You wouldn’t dream of neglecting the maintenance on your car, knowing that doing so could lead to a breakdown at an extremely inopportune moment. Why, then, do so many people avoid regular furnace maintenance, knowing the stakes are just as high? Think about it: if your furnace fails to do its job during freezing weather, your home will be uncomfortable at best and downright dangerous at worst.
There’s also the obvious safety issue of having a furnace that isn’t operating at full capacity in your home: proper maintenance is important to ensure adequate ventilation and reduce the risk of fire. The financial considerations are worth taking note of as well: regular maintenance now helps to prevent the need for expensive repairs later.
Ideally, you should schedule a visit from an HVAC professional at least once a year. During that visit, in addition to cleaning and tune-up, your HVAC contractor will go down a checklist and look for any signs of malfunctioning or nonoperational parts, which they can then repair for you as needed.
In this article, we’ll discuss six of the most important reasons to invest in regular furnace maintenance.
1. Extend the Life Span of Your Furnace & Its Warranty
As with any machinery, one of the primary reasons to invest in professional maintenance is to extend the life span of the technology. The up-front cost of yearly tune-ups, cleanings, and repairs is a large part of the reason many people avoid having these necessary services performed. While it’s true that the cost of maintenance can add up over time, those yearly costs pale in comparison to the expense of a major repair or, in the worst-case scenario, an emergency furnace replacement after a catastrophic failure. A furnace that has been properly cared for, however, can last for decades before a replacement is warranted: often as long as 20 or 30 years.
2. Improve Indoor Air Quality
It is well-known that winter is cold and flu season, but have you ever stopped to wonder why that is? Part of it has to do with indoor air quality. When it’s cold outside, people tend to stay inside, with the doors and windows shut, relying on their HVAC systems to keep them warm. If these units aren’t properly maintained, however, they can become a hazard and increase your chances of getting sick.
This is because the filters in your HVAC system will eventually become saturated with dust and dirt that will, in turn, end up being circulated back into your home. These dust particles and other impurities can weaken your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to germs that are no longer being effectively filtered out. To avoid this, you should have a professional clean or replace your furnace filter once every three months and more often if your furnace gets more than normal wear and tear.
3. Save Money on Repairs
Every furnace will eventually require some type of repair. Worn-out elements will need to be replaced, electrical connections will need to be rewired, and malfunctioning thermostats will need to be fixed. It’s often cheaper to have repairs performed during the off-season instead of during the winter, which is often the busiest time of year for many HVAC professionals.
More demand for their services means that you might have to wait longer for service and prices may be higher, especially if you require emergency service. By opting to have regular furnace maintenance performed, however, you can catch problems ahead of time and have repairs performed during the off-season, when they are less expensive.
4. Save Money on Your Energy Costs Too
A well-maintained furnace, with clean ducts and clean filters, is also far more efficient than one that has been neglected. A more efficient furnace directly equates to one that is cheaper to operate, and there are plenty of reasons why this is the case.
First is the aforementioned clean ducts and filters. Air can circulate more effectively through a clean HVAC system, meaning that far less heat energy is lost as waste heat before it can be used to heat your home. Regular tune-ups also help to ensure that each mechanical element of your furnace is doing its job effectively. For example, one of the most common problems furnaces face is a malfunctioning thermostat. If the thermostat isn’t working properly, it won’t cycle the furnace on and off at the correct temperatures, forcing the whole system to work harder and use more energy to keep your home at the desired temperature, resulting in a higher monthly energy bill.
5. A Well-Maintained Furnace Is Much Safer
Modern furnaces operate very safely, with redundancies in place to prevent serious hazards from occurring. Nevertheless, if your furnace isn’t maintained regularly, it can still create fire hazards, allow toxic byproducts to seep into your home, or trigger other dangers that may go unnoticed unless they are detected by an HVAC professional. For example, a blocked ventilation system can allow dangerous carbon monoxide gas to enter the building, or a malfunctioning pilot light can create a risk of fire.
As part of their regular maintenance checklist, your HVAC professional will assess any and all safety risks that may be posed by your furnace and repair them as necessary.
6. Catch Problems Before They Become Serious
At All Weather Heating & Cooling, we know that the unexpected can always occur. That’s why we offer 24-hour emergency repair services. Often, however, when we respond to these calls, we discover that the problem is one that could have been avoided if it had been caught during a regular maintenance visit. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a freezing cold house in the middle of the night, waiting for a diagnosis on your nonfunctional furnace. It’s far better to catch potential problems ahead of time if you can. Having your furnace regularly checked by an HVAC professional can help to do that.
If you’d like to extend the life span of your HVAC system, improve the air quality in your home, or experience any of the above benefits, professional furnace maintenance is an excellent way to achieve them all. Plus, fall is a great time for a furnace checkup. Make sure your furnace is in top shape before the colder weather settles in.
To schedule furnace maintenance, contact the professionals at All Weather Heating & Cooling. We’ve been maintaining and repairing HVAC systems since 1998 and are a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer. We’ll help keep your furnace running smoothly all winter long.