If you use a furnace to heat your Baltimore, MD home, scheduling annual furnace maintenance is absolutely essential. Professional tune-up services prime furnaces for the demands of the cold season, increase their efficiency, and protect indoor air quality (IAQ). They also extend the lifespan of residential heating equipment and limit the need for costly repairs. Read on to find out what annual furnace maintenance entails and how it can benefit both your wallet and your household.
Minimize the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Exposure
All fuel-combusting furnaces produce carbon monoxide (CO) gas. This gas is odorless, colorless, and impossible to detect without CO alarms. Carbon monoxide is produced during the incomplete combustion of fuel. This and all other exhaust gases are routed out of homes via airtight venting systems.
If you have an oil-fired or natural gas furnace, our technicians will carefully inspect its venting system for cracks, gaps, and crushed sections. We’ll look for nests, overgrown grass and weeds, and other outdoor obstructions. We’ll also test your venting system to ensure that no hidden blockages or other problems are missed.
Have Your CO Alarms Tested and Maintained
Annual furnace maintenance is also a great time to have your home’s CO alarms inspected, tested, and maintained. Basic CO detectors need fresh batteries every six months. Even though they’re typically hardwired into residential electric systems, combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should have their back-up batteries replaced every year.
Check the Integrity of Your HVAC Air Ducts
Even if your furnace is in excellent condition, you might have higher-than-normal energy bills, poor airflow, or hot and cold spots throughout your home if your ducting is in disrepair. During annual furnace maintenance, we look for separation at ductwork’s seams, perforations, tears, and other contact or impact-related damage. We also check for pest infestations and other problems that might impact airflow or your IAQ.
Calibrate Your Thermostat and Assess Its Location
The thermostat is the brain of your HVAC system. Your heating and cooling equipment won’t turn off or on without first receiving a signal from this device. Age-related wear, thick build-up of dirt and other debris, and electrical problems can cause your thermostat to stop working or to function erratically. We test and calibrate thermostats when performing furnace maintenance to ensure that they’re accurately reading temperatures and sending the right signals. We also assess the suitability of thermostat locations.
Why Your Thermostat Might Need to Be Relocated
Scheduling annual furnace service is also an opportunity to have your thermostat moved to a better location. When these devices are installed too close to heat-generating appliances or other sources of heat, they can’t read indoor temperatures accurately. Although your thermostat’s current location might have been ideal before, changes that you’ve made throughout the building could make repositioning this device essential. These include:
- Changing your window treatments
- Cutting down a nearby shade tree
- Adding a new oven, stove, fireplace, or heater
- Moving major furnishings
From steady, solar heat gains from windows to residual heat from gaming computers, there are many environmental factors that can throw your thermostat’s reading off.
Eliminate Airflow Obstructions
Diminished airflow in HVAC systems is among the most common causes of overheating, icing, hot and cold spots, and breakdowns. If your furnace has airflow obstructions along its intake valve, you could have a hard time keeping its pilot light lit. Even if you own a modern furnace with an electric ignition switch, intake valve blockages can cause its burner flames to change colors, decrease overall efficiency, and create the risk of CO leaks.
Homeowners who operate their heaters with unchecked airflow issues will deal with high levels of humidity, an elevated risk of mold problems, and decreased indoor comfort. Worse still, certain airflow obstructions could cause your furnace to fail prematurely.
We clean furnaces both inside and out during our maintenance visits. We remove build-ups of debris from air vents, intake valves, thermocouples, and more. These efforts stave airflow problems off, promote reliable and efficient furnace operation, and protect and improve IAQ.
Test All Safety Features and Failsafe Measures
Fuel-combusting furnaces have various safety features and built-in failsafe measures. These automatically turn residential heating systems off when problems like natural gas leaks, CO leaks, and overheating are detected. When you skip annual furnace maintenance, you can never be certain that your furnace’s safety controls and failsafe measures will kick into action when you need them most.
Replace Loose, Missing, or Damaged Components
Without furnace maintenance, minor problems can quickly spiral out of control. Our HVAC technicians check for and replace missing, loose, and damaged components before they have the chance to affect other parts and functions. Not only do these replacements prevent major repairs and limit repair costs, but they also help mitigate much of the wear that furnaces sustain throughout the year.
Comply With the Terms of Your Furnace Manufacturer’s Warranty
Scheduling regular furnace maintenance in Baltimore will help you maintain the protections supplied by your furnace manufacturer’s warranty. These mutually binding agreements require consumers to take reasonable measures to prevent problems and premature equipment failure.
Although HVAC manufacturers promise to pay for repairs resulting from faulty assembly or defective parts, they won’t cover any HVAC services if you don’t adhere to the terms of your warranty contract. Most furnace manufacturers stipulate that warrantyholders must schedule annual furnace maintenance with licensed professionals. Failure to do so can result in claims delays or denials, or the outright voidance of your warranty.
Furnace warranties often last longer than most people expect. For instance, many manufacturers offer five to 10-year limited parts warranties along with 10 to 20-year warranties on primary and secondary heat exchangers. Thus, even if your furnace is getting along in age, it’s still a good idea to schedule yearly tune-up service.
Skipping Furnace Maintenance Can Affect Your Home Insurance and Home Warranty
Your furnace manufacturer’s warranty isn’t the only protection you stand to lose when skipping annual furnace maintenance. You can also lose other HVAC coverage supplied by a comprehensive home service agreement or your home insurance plan.
Purchase a Preventative Maintenance Plan
One easy way to cut the costs of scheduling annual furnace maintenance in Baltimore is by signing up for an HVAC preventative maintenance plan. These plans cover the costs of yearly AC and heater tune-ups. They also qualify homeowners for other benefits including discounts on repairs and priority scheduling.
Keep Your Furnace Maintenance Schedule on Track With a Smart Thermostat
If you have a hard time remembering to schedule annual tune-up service for your furnace, consider investing in a smart thermostat. Many of the top devices offer timely reminders for both furnace filter changes and annual furnace service. Best of all, given that these Wi-fi-enabled thermostats can be accessed and controlled using branded mobile apps, you can have these alerts sent directly to your mobile phone or tablet.
Residents of Baltimore, MD can count on us for superior workmanship, competitive pricing, and total transparency. We provide outstanding heating, cooling, and plumbing services. We also offer backup generators, indoor air quality improvements, and HVAC air duct cleaning and sealing. To sign up for our preventative maintenance plan or schedule annual furnace service, contact At Your Service Heating & Cooling LLC now.