Here's How to Prepare Your Heating System for the Winter

Technician discussing an air conditioner warranty with client - Williams Comfort Air Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & More

Every year, homeowners across the Central Indiana area take steps to ready the home for winter. As air conditioning units settle in for a long winter’s nap, furnace maintenance and tune ups for the heating system are important to make sure the furnace or heat pump system is ready come colder temperatures.

Furnace tune ups provide critical preventive maintenance that HVAC heating equipment requires, both to ensure proper operation and protect the system from damage. A furnace tune up also plays a role in air quality improvements for the home, lower energy cost for the season, and the longevity of the HVAC unit.

Find out why regular maintenance is an important winter prep step, how it benefits your home, and how often you need a furnace tune up. Make sure you turn to the service professionals of your trusted HVAC company to check, clean, and care for your furnace this year.

Is a Furnace Tune Up Necessary?

Preventive maintenance is an absolute necessity for every home heating system, whether you have a furnace, heat pump, or boiler. Each heating season, furnaces and other types of heating units pull long hours to keep families warm – as a result, they sustain wear and may develop issues that diminish their efficiency. Over time, a neglect of regular tune ups leads to higher energy expenses, poor comfort control, more frequent HVAC repairs, and shorter equipment lifespan.

Maintenance for a furnace or heating system is designed to counteract wear and tear damage that occurs over the course of regular use. Wear and tear can negatively affect the furnace in many aspects, which in turn means maintenance service has positive effects in many areas, including:

  • Performance improvements & better comfort. Wear and tear prevent all elements of an HVAC unit from operating at their best. A thorough furnace tune up ensures all components are clean and receive needed lubrication, tightening, calibration, and other care necessary to help the system perform as intended. When the heating system runs as it should, the home’s occupants gain better control over indoor temperatures, better air quality, and more reliable warmth.
  • Increased efficiency & lower energy cost. When wear and tear hinder performance, the furnace’s energy efficiency also declines – the burden wear places on components cause the system to work harder to do its job, expending more energy. A furnace tune up remedies issues that cause the system to draw excess energy, boosting efficiency and reducing household energy bills.
  • Protection against breakdowns. When maintenance is neglected, wear and tear eventually causes components to malfunction or break, requiring costly repairs or replacement. A furnace tune up keeps components in top shape to safeguard against problems during the winter season. When performing this furnace maintenance service, a trained technician also has the opportunity to thoroughly inspect the unit to identify potential problems that could worsen with use – once found, issues can be corrected to prevent further damage to the system.
  • Safe operation. Gas furnaces are typically quite safe, but neglect can turn heating a home into a hidden hazard. During furnace maintenance service, the technician will make sure to check the condition of the heat exchanger, as cracks or damage can cause carbon monoxide to mix with air in the home. Gas pressure, safety controls, and other important elements are tested and adjusted as needed to make the system safer.
  • Longer service life. By reducing the damaging effects of wear and tear, furnaces maintain proper operating conditions and components stay in good shape for longer. A well-maintained furnace is likely to outlast a neglected unit and could exceed average system service life by several years. The more years a family goes between furnace installation and replacement, the more money they save.
  • Warranty protection. A furnace tune up is so important that HVAC manufacturers typically require regular professional service to maintain equipment warranties. This single furnace maintenance service keeps components in good working condition to mitigate system malfunctions and limit warranty repair cost. Skipping a furnace tune up can void the manufacturer’s warranty, which can cost a homeowner a lot of money when repair needs do arise.

How Often Do Furnaces Need Tune Ups?

A furnace tune up isn’t a one-time service – it must be performed on a regular basis, as each season of operation causes more wear and tear to the system. Tune ups for a furnace should be performed every year, whereas heat pumps need a maintenance service call twice per year – once for heating season and once for air conditioning season, since the system performs both functions.

What’s Included in a Furnace Tune Up?

Furnace tune ups deliver comprehensive inspection, cleaning, and service for all heating system components. Tune ups typically include the following steps:

  • Lubrication of blower motor bearings
  • Check and adjust the blower fan belt’s tension
  • Check performance of pilot or electronic ignition system
  • Cleaning and inspection of burners and burner assembly
  • Measure and adjust gas pressure
  • Measure current and voltage of electrical components
  • Tighten electrical connections
  • Inspect fuel lines
  • Testing exhaust system function
  • Measure carbon monoxide levels
  • Check operation of system and safety controls
  • Inspect heat exchanger
  • Change air filter
  • Clean furnace interior and exterior
  • Test thermostat function
  • Adjust thermostat calibration

Schedule Your Furnace Tune Up Today!

Each year, do your part to add years to your furnace’s life when you schedule a tune up with your technician. The efficiency and performance improvements ensure your furnace is ready for winter, safeguarding your family, improving comfort, and helping you save money throughout the season.

Contact us at Williams Comfort Air to schedule a furnace tune up today. Give us a call and get the help you need to prepare your heating system for winter.

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