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“Does My Furnace Actually Need an Annual Tune-Up?” [FAQ]

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furnace-oldNew Jersey homeowners ask this question all the time.

It’s a fair question. After all, your furnace probably goes without professional maintenance for years and it seems to work fine.

So why the heck do you need a furnace tune-up/maintenance visit?

The answer: you don’t. You don’t NEED professional furnace maintenance every year. 

Here’s why:

You’re making a decision between paying now and paying later

There’s no automatic shut off switch that flips the furnace off if it hasn’t been professionally maintained each year. So you don’t literally need furnace maintenance.

But think of it like this: Maintaining your furnace is like maintaining your car. You can either:

  1. Pay now to help prevent breakdowns
  2. Neglect it and possibly pay more later due to expensive breakdowns

Also, furnace breakdowns aren’t the only thing you’re risking for when you don’t maintain a furnace. There’s also:

Higher utility bills— As you use your furnace, it becomes less efficient over time. Periodic maintenance keep it working properly.

Voiding the furnace warranty— Every furnace manufacturer’s warranty is different. But many have explicit language that your furnace needs a certain level of maintenance to enforce the warranty. (Look in your owner’s manual to see what maintenance your furnace needs to fulfill your warranty’s conditions.)

Safety issues— Without proper maintenance, your furnace is more likely to have issues that could put your family’s safety at risk. For example, according to ENERGY STAR, “Improperly operating gas connections are a fire hazard and can contribute to health problems.” Also a cracked heat exchanger can cause poisonous carbon monoxide to leak your home, harming your family.

Again, these don’t mean you NEED to maintain your furnace. But we think they’re good motivations to do so.

“So what’s included in furnace maintenance visit anyway?”

Let’s say we’ve convinced you that it’s important to have your furnace professionally maintained once a year (great!).

But you, as many curious homeowners do, may wonder, “What the heck is included in furnace maintenance anyway?”

Great question. It varies from contractor to contractor.

But here’s exactly what we do as part of an annual furnace maintenance visit and how much it costs. (Scroll down to “What’s Included in My HVAC Tune-Up?”).

Whoever you choose to maintain your furnace, make sure they do at least what’s listed here in ENERGY STAR’s maintenance checklist.

“When the best time to get a furnace tune-up?”

Fall is the best time for these reasons:

  • Contractors aren’t as busy (unlike in winter), so they can get to you quickly.
  • You furnace will work more efficiently for all the months you need heating, helping you lower your utility bills as a result.

Got any other questions? Let us know.

Ready to schedule a furnace maintenance visit? Schedule one online now.

Air Professionals is a whole-home comfort company serving New Jersey homeowners. Contact us for more information on how we can help improve your home’s comfort.