Did you know your furnace needs regular service? If you didn't, you're not alone! Most people don't know that in order to keep your furnace running at its best, you should get it checked out once a year. Neglecting to get it checked and having that yearly maintenance is usually what causes issues down the road that would've been less expensive if there had been preventative service rather than reactionary once something goes wrong. Read on to learn more about your furnace, what can go wrong, and how to keep it running great.
How often does a furnace need maintenance?
It's best to get a licensed and professional HVAC technician out to your house once a year to check on your furnace, preferably right before the cold months when you're going to use it. It's best to get it cleaned, but also get a check-up on all the important moving parts, which is part of the annual check-out you'd get if you call 1-800-Plumber +Air, or your local plumber.
What are the most common issues with a furnace?
We've seen it all, but usually, there are a few things that cause bigger issues down the road if they aren't taken care of, and they're usually the things that cause the emergency calls when the heat isn't working.
Dirty or dusty filters
If your filters are dirty and clogged, it will make your heater work harder to heat your home, and this puts strain on the furnace, making it more likely to break after a short amount of time. This filter should be changed once every 2-3 months while you're using the furnace, and you can call your local plumber to see if your annual maintenance will include a filter change.
The pilot light isn't working
There's a pilot light and a pilot button, and if it's clogged, your furnace has a safety measure on it to ensure it doesn't leak gas into the house, so it won't turn on. A licensed and insured technician can clean out the pilot for you to make sure your furnace is working at its best and ensure the safety of your home. Don't try to fix your pilot light or pilot button by yourself. This is a task that should be left to professionals who understand the policies and procedures to make sure you stay safe and your house stays safe.
Cracked heat exchanger
A cracked heat exchanger is a dangerous problem to have. And you'll notice it's happening if you smell something burning or see rust on the outside of your furnace. Both of these are signs you need to call an HVAC technician immediately. The danger is that a cracked heat exchanger can let dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide into your home, and inhaling carbon monoxide can lead to death. Also, a cracked heat exchanger can lead to a house fire and explosion because of the build-up of gas.
A cracked heat exchanger is something that can happen over time naturally, however, it can be prevented for a long time with regular yearly maintenance to your furnace. An HVAC technician can spot the warning signs and fix it before it becomes a problem. These heat exchangers can usually last from 10-20 years, so if yours is younger than that, you could be having other issues.
Do I have to repair my furnace? Can I do it myself?
You can replace dusty or dirty air filters by yourself and that shouldn't be an issue. But anything else, we recommend leaving for the pros to handle. There are certain safety measures and codes and policies to follow with a furnace, and a licensed and insured HVAC technician will know how to quickly and safely repair everything for you. While you can do the simple tasks by yourself, we don't recommend doing anything with the pilot or the heat exchanger by yourself because the risk simply isn't worth it. Make sure to call a professional to help you out!
The benefits of annual service
The benefits are vast when you service your furnace annually! First, the cost of preventative maintenance is significantly lower than having to pay for a costly repair when something goes wrong down the line. Second, your electricity bills could be lower because your furnace won't have to work so hard or break down so quickly if you have regular maintenance to make sure it runs its best always. If you get your unit serviced once a year, you can extend the life of your furnace, which saves you money in the long run when you don't have to replace the whole thing for a lot longer!
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Keeping your furnace up and running doesn't have to be an issue! We are available 24/7 to take care of any emergencies or to schedule yearly maintenance for your furnace. Let us help you! We've seen it all so we know how to handle it all.
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