During a recent gas furnace installation, our customer asked us, “Is it really worth having an annual maintenance plan? I’ve never committed to one because I don’t know what they involve or why it’s necessary. My old furnace seemed fine year after year, but I want to protect my investment. Do you think it’s worth it?”
Routine furnace maintenance is one of the most misunderstood services. Many homeowners do not understand the value and necessity of a tune up. In this post we answer the five most common questions about heating system maintenance.
The short answer is yes; every heating system can benefit from annual maintenance. Not only will a professional inspection ensure that your furnace is operating at maximum efficiently, but it also ensures there are no hazardous leaks or cracks that could potentially harm your family. Likewise, a tune up can reveal potential problems that could lead to costlier breakdowns later on.
It depends upon the contractor and the promotion they are running. Often HVAC companies offer different maintenance plans, tune up specials, or complete maintenance check-ups. While it may seem like all of these terms mean the same service from the homeowner’s perspective, every HVAC company handles these services differently. Most maintenance checks involve checking the power and fuel lines, looking for any cracks, leaks or corrosion, ensuring all parts are working and properly lubricated, and check for pressures. Also included in a good maintenance check is to clean any area that has excess dust or debris. However, some heating tune ups are simply a cheap inspection. A technician will visually inspect that everything is in working order and stop there. While everyone is looking for a deal, a proper furnace maintenance plan will help extend the life of your heating system and keep energy bills low.
Again, it depends upon the contractor and location. A good furnace maintenance inspection can cost anywhere between $80 – $120 depending upon how detailed the inspection is.
Many homeowners rely on their heating system warranties to cover any damages or breakdowns that can occur as the system ages. However, most warranties have language saying that any damage to the system caused by lack of proper maintenance isn’t covered under warranty. To fully be covered by most warranties, it’s important to have proof of routine maintenance.
It’s important to ask questions before you schedule a furnace checkup. Make sure to ask what is included in their furnace tune up and what can you expect during the inspection. This is a good way to see if this HVAC contractor is a fit for you and understand the value of the inspection. Be wary of ‘cheap’ inspections; typically, the cheaper inspections have less required by the technician. Often checkups are simply a visual inspection performed by the technician, while a tune up may involve more in-depth cleaning and lubricating of parts.