October 10, 2020

You have made it through the heat of summer and are enjoying the turning of the seasons. While the trees are changing color and the temperatures remain mild, you know winter is just around the corner.

This means that you are thinking about changing from your air conditioner to your furnace. Every year, you pray it will last through the entire winter without any issues.

Fortunately, you can circumvent the unexpected crisis by performing proper maintenance on your system. Keep reading to find out why fall maintenance really is important, and what you can expect when you schedule a visit.

HVAC Companies Are Slower

So the first question is why do you need to do this maintenance in the fall? After all, HVAC technicians do work all year, right?

While it is true that HVAC techs provide service throughout the year, the best time to get maintenance is in the spring and fall, and with good reason. During the extreme temperatures, these techs are swamped with emergency calls to get systems repaired to keep their customers safe and comfortable.

You’re Prepared for When You Need It

Further, you want your furnace and AC running effectively in your home during the extreme temperatures. When a technician is performing maintenance, the system needs to be turned off so components need to be cleaned and tested. That means you do not want to have maintenance performed when you need this system running.

Another reason to do it in the fall is to get it completely cleaned before you start using it regularly. This helps with a few things to help your system run properly. First, it helps reduce the burning smell from when you first light the furnace. Second, it helps to reduce airflow restrictions, which reduces heating efficiency. Finally, it helps reduce a fire hazard due to the collection of dust in the system.

Improve Heating Efficiency

Your entire HVAC system is based on the premise of being able to cycle air through the system. It brings air in, heats or cools it and then pushes it back out. Seems pretty simple, right?

While simple in nature, it also means it is simple to break the system. The simplest break is a restriction of airflow somewhere in the system. You can fix one of the most common restrictions pretty easily by changing your air filters.

However, the filter is not the only place these restrictions happen. Dust settles on the heat exchanger coils over the summer. This causes a faint burning smell when you use the furnace for the first time. However, it also causes a restriction from air flowing through the system.

When air does not flow through properly, it causes a couple of issues. First, it prevents warm air from flowing into your space to warm it up. Second, it will cause that heat to remain trapped in the furnace, which will cause it to short-cycle. In both cases it causes your home to be cooler than it should be.

Reduced Repair Costs

No one likes it when something breaks unexpectedly, especially when it is a part of the HVAC system. The gut reaction is that these issues are going to cost an arm and a leg, and rightly so. What is even more is that many of these repairs can be prevented in the first place.

During a maintenance visit, a technician is looking for early signs of components wearing. When you deal with these problems early, you reduce the strain on other parts of the system. Lessening the overall system strain helps each component last longer, reducing overall repair costs.

Additionally, by catching the early signs of wear, you have time to plan for the work to be done. That means you can save for the right parts, not just what you may settle for in an emergency. It also allows your team to order parts they may not already have. Finally, you save on the expensive emergency call costs in the middle of a winter night.

Reduced Service Life Costs

One of the questions about any HVAC system is the amount it costs for the system over its entire lifespan. This may not reduce the ticket price when a furnace needs to be replaced. However, it extends the number of years the unit will be functional.

If you maintain your unit properly, it should last between about 15 to 30 years. According to Home Advisor, the national average costs for replacing a gas furnace is between $2,000 on an extremely low end and over $40,000 at the extremely high. The normal median range is around $5,000.

If the replacement is about $5,000 and the furnace lasts 15 years, it costs you roughly $333 a year, not including operating costs. If that same furnace lasts 30 years, then it costs about $167 a year. That is a significant difference and happens just by maintaining your furnace properly.

What’s Included in a Furnace Tune-Up?

So you see why getting fall maintenance is important. However, what exactly is going to be included in the visit? It is easy to see the advertisements and think, gosh they all look the same. Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Before scheduling a company to perform your fall maintenance, ask for a list of what the visit will entail. It should look something like this:

  • Check voltage and current
  • Tighten all electrical connections
  • Inspect and clean heat exchanger
  • Lubricate motor bearings and other moving parts
  • Inspect and clean burners
  • Test ignition and exhaust systems
  • Check connections to gas or oil lines
  • Inspect and clean condensate drain
  • Check and tighten mounting bolts
  • Inspect flue pipe
  • Test carbon monoxide levels
  • Check and calibrate thermostat
  • Test and verify control systems

Simple Maintenance You Can Do

To keep your system in even better working order, you should consider what maintenance you can do between visits. There are several simple tasks most people can perform to help reduce the wear on their system and make the maintenance visit smoother. Here are some things to consider.

  • Change your air filters every 30 days
  • Dust and vacuum regularly
  • Use an entryway rug to reduce dirt tracked into your home
  • Run a vaporizer or humidifier during drier weather
  • Reduce the use of aerosolized air fresheners and candles
  • Check and change the batteries in your thermostat
  • Keep your vents and air returns clear

Nearly a Century of Trusted Service

You want to be sure you can trust the company you are calling for heating maintenance or repair. Buckeye Heating & Cooling has been serving the Worthington, OH, area for over 70 years. Only a company that is truly committed to quality service will last that long, and that is the focus of our NATE-certified technicians. We provide everything from heating and cooling installation and repairs to preventative maintenance agreements. Give our office a call to schedule your fall maintenance today.

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