It’s always a lot of fun to spend money on building projects and home improvements, but less fun to do boring routine maintenance. However, when it comes to your heating system, routine maintenance is very important.
As it works hard to heat your home, your furnace naturally gets a bit dusty and grimy. The component parts undergo wear and tear, and some of them can rust. That’s why regular furnace tune-ups are essential. Poorly maintained furnaces cost more to run and are liable to break down at any moment. Not what you need in the middle of a vicious cold snap!
If your furnace hasn’t been serviced, it can use up to 30% more energy to do the same job (which also means you’ll pay 30% more for electricity usage). Poorly maintained furnaces also produce more exhaust fumes, so getting regular tune-ups for your furnace will even improve the air quality in the home.
The Tune-up Process
The steps your technician takes in servicing your furnace will depend on your furnace and what’s wrong with it, and who you call to service it. In most cases, a good furnace tune-up will include the following steps:
Even if you keep your furnace pretty clean on the outside, you’ll need a furnace technician with the correct tools to carry out the internal cleaning. Vents and ducts will need special attention, but all parts should be removed, cleaned, and put back in place.
Tightening the screws and nuts holding the parts of your furnace in place is important, and tightening the electrical wires or connections is also important. If a wire pulls loose, then it can sometimes prevent your furnace from working at all, but it’s very easy to correct.
Some of the individual components of the furnace mechanism are quite delicate (like the burners, exhaust systems, and some other components). If something goes wrong with one component, it normally has a knock-on effect and prevents other components from working. Identifying and correcting a small problem may save you big problems further down the line.
Even in everyday English speech, to grease the wheels means to keep things running smoothly. If you pay somebody extra to ensure that your package is delivered on time, you are greasing the wheels. If you know somebody in a senior position in the company you’re applying to join, that person could have a quiet word in the right people’s ears so that you are more likely to get the job. That’s also greasing the wheels, figuratively speaking.
Even when it’s literal grease that’s being referred to, greasing (or lubricating) the moving parts of any mechanical system makes it run better. Lubrication allows the components to move past one another without rubbing or sticking. When the technician lubricates the moving parts of your furnace, that’ll make it start working more efficiently straight away.
Check Fuel Connection Systems
The gas or oil pipeline is a crucial part of the system. Even a tiny leak can cause big problems with your furnace. That’s why you must check your furnace’s fuel connection systems thoroughly.
Check System Controls
There’s no point in cleaning, tightening, testing, or lubricating if there’s a problem with your overall system controls. If the system controller isn’t sending out the right commands to the system components, then, of course, they’ll not function correctly! A qualified furnace technician can identify any problems with your system controls and put them right.
Professional furnace tune-ups usually cost somewhere in the region of $80-$100. That may seem like quite a steep price to pay every year, even when your furnace seems to be running well. However, it’s a false economy to neglect to tune up your furnace regularly. Paying a moderate sum each year to keep your furnace in good condition will likely save you from having to pay a steep price to replace it after it completely breaks down.