How Often Do I Need to Schedule Furnace Maintenance?

With the fall season beginning, you may be dreading the shorter days (in terms of daylight) and the less-than-optimal weather ahead. Or maybe you enjoy chilly temperatures and a winter wonderland! Regardless of your opinion of fall, you will soon need to switch your home’s thermostat from “COOL” to “HEAT.” Before you do this, however, there is one important task you shouldn’t overlook — heating maintenance.

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that they don’t need to schedule a tune-up for their heating system each year if it was working “just fine” last winter. However, during its off-season, your heater likely collected a buildup of dust and grime. This can reduce the overall efficiency of your furnace. In turn, this could lead to a home that doesn’t feel as warm and cozy as it should, as well as higher energy bills.

Importance of furnace maintenance

It’s recommended that you schedule a maintenance appointment for your home’s heating system every year. A trained, skilled, and experienced technician will thoroughly clean and inspect all working components inside the system, and potential problems can often be caught and taken care of ahead of time, before resulting in a breakdown of your furnace during the cold winter season.

Additionally, a heating professional will check the overall safety of your unit. If you have a natural gas furnace, the technician will inspect the unit for natural gas or carbon monoxide leaks, which could result in a dangerous situation for you and your loved ones. If your unit operates on electricity, the tech will also look for frayed wiring, which could ultimately lead to a fire.

Routine maintenance homeowners can do themselves

Air filter replacement

Replace your air filter on a regular basis. Failure to do so could result in a dirty, clogged filter that causes your heating system to work overtime to move air through. When your heater is running extra hard to keep your home warm and cozy, it can lead to premature wear and tear, resulting in more frequent and expensive breakdowns. Additionally, all this use may lead to excessively high energy bills.

If you aren’t sure what size or MERV-rating you need for your replacement air filter, check the owner’s manual that came with your furnace. Or you could check the existing filter (if installed per manual instructions) to see what specifications are listed on its frame.

Thermostat care

If you notice that your home doesn’t feel as warm as it should, it could be an indication of a problem with your furnace — or it could be as simple as the fact that your thermostat doesn’t have enough power to signal your heating system that it needs to cycle on. If your thermostat operates on batteries, be sure to replace them on a regular basis.

If you have a wired thermostat, regularly take the panel off and remove any dust buildup and check the wiring for any warning signs of damage. If you notice any fraying, contact a professional to get the issue taken care of immediately. Failure to do so could ultimately result in a fire or serious damage to your thermostat.

Check your vents

Many homeowners complain that one room doesn’t feel as warm as the rest of the house. The solution may be as simple as making sure the vents in the room aren’t closed and aren’t obstructed by furniture, rugs, curtains, etc. When warm air from your furnace can’t be pushed out through the vents in your home, the result is a cold and uncomfortable space.

Extra care for your furnace!

While you can take care of the tasks above on your own, sometimes it’s nice to have a little more peace of mind when it comes to your heating system. That’s why Oncourse Home Solutions offers affordable Heating Maintenance and Heating Repair Plans. When you’re enrolled in our maintenance plan, you’re entitled to an annual tune-up for your home’s heating system. And when you are signed up for our repair plan, simply give us a call if a covered problem ever occurs with your furnace. We will help you get your home warm and back to normal again as quickly as possible!

Have questions about coverage or billing? Feel free to chat with a customer service representative by clicking the Click to Chat tab on the right side of the page.