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Are Annual Furnace Maintenance Plans Necessary?

are-annual-hvac-maintenance-plans-necessaryFurnace maintenance is one of those things that many homeowners know they should do, but often don’t. For the first few years, there may be no noticeable difference in how the furnace performs, and paying to service a functioning system may seem like a waste of money. Over time, however, a lack of proper maintenance will cause your HVAC system to lose efficiency and most likely need replacing earlier than it would have with regular service.

Why is Furnace Maintenance So Important?

The two main reasons to schedule furnace maintenance every year are: 1) the peace of mind that comes with knowing your system will work well all season long, and 2) the cost savings you’ll realize from lower energy bills and fewer repairs.

Obviously, furnace breakdowns don’t happen during the summer; they happen when heating your home is a necessity. Having your heating system malfunction in the middle of a cold snap or snow storm is inconvenient and uncomfortable at best, and a safety issue at worst. Preventative maintenance keeps your HVAC system up and running all season long, without those unpleasant surprise breakdowns.

While you may not notice a gradual decline in efficiency, eventually you will notice your energy bills increasing for the same or inferior performance. Annual maintenance includes a variety of services that keep your system operating at peak efficiency, so your energy bills stay as low as possible and your home stays warm.

Furnace Maintenance Tasks You Can Do Yourself

Probably the single most important maintenance task a homeowner can perform is changing the HVAC air filter every 30-60 days. Having a clean filter avoids a multitude of issues caused by decreased air flow such as: more frequent cycling on and off, parts wearing out faster, poor indoor air quality and uneven or inconsistent heating. Changing the filter regularly is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your furnace functioning properly.

Another important do-it-yourself maintenance task is keeping the supply and return registers clean and unblocked. Make sure furniture or other items aren’t covering the vents or preventing the air from circulating freely. Occasionally clean the vent covers and vacuum inside the vents to remove the dust and debris that may collect there.

Furnace Maintenance That Should be Left to a Professional

During your professional maintenance appointment, your HVAC tech will do a thorough inspection and cleaning of your system  This includes:

  • Checking the thermostat
  • Tightening electrical components
  • Lubricating all moving parts
  • Inspecting the condensate drain
  • Checking system controls
  • Cleaning and adjusting the blower
  • Checking fuel line connections
  • Inspecting the gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger

HVAC technicians are trained to spot small or potential problems that the average homeowner would not notice. By doing so he or she can correct a problem when it is a small repair and prevent it from becoming a breakdown or an expensive repair. The technician will also be looking for any safety hazards that could put your home and family in danger.

Benefits of Annual Furnace Maintenance:

  • Lower energy bills
  • Fewer repairs
  • Lower chance of a major breakdown
  • Longer equipment life span
  • Safer operation of equipment

Many HVAC companies offer maintenance plans that make these annual check-ups affordable and the cost is easily recouped with greater efficiency, better performance and longer equipment life.

September is the perfect time to schedule your furnace maintenance. Contact Indoor Air Quality today for an appointment. 

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