plata, Hughesville and Mechanicsville area and will be happy to work with you to ensure your system is running at peak performance and efficiency.