You’ve heard it before. You have probably listened to countless radio commercials urging you to schedule an appointment right away. You may have even seen or heard our fall specials.
But the question remains … “Do I really need a furnace tune-up every year?”
To answer that question, I’d like to first pose a few other questions:
Is your furnace more than 5 years old, or older?
Are you looking to extend the life of your system for at least a few more years?
Have you purchased a furnace within the last few years and want to prolong the life of the unit?
Is your new furnace’s warranty important to you?
Are you interested in keeping your heating and cooling bills as low as possible?
Do you care about the health and welfare of your family?
Do you think going to the doctor or dentist for annual check-ups is a good idea?
If you answered yes to some of these questions (or any at all!), then you really do need a furnace tune-up each year.
The best analogy is that of a dentist. It’s recommended that two times per year you see the dentist for preventative dental care. They will clean and inspect your teeth, remove plaque build-up, inspect for cavities before they become a real problem, periodically take x-rays to identify hidden concerns, and many dentists even perform cancer screening.
Why is this so important? So that you can maintain great dental health and fix minor issues, before they become major issues. Instead of a painful root canal, or tooth extraction, these yearly exams will alert you to potential issues so that you can take care of it without a huge painful experience on your mouth and your wallet.
The same is true with furnace tune-ups. A qualified HVAC technician will inspect your HVAC system to ensure it’s running at peak efficiency. They will help make sure minor issues are fixed immediately before a costly repair or replacement is needed. They will also make sure your system doesn’t fail you during the winter and leave you and family out in the cold!
When scheduling a yearly tune-up, it’s important to understand exactly what will be covered. Be sure to do your homework because not all service calls will cover the same things. At TJ’s Plumbing & Heating, we cover the following items during our tune-ups:
Inspect the heat exchanger and system for rust and corrosion.
Check the burners for proper ignition, flame and flame sensing.
Ensure the drainage system and humidifier are functioning properly.
Inspect the blower wheel to ensure it’s clean and clear of debris.
Test the amp draw on the blower motor to ensure it functions smoothly.
Examine all electrical wiring to make sure there is no corrosion or damage.
Look at the air intake system to ensure it’s clean and provides a smooth flow of air.
Test the venting system and combustion gases.
Check the blower door and internal seals to make sure there is a tight seal on the furnace and it runs at peak efficiency.
Inspect air filter.
Run air pressure, gas pressure and temperature diagnostics.
Scheduled Your Fall Furnace Tune-Up and Cleaning Now
The leaves are starting to turn and the nights are getting cooler. Now is the perfect time to schedule your yearly furnace tune-up to ensure that your system is running at peak efficiency and safety. Call TJ’s Plumbing & Heating today. And, be sure to check out our fall specials:
Wouldn’t it be great if you set your thermostat to 70 and every inch of your home was exactly 70 degrees? Well that’s just wishful thinking, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to have the same exact temperature at every point in your home. But for some homes, the temperature swings can be huge and unbearable. We have seen extreme cases in which a temperature in a room on the first floor can be over 20 degrees different than a room on the second floor.
So why are there such wide temperature swings in different rooms?
There are a number of different reasons that temperatures vary throughout a home. Let’s look closer at a few of the most common:
The most common reason comes down to pure physics. Hot air rises, cool air falls. You’ll often find that in the summer, your rooms on upper floors are much hotter than the first floor or basement. This is because the hot air continues to climb and can get trapped upstairs. Likewise, in the winter you may find the upstairs to be warmer than the lower levels. Using fans to pull or push the air between levels can help alleviate this challenge.
Distance from the HVAC system.
The distance a room is from the system can have a big impact on temperature. As you get further and further from your HVAC system, there is air flow loss. Rooms at the furthest point may not be as warm or cool as the rooms much closer to the system. In some cases, the HVAC fan isn’t strong enough to drive forced air to the far reaches of the home. In some cases a power vent in the system can help your system reach the outlying rooms of your home.
Poor return air flow.
Many homes, especially larger homes, don’t have enough air returns. This doesn’t allow the cool and warm air to be recirculated through the system effectively and the system doesn’t run at peak performance. A qualified HVAC professional can help determine if limited return air is causing issues.
Wrong sized unit.
Bigger isn’t always better. If you have an HVAC system that is too large, it may shut off too quickly—not allowing the cool or warm air to reach all levels and all rooms. And, if the unit is too small it may not be able to keep up and warm and cool the entire home. Your HVAC contractor should be able to share recommendations on the proper sized unit based on the square footage of your home. Don’t just assume that a bigger unit is going to be better.
This one is a biggie. You may be sending your heating and cooling dollars right through drafty windows, poorly sealed doors, and under insulated walls and attics. If your home isn’t insulated properly then both heating and cooling will not stay within your home and you will waste a lot of energy. Consider having a home energy audit to identify areas in your home where you are losing energy and then consider making adjustments.
In some cases, we have found vents to be either closed, clogged, or not connected. Before you do anything else, check to make sure your vents are open. Then make sure there is a clear path for airflow. Make sure you’re not blocking vents with furniture and there is nothing clogged in them. In some cases we have even found that the vents are open, but the ductwork isn’t connected properly and all the cool and warm air was never making it to the vent.
Poor airflow. If you’re dealing with unbalanced heating and cooling, consider turning on fans throughout your home. This works in both the winter and summer. In the winter, using fans to push the warm air back down can make your home much more comfortable. In the summer, use fans to circulate the cooler air that pools on lower levels.
Looking for More Balanced Heating and Cooling?
Contact the HVAC experts at TJ’s Plumbing & Heating. Our trained HVAC experts will help you evaluate your home’s system, insulation, ductwork and more. In some cases we can identify simple fixes to solve your challenges. Whether it’s a big or small challenge, our team will work with you to identify the most cost-effective and efficient solution. Contact us today for a free consultation.