Summer has come and gone, and with it goes balmy temperatures and fun in the sun. As a homeowner, you need to prepare for cold temperatures and the change in your HVAC system’s function.
From Cooling to Heating
Diving into heating your home takes more than simply switching from air conditioning to heating mode. Failure to prepare your furnace for the new task could lead to strain on your unit and eventual breakdowns in the dead of winter. Preparing your furnace for upcoming heating functions with a maintenance tune-up is smart to avoid extra repair bills and possible replacement.
Consequences of Furnace Maintenance Neglect
Regular care and maintenance of your furnace are essential to optimizing its function and possibly extending its life. Maintenance can also increase your furnace’s efficiency, resulting in significant energy savings. When you let small problems go, they can quickly escalate into complete system failure.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless gas that can be lethal when allowed to build up inside your home. Your furnace’s heat exchanger creates a byproduct of carbon monoxide. If it’s allowed to leak through cracks in your system, you could face dire health consequences for you and your loved ones.
Variations in Temperature
When dirt and debris are allowed to settle on components, hindering ventilation, you could experience hot and cold spots around your home. Keep your home at an even, comfortable temperature by cleaning and maintaining your unit seasonally to optimize its function and heating capabilities.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
When left unchecked, a furnace will clog with dirt, debris, and allergens, reducing the quality of the air you breathe all winter long. You may experience frequent colds, sniffles, allergies, and infections due to the debris circulating around your home. A simple furnace cleaning and tune-up will take care of most of these issues, helping to improve indoor air quality and your health.
Most furnaces are designed to last anywhere from 15-25 years with proper care and maintenance. Neglect strains your system, as dirty components don’t function as well as clean, well-cared-for parts. Regular care and maintenance of your system will reduce breakdowns and keep your unit running when you need it most.
Getting a Tune-Up: What to Ask
So, you’ve scheduled a tune-up with your HVAC technician. Now what? Knowing a bit about the services that will be provided will give you valuable information and insight into how your unit runs and what it needs to perform well for you. Our HVAC service professionals are knowledgeable, trained technicians who are glad to answer your questions. You may want to jot down a few questions to ask beforehand to make sure you get the most out of the visit. Here are some examples of what you might ask your technician.
1. Why Is a Tune-Up Necessary for My Unit?
A maintenance tune-up may seem like an unnecessary expense, but this could not be further from the truth. A furnace tune-up saves you significant time and energy as your unit ages. Tuning and cleaning a furnace help keeps your family safe from breakdowns, carbon monoxide leaks, and other dangerous conditions that can arise from a furnace that is not working properly.
2. How’s My Air Flow?
A good tune-up and cleaning will improve your unit’s airflow, which is essential to keeping your home warm and comfortable this winter. Units that are dirty and clogged have low airflow. As a result of this poor system circulation, your home cannot warm properly and stay at comfortable temperatures. Compromised air flow also puts undue stress on the system and could shorten its lifespan.
3. Can I Tune-Up My Unit or Install It on My Own?
Unless you have extensive knowledge and training in HVAC systems and their various components, it is never advised to try to service your unit by yourself. This task can lead to dangerous, complex problems that could risk your entire home and property. Hiring a professional with knowledge and experience in HVAC system maintenance and repair will save you time and money and keep you safe.
4. How Do I Know When It’s Time to Replace a Furnace?
If you suspect that your unit is officially past its prime, ask your technician what is recommended for repair or replacement in the near future. These signs could indicate that it’s time to replace your furnace:
- Frequent repairs
- Cool spots around your home
- Higher than normal energy bills
- Strange smells and leaks coming from your unit
- Strange sounds when the furnace is in operation
If any of these signs are present when your unit is functioning, it may be time to consider a replacement.
5. When Is the Best Time of Year to Perform a Tune-Up?
Furnaces can be tuned-up and maintained at any time of the year. In general, seasonal changes cause the most strain on your HVAC unit, so spring and fall tune-ups are recommended as your unit switches jobs. However, these tend to be busy seasons for HVAC professionals, so schedule your work well in advance to ensure that you get help when needed.
6. How Much Does a Service Tune-Up Cost?
Depending on the condition of your unit, a seasonal furnace tune-up costs anywhere from $70-$500, taking into account the need for minor repairs and replacement of parts. A well-maintained furnace does not always need to be repaired. Simple cleaning and inspection of components can get you up and running for winter with as little as a $150 investment for the season. This is a small price to pay when compared to the thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs that come with the neglect of your system.
7. Is Maintenance Cheaper Than Repair?
In most cases, furnace maintenance is cheaper than repair. Parts are expensive and sometimes hard to come by, depending on the make, model, and age of your unit. If parts are not found in stock, waiting for them to be shipped and installed can be agony, especially if you are already experiencing uncomfortably cold temperatures. Plus, if your furnace breaks down at night or on the week-end, you could be looking at additional emergency service and after-hours costs. It’s best to set aside a budget for regular maintenance and small repairs to reduce the larger costs of total breakdown and replacement. You can also ask us about our affordable maintenance plans.
We’re Ready to Serve You!
At Agers Heating & Air Conditioning, we stand behind our traditions of excellence, quality of service, and customer satisfaction. Proudly serving St Peters and the greater St. Louis area, we work diligently on your HVAC needs to ensure that you are comfortable all year long. Our NATE-certified technicians receive training on the latest techniques and technologies with the goal of making your service experience top-notch.
We serve both residential and commercial clients with quality heating and cooling services. We also provide indoor air quality products and services. Contact us today to set up your seasonal maintenance appointment; we can’t wait to serve you!