Yearly furnace inspections prevent expensive repairs or early replacements

Auto mechanics usually advise changing the oil in your car every three months or 3,000 miles. You can always feel free to ignore those recommendations. But if you do, your engine will seize at some point and you’ll wind up paying much more for repairs than you would have for a simple oil change.

The same basic principle applies to your furnace as well. You don’t have to get an annual furnace inspection, but skipping this potentially time- and money-saving maintenance means taking a risk you might later regret. Having a professional furnace inspection once a year can help your system operate at peak efficiency, and it may even lower your energy bills.

Every major furnace manufacturer recommends routine maintenance and inspections to prolong the life of your system. Read the fine print — some manufacturers may even include language in their warranties that precludes coverage for repairs that stem from improper maintenance. Just ask anyone who’s ever had to foot the bill for a pricy furnace fix, it’s smart to take proactive steps now to keep your system in tip-top shape through the long winter months ahead.

 

What to expect during your inspection

 

The main goal of any furnace inspection is to make sure everything is working the way it should. A qualified heating contractor or maintenance service expert will make a house call to take a thorough look at your furnace, offer recommendations and feedback, and tune up or replace parts as needed.

Any device that burns natural gas or propane creates carbon monoxide that exits your home through a vent. It’s vitally important to make sure there are no leaks in the heat exchanger, burners and flue that could let this dangerous gas pool into your home. Gas pipes themselves usually don’t leak because they don’t have any moving parts, but it never hurts to check those as well.

Other elements the service expert will examine include the inducer and blower motor, the thermostat, pilot, safety switch, drain lines, filter, ductwork and general air flow. Depending on the age of your unit, the tech might lubricate some of the bearings and fans and tighten up any loose connections. If everything looks good, the service expert may not need to do much more than wipe down the unit to remove dust and debris.

Early fall is the ideal time to schedule your furnace inspection before cold weather sets in. The last thing you want to experience during a Colorado winter is the heat going off in your home, especially during a weekend or holiday when you’re likely to wind up paying higher rates for a service call.

How much to spend for your furnace inspection depends on the company and how much detail the service expert gets into. Prices for this service can range anywhere from $30 to up several hundred; $100 is a fair rate for a good annual inspection that covers all the bases. Ask for a detailed list of inspection items when making the appointment so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting for your money. And look at it this way — you’re likely to recoup whatever you spend on a furnace inspection in energy bill savings thanks to increased operating efficiency.

 

Do-it-yourself tips

 

In between inspections, there are a few DIY maintenance tasks homeowners can perform themselves to keep their furnaces running well. The best thing you can do to preserve the life of your system is to change out your furnace filter on a regular basis (usually every 30 to 90 days). Also, plan to have the air ducts in your home cleaned every two or three years to prevent excess dust from going into your furnace, prolonging its life and operation.

 

Is it Time to Replace Your Furnace?

Replacing your furnace is a significant investment, and we know that many homeowners labor over the decisions. After all, replacing your furnace usually means not doing other work that needs to be done in and around your home. At some point, though, you just need to get it done. Knowing for sure that you will be warm all winter long is worth a lot.

If you’re struggling with this decision, here are some things to think about.

How Much are you Spending on Repairs?

While most problems with a furnace can be repaired, at some point you will spend more getting these repairs done than your furnace is worth. In fact, you can spend several times the cost of a new furnace just replacing parts on the old one.

At Lion Home Service, we don’t like to see you waste your money this way. After all, we value your business and we want you to call us back whenever you need us. That’s why we’ll always tell you when we can get you a new furnace for less than what you would spend to repair your current one. The final decision is always yours, but we will tell you what we’d do in your place.

 

Is Your Furnace Dangerous?

At some point, most furnaces become dangerous. If you have let yours go without tune ups for a while or you move into a home where the furnace hasn’t been cared for, there are all kinds of things that can happen. Gas leaks, fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning are just a few of the things that can happen.

We don’t want you or your family to suffer any ill effects from your furnace. We’ll let you know if we notice anything potentially dangerous about your furnace, and we’ll tell you what needs to be done to fix it. We always work with the safety of you and your family first and foremost in our minds, so we’ll be sure to tell you if anything hazardous is going on.

 

Is Your Furnace Old?

Most furnaces are made to last 10-20 years. Sure, some end up going a lot longer than that, but you never can tell when yours is going to go out. Many families choose to replace their furnace before it dies, to avoid the frustration and bother of waking up without heat one morning. If you have the means and you like to stay warm, this might be the right choice for you.

When we tune up your furnace, we’ll let you know if we think it’s on its last legs. We’ll tell you what could happen, then we’ll let you decide if it’s time to replace it.

In the end, it’s usually up to you as to whether it’s time to replace your furnace, or whether you want to perform needed repairs, or wait and see what happens. When you call Lion Home Service, know that we will give you all of the relevant information, then let you make the final decision.