Heating System Tune-Up and What it Means for Your Furnace?
What is a heating system tune-up? Sure, that’s an easy question with an easy answer. It is about getting your furnace thoroughly checked for defects and having it clean and free of any form of dirt to prevent malfunctions. It helps the system run smoothly for a long time. Simple, straightforward, and effective.
Is that all there is to a heating system tune-up? Is it really simple and straightforward? Or is there more to it than conducting an inspection and keeping it clean?
Why Heating Maintenance is Important
Getting a good system tune-up can be likened to preparing a good meal. You have to make sure that every ingredient is available, of good quality, and ready to use to get the perfect recipe. The same process works for your furnace which is a mechanical system that is made up of different components that work together to produce one result.
Mechanical systems have moving parts that require constant cleaning to remove dirt, grime, and residues from its mechanical functions. Some parts within these machines need adjustments to make sure they aren’t loose or worn down that can lead to disastrous outcomes such as a malfunction or sudden stoppage of operation.
If proper maintenance isn’t done on a regular schedule, any machine, including furnaces, will eventually stop working. And that’s why check-ups and tune-ups are important.
Top Furnace Service Questions You Must Know
As we tackle the importance of fine-tuning home furnaces as an integral part of regular maintenance, some people already have an idea of what problems may occur when there is no proper heating service maintenance. We’ve collected some of the most common furnace issues that many people are trying to resolve.
Why is cold air blowing when the heat is on?
This is a common problem. And in several cases, the answer is simple. If the vents in your house are blowing out cold air it could be the thermostat setting that needs a little adjustment. The fan might be set to ON instead of AUTO. What needs to be done is to switch the fan setting to AUTO. This is because when the fan is set to ON, it will continuously run even if the heating cycle ends, whereas setting it to automatic will mean the fan will run only during the heating cycle.
The ON setting will give you better air quality because unwanted particles are constantly being filtered from the air. Also, heat is evenly distributed because the airflow is continuous. The downside, however, is that it will cost you more to run it non-stop and the filters will have to be changed more frequently.
If switching the setting from ON to AUTO does not work, you’ll have to talk with a technician. Something else may be causing the issue.
Can I DIY my furnace maintenance?
To some extent, furnace maintenance can be done by you. Non-complex things like changing the filter every 30 days, replacing the smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detector batteries once a year, or sealing obvious air leaks in the attic or ducting system are safe for you to do on your own. But this is not advisable for people who know nothing about the basics of HVAC maintenance.
Better yet, contact a professional, especially for in-depth maintenance of this complex system. Video guides available online can only help do so much. Remember, technicians know these systems from the inside out. If you have doubts, hire one to help you.
How can I make my furnace run more efficiently?
Unblocking air vents and registers.
If you’ve recently rearranged your home for a change of view, there might be a possibility that some furniture is blocking either the registers, radiators, or baseboard heaters. Furniture, heavy curtains, and even toys are known to block heated air from coming out of the air vents. The blockage in airflow will push your system to work harder which will cause stress and more energy consumption.
Remove obstructions around the furnace.
Most of the time, the air handlers are housed in the basements, or in some garages, which are areas used for storage as well. The things we store in these areas can limit the airflow surrounding the unit. We don’t want that because that will only lead to problems later on. Be sure to free at least 3 to 5 feet of space around the furnace for good airflow. Also, it’s one of the safety measures to prevent accidental fires while you’re burning gas for heat.
Draw cool air up with ceiling fans.
You don’t need to buy ceiling fans to make this work. If your home has fans, then this will work for you. Switch the fan’s blades to rotate clockwise. This change of rotational direction will draw cool air up and push warm air down. It helps heat your home naturally while lessening the workload of the furnace.
Warm-up hard surfaces with rugs.
Rugs can help in keeping everyone in the house warm. A good area rug “can reduce the amount of heat that is required to keep you warm in a room and can also create a soft and warm barrier between your feet and the cold, hard floor – whether it is hardwood flooring or tiling“.
Visit this page for more stylish ways to warm up your home.
How often should I replace my furnace?
On our previous blog post, it says:
“On average, furnaces can last between 15-20 years. However, there are still a lot of heating systems that do not reach this life expectancy. The longevity of these units depends on the production quality, frequency and extent of their usage, and the exposure to a proper maintenance program.”
Furnace replacement doesn’t have a definite schedule. Your systems lifespan will depend on how extensive the usage is, the contributing conditions affecting its functions, and its production quality. Maintenance and tune-up service can only help it work for so long, eventually, its service will come to an end.
Be mindful of the years the system has been in service. The frequency of repairs, the cost of every service visit, and the extent of the issue every time it will need parts repair or replacement can also tell you when is the good time for a replacement.