Getting a furnace tune-up should be on the yearly checklist of every homeowner in Grand Rapids, MI. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to forget about this important service or want to “put it off ‘till next year.” Maybe you’ve done the same.
7 Signs Your Furnace Needs Maintenance
Don’t be tempted to put this off another year. In fact, if you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to call us for help.
- High Energy Bills
Take a look at your heating bills this year and compare them to last year’s. You may see some differences that increased utility rates could explain, but in many cases, those skyrocketing bills are due to problems with your furnace.
If you are paying more money to heat your home, something isn’t running as efficiently as it should be. If you schedule a furnace tune-up, that could make a big difference in your monthly bills.
- Banging Noises
Your furnace should hum along quietly and smoothly when it’s running. If you hear loud or strange noises, that’s a sign that something is going wrong with a moving part. When we are called out for a banging furnace, the trouble is often caused by a malfunctioning blower motor, inducer motor or other operating devices inside the furnace.
- Broken Thermostat
What happens when you turn up the thermostat? Does your heating system turn on as it should? If you turn it down, does it shut off or keep running?
If your furnace doesn’t respond when you change your thermostat, there could be a few things going wrong. Your thermostat could be broken or out of calibration, or the relay switch that turns the heater on and off could be broken. When these problems happen, your unit won’t respond to signals from the thermostat control panel.
You may have read that furnaces can last as long as 20 years. This is true, but your unit will only reach that life span under ideal conditions. Winters are frigid here in Grand Rapids, and your furnace gets a major workout every year.
All furnaces should have annual maintenance done, but older furnaces really need that extra attention. When your furnace is more than ten years old, it’s doubly important to take excellent care of it.
- Poor Heating
Your furnace runs, but there’s little or no air coming out of your vents. Worse, the air is flowing, but it’s cold. Many things can cause airflow or temperature issues in your system.
Many of these problems can be identified and resolved with a furnace tune-up. If the problem cannot be fixed immediately, the technician should tell you what is going on. You can then plan on having the needed repairs completed in the future.
- Surprising Smells
Your sense of smell can really tell you quite a bit about the condition of your furnace. Do you notice a rotten egg smell? That’s a sign that gas is leaking.
You definitely need a furnace tune-up, but that is something to schedule later. First, turn off all gas appliances, leave your home, and contact the fire department. They will check your home to make sure it is okay and may also contact the utility company.
There are other concerning smells, as well. Pay attention to dusty or burning smells or anything with a stench of mold or mildew. These could be signs of issues with your return vents or filter.
- Discolored Burner Flame
If you heat your home with a gas furnace, a flame is ignited. That flame heats the air and forces it through your vents. When gas flows through the lines to those burners, that flame burns efficiently. You’ll notice it’s a bluish color.
Occasionally, homeowners notice that the flame is yellow or orange. This is a problem because it isn’t getting hot enough to heat the home effectively. A technician really needs to look at this issue, so your furnace runs as it should. Make sure to report this issue at your next furnace tune-up appointment.
What Happens During a Furnace Tune-Up
There’s no need to wait for any signs to schedule a furnace tune-up. This is something you should do every year. When the HVAC professional comes to your home to maintain your furnace, they have a checklist of steps they will take to ensure your furnace works efficiently for another cold season. Here are a few of the things they will do.
- Lubricate moving parts
- Fix loose connections
- Change the filter
- Measure and adjust gas pressure
- Monitor the thermostat
- Inspect ductwork
- Test the airflow
- Perform a safety check
Your technician will further explain the maintenance they will do during your furnace tune-up inspection.
Benefits of a Heating System Tune-Up
Every homeowner will experience many benefits if they keep up with regular furnace maintenance. These include:
If your HVAC system is under warranty, your contract most likely requires you to keep up with regular maintenance. If you want future repairs covered, you’ll need to be able to show that your system was serviced regularly by a certified professional.
When your furnace is well cared for, it’s sure to last longer. Your annual furnace inspection and maintenance is much like getting an oil change and tune-up for your car. These are small investments you make to get the longest life and best performance.
If you keep up with maintenance, your furnace expends less energy to heat your home. That leads to meaningful savings on your utility bills. This is also great for the environment. Your efficient furnace uses less energy and fossil fuels to do its job.
Better Air Quality
In most cases, your furnace maintenance will include cleaning the unit, changing your filter. By doing this, your service technician helps prevent harmful particles from entering the ductwork. Additionally, a clean filter protects your home from poor-quality air, as well.
You’ll have cleaner air with less dust, bacteria, pet dander, mold and mildew, and pollen. This can lead to fewer respiratory issues, reduce allergies, even help people in your home sleep better.
Even with regular tune-ups, your furnace may need to be repaired from time to time. However, when the service tech inspects your heating system, they can often identify potential problems before they cause a full breakdown. This gives you time to plan for and schedule the repair work. That’s much better than dealing with a broken furnace in one of the coldest months of the year.
Future HVAC System Planning
Your technician will report back to you on the condition of your furnace each year. It’s a bit like getting a report card for your HVAC system. The information they give you will let you know if you can count on your heater to work for several years or if it’s time to start shopping for a replacement.
Schedule Your Furnace Tune-Up Today
If you haven’t scheduled a furnace inspection for the upcoming winter, you still have time! It’s almost never too late to maintain your unit, extend its lifespan, save money, and improve your home’s air quality!
Does all that sound good to you? We can send a skilled HVAC technician to your home in Grand Rapids ASAP and make those benefits your reality. Contact Lake Michigan Heating Cooling and Plumbing for the service you need today.