Furnace Maintenance

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.

 

Furnace Maintenance

Tips Xcel Energy Wants to Keep Quiet

Summer is here and energy costs are rising. Between the warmer weather and children being out of school and using more electricity, the market for electricity expands. As it expands, electricity suppliers raise costs. While the average homeowner has no recourse but to pay their electric company the market rate, they can change some of their habits to reduce their use. Respected area heating and cooling service company, Lion Home Service wants to get the word out on how to save on energy costs during the dog days of summer. According to CEO and founder, Barton Palmer, there are several tiny steps that homeowners can take to save big on energy costs.

“A lot of service companies will try to tell people that need a new, energy-efficient cooling system for their home and while they can certainly lower a home’s energy use, not everyone can afford it,” says Palmer. “I usually tell people to look for tiny ways here and there that they can save on energy use because over the course of a few months those tiny changes in behavior will add up to big bucks.”

Lion Home Service recommends changing filters and performing routine maintenance on heating and cooling systems will make a huge difference. When a system doesn’t have to work hard to do its job, energy is reduced. Dirty air filters play a huge role in cooling costs, which is why Lion Home Service stresses changing filters regularly.

Other tips include purchasing UV shades to block out the suns more harmful rays and being sensible with the cooling dial. Instead of setting the temperature to 69 degrees, set it to 70 or 72. According to Palmer, the little things add up to big savings.

“If our customers have a little extra money,” he says,” installing solar powered attic fans, roof vents, or additional insulation may also help. You’d be surprised how much heat is stored in the attic of a home. If you can reduce that, it lowers the effort on the cooling system to regulate the temperature.”

For more information on how to adopt energy-saving polices or have a system serviced for summer contact us.

Furnace Maintenance

Signs You Need a Furnace Tune Up

It’s cold outside and you need your furnace to work. Whether you’ve just moved in or you’ve been in the same place for a while, it’s a good idea to get your furnace checked out every year. We offer a comprehensive furnace tune up that does just that. We’ll make sure everything is running smoothly, diagnose any problems before they cause your furnace to stop heating entirely, and make sure you stay warm all winter long.

Not sure if you need this service? Here are some signs that it’s time to call for your tune up today.

  1. It’s been at least a year since you had one. Most furnace manufacturers recommend getting your furnace tuned up at least once a year. Some actually want you to do it twice! Check out the manufacturer’s guidelines in your manual or online, and we’ll come out and do the work according to their specifications. If your furnace is under warranty, it’s even more important that you get this done. Some warranties are voided if you don’t have regular tune ups.
  2. Your furnace is old. Most furnaces last between 10 and 20 years. If yours is 10 years old or older, it’s a good idea to get it checked out more frequently. This can head off any problems before they affect the temperature of your home.
  3. Your energy bills are high. Do you pay more than you used to when you run your furnace? If so, then there’s a good chance that something isn’t working as well as it could. We’ll diagnose the problem, which is often solved simply by servicing the unit. If it needs more work, we’ll let you know that, too.
  4. Your furnace makes unusual noises. Most furnaces run almost silently. If yours is making banging noises or any other noises, it’s time to get it check out. We’ll perform routine maintenance and, in the process, determine what is making the unusual sound. Then, we’ll get it fixed before your house gets cold.
  5. Changing the temperature on the thermostat doesn’t help. If you feel like you’re constantly turning up the heat but your house isn’t getting any warmer, let us know. Part of our tune up involves checking your thermostat and making sure it’s still properly connected to your furnace and is correctly reflecting the temperature in your home. If there’s a problem, we’ll let you know.
  6. Your furnace turns off and on frequently. Your furnace should turn on, run until your home is warm, then turn off again. If it’s turning off and on more frequently than that, it’s time for a tune up. We’ll service the unit and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, we’ll figure out what else is going on and get it all working again.

 

When it’s time for a tune up, call us at Lion Home Service. We’ll send out a professional furnace service expert to perform standard maintenance on your unit according to the manufacturer’s specifications. We’ll also help you get any problems fixed, so you and your family aren’t left out in the cold.