If you’re like most Lincoln, NE, homeowners, you depend on a furnace to keep your home warm in the winter. Your furnace is a precision machine that needs regular heating maintenance to keep working well. To elaborate, here is how often you should have your furnace serviced and why it matters that you do so.

The Proper Frequency of Furnace Maintenance

No matter what type of furnace you own, you should schedule a maintenance appointment at least once a year. For most homeowners, the best time of the year to do it is a few weeks before the heating season begins. That will leave you enough time to address any problems your HVAC technician finds with your furnace if the need arises.

However, you should remember that it may not be easy to secure an appointment if you wait until the last minute. Around that time of year, almost every homeowner in Lincoln will either have an appointment already scheduled or will be trying to make one. If you can, it’s a good idea to schedule your appointment as far in advance as possible. You can ask us about our heating and cooling maintenance plan if you’d prefer that we help you stay on top of your furnace’s needs and have priority service access.

You should also know that a summer maintenance appointment can temporarily interfere with your comfort if your home has central AC installed. The appointment could require turning off your AC system while the work proceeded. This is because it’s common for a central AC system and a furnace to share a blower motor that circulates air around your home.

Why Furnace Maintenance Is Important

Regular furnace maintenance is critical for a variety of reasons. The most obvious among these is reliability. You count on your home’s furnace to maintain the temperature inside your home when the mercury drops outside. Regular maintenance appointments help you avoid unexpected furnace breakdowns by finding and fixing small problems before they become larger ones.

Also, regular maintenance is important because it can extend the useful life of your furnace. On average, a well-maintained furnace can last for 20 years or more. On the other hand, a neglected furnace can start having serious issues in half of that time. That would leave you in the unenviable position of choosing between costly repairs and an even costlier premature replacement of your furnace.

Regular furnace maintenance also helps to keep your furnace operating safely. Home heating equipment is responsible for roughly half of all annual home fires each year. During each maintenance appointment, your trusted HVAC technician will examine all of the critical components of your furnace to make certain that they’re working properly and that there are no unusual signs of wear and tear. If there are, they’ll let you know what to do to rectify the situation before you begin using your furnace for the winter.

Additional Benefits of Regular Furnace Maintenance

There are also some other important benefits of regular furnace maintenance beyond enhancing its reliability, lifespan, and safety. One of the most important benefits is that it will keep your furnace operating as efficiently as possible. That will, in turn, keep your winter energy bills as low as possible without forcing you to make any extra comfort sacrifices to do it.

The efficiency benefits of regular maintenance for older furnaces are especially great. For example, if you own a furnace that’s approaching 20 years old, it likely had only a 78 AFUE rating or less when you purchased it. That means it could waste 22% of all the fuel you pay for every winter, even when it’s well-maintained. However, the average furnace can lose as much as 40% of its original efficiency when it is not regularly maintained.

Regular maintenance will help preserve your home’s indoor air quality. This is because your HVAC technician will clean the inner workings of your furnace during each maintenance appointment. They’ll also inspect and replace your furnace’s air filter as necessary. By doing so, they ensure that the air passing through your furnace doesn’t pick up any extra contaminants or particulate matter and that the filter can do its job in keeping your home’s air clean.

What to Expect During a Furnace Maintenance Appointment

If you haven’t made a habit of scheduling regular furnace maintenance appointments, you should know what to expect when an HVAC technician visits your home. Although the specific steps they’ll take may vary a bit based on your furnace’s condition and needs, you can expect them to:

  • Check and lubricate your furnace’s blower motor
  • Test your furnace’s safety systems
  • Check your thermostat for proper operation
  • Inspect your home’s vents and air intakes
  • Tighten and adjust electrical connectors as needed
  • Measure static pressure
  • Inspect and clean filters
  • Check and calibrate the thermostat

After completing the inspection and maintenance tasks involving the inner workings of your furnace, your HVAC technician will also turn on your system to check it while it operates. If you have a gas-powered or oil-burning furnace, they’ll observe your burner’s flame to ensure that it’s working optimally. Or, if you have an electric furnace, they’ll check its heating element to see that it’s working correctly. Then, they’ll go over any observations they’ve made with you. If they spotted any components that might need replacement soon, they’ll let you know so you can make appropriate decisions on how to proceed.

In some cases, your technician may check the speed and temperature of the air coming from your ducts during a maintenance exam. If the temperature or volume of air is different than expected, they can give advice on whether to have your ducts inspected and re-sealed.

Annual Maintenance Plans

Many HVAC companies have annual maintenance plans that you can subscribe to. These plans include a scheduled maintenance appointment and inspection with additional benefits. Members often get priority service during busy times of year. There may also be a discount on repair and installation services performed by the company as well.

Your Furnace Maintenance Team

For over 20 years, John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical has offered comprehensive HVAC services with the motto of “Quality at a Reasonable Cost.” When you entrust us with your furnace maintenance needs, you’ll have the benefit of our ironclad, 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. It’s part of the reason that we’re a recipient of the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award and the Excellence in Customer Service Award. Plus, we offer plumbing services, including water heaters, water softeners, and sump pumps. We even offer a handy membership club that can help you to take care of all of your home’s yearly HVAC and plumbing needs. It comes with members-only discounts and priority service that you’ll love! So, if your furnace needs maintenance, or you have any other HVAC or plumbing needs, call the experts here at John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical, and we’ll do whatever it takes to help you.

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