the advantage logo and text that reads hvac warranties

The No-Nonsense HVAC Warranty Guide

Purchasing an HVAC system for your home is an enormous investment. Naturally, you want to protect your investments. You want to make sure that the comfort it provides to your home outweighs the cost of installing and operating your system. As with all pieces of complex machinery, there is always a chance that something will break. A HVAC warranty can make it so that a breakdown does not always mean an increase in repair cost.

In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about HVAC warranties.

 

What Exactly Is A HVAC Warranty?

If you never used a warranty before, you could think of it like a “get out of jail” card. It’s a service you get before you need it and keep on hand for when you need it. So, when something breaks in the future, you can use it to eliminate or, at least, reduce the cost of repairing it. By the time you need it, it’s too late to sign up for it.

 

What are the Types of HVAC Warranties?

There are two types of warranties for your HVAC equipment. A different company provides each one and protects a different aspect of your equipment.

Equipment/Parts

HVAC Combo

The equipment warranty, also known as a parts warranty, is a service provided by the equipment’s manufacturer. This warranty protects you from any faulty parts that were included in the equipment or provided to the contractor.

Here’s an example:

If your brand-new furnace won’t work because it includes a bad igniter, then the manufacturer takes the fault on that and provides a replacement to get your furnace up and running.

These warranties can vary from part to part on the same piece of equipment. Some models or manufacturers will provide one warranty that covers the entire unit.

Labor

The contractor that installed and services your furnace provides the Labor Warranty. This warranty covers any mistakes that they make during their labor.

If the contractor breaks something during installation or makes a mistake, then this warranty means they will come back and make it right.

 

Why Do Companies Offer Warranties?

To put it simply, manufacturers and contractors will offer warranties because they stand behind their product or their service.

Companies know that not charging or reducing the cost of repairs gives you peace of mind. However, they don’t want to just give away parts and repairs for free every year, so they want to be confident that their product won’t fail.

A warranty says that the company believes that nothing should go wrong for the number of years the warranty covers. If it does, then the company will remedy the issue.

 

How Long Should a Warranty Last?

This is a controversial question. Let’s think about this in terms of a warranty for a furnace.

On average, a gas furnace has a lifetime of 15-20 years. Some companies believe that once you get close to the end of a furnace’s life, you should consider replacing it. This can mean after 10 or 12years, depending on the company. At Advantage, we’re not like those companies.

The Average Warranty

On average, you’re going to find most warranties last around 5 years, or 10 years after registration. That means that the warranty will protect you for the first half of a furnace’s life.

Most warranties will require you to register your equipment with the manufacturer to get the full length of coverage. While this is usually a straightforward process, it is additional legwork on your part and can be time-consuming.

Once you get past that 10th year, you’ll have to consider just replacing the unit if something goes wrong.

The Advantage 20-Year Warranty

At Advantage, we believe that if a furnace is expecting to last you 20 years, then it should last you 20 years. Our partners at Daikin already offer lifetime warranties on several heat exchangers and it just makes sense that we should try to go above and beyond to protect our customers. If you are a customer in our maintenance program, then we are going to do everything we can to make sure your equipment lasts as long as possible.

You can find more information on our labor warranty here.

 

How Do Warranties Differ?

An assortment of 1 dollar bills

Warranties can differ in a variety of ways depending on what kind of warranty it is. However, there are three fundamental aspects that all warranties differ in.

These are:

  1. Length of Time
  2. How Much They Cover
  3. What They Cover

When you’re shopping for HVAC equipment, ask your HVAC sales professional about each of these things. They should be able to answer honestly if they are confident in their product.

Length of Time

A warranty will only last for so many years, some last longer than others. Make sure that you are getting a warranty for a long length. Ask if you need to register your equipment to get coverage for the full length. If so, ask if your sales pro can register for you at the time of purchase.

How Much of the Repair the Warranty Covers?

As we stated earlier, not all warranties eliminate the full cost of repair. Some just discount the price and the amount can vary. An HVAC sales professional should be able to tell you the estimated savings on a repair while under warranty.

What Parts or Services Warranties Covered?nuts and bolts scattered on the ground

Not all equipment warranties cover all the parts in a unit, or they don’t cover every part of a unit for the same period. This makes some sense, as some parts experience more wear and tear and won’t last as long as others. A labor warranty may cover some services, but not others. Ask your sales professional if the warranty covers the entire unit or if there are exceptions.

 

What Can Void an HVAC Warranty

There are several instances that could void a warranty. Here are some things you should avoid if you want your warranty to last its full lifetime:

  1. Not Getting a Qualified Contractor
  2. Not Maintaining Your Equipment
  3. Forgetting To Register

DIY

While you may like to do everything around your house by yourself, this can void your equipment’s warranty. HVAC maintenance is something that you should leave to the professionals who have the right training and tools. Most manufacturers have clauses in their warranties that state that the warranty is void if it’s serviced by someone without proper training.

Maintenance Schedule

The manufacturer of your HVAC equipment and the contractor who installed your equipment may require your equipment to have a regular maintenance schedule in order to be covered by their warranty. This typically means that you will have to have your HVAC system serviced twice a year. Once in fall for the heating equipment, and once in spring for the cooling equipment.

Not Registering

Depending on the manufacturer, they may require that you register your equipment. You can usually do this online or through the mail. In most cases, you will still have a warranty for a limited amount of time. Registration just keeps you protected for the full length of the advertised warranty.

 

Bottom-line: What Do You Need to Know About HVAC Warranties?

So, what’s our takeaway on warranties? Well, there are two kinds of warranties that can apply to HVAC equipment: equipment and labor. These warranties can differ from company to company based on length, what parts the warranty covers, and how much of the cost the warranty covers. You also need to be aware of what can void these warranties and remove your protection.

When shopping for new HVAC equipment, have a conversation with your HVAC sales pro about the warranties they offer to maximize your protection.

 

Who Are Advantage Heating and Air Conditioning?

We are your local HVAC Experts out of Salem, Oregon. We hope that this post gave you the information you need to know about warranties. If you have other questions about HVAC systems, check out our other blogs. To learn more about who we are and how we can help you, visit our website and follow us on social media - we’re here when you need us!

A pug wrapped in a blanket

Furnace Blowing Cold Air

Our furnaces are supposed to keep us warm during the cool seasons, right? So, what happens when they actually make our homes colder? How do you fix it when your furnace is blowing cold air?

If your furnace is blowing cold air, then it’s probably making your home very uncomfortable. It could also raise your energy bill or be a symptom of a part failing.

Your furnace runs until the temperature in your house matches the temperature you set at the thermostat. If it is actually pushing the temperature in the other direction, then it will keep running for a long time. This means that your furnace will use more energy and wearing itself down just to make your home cold when you want it to be warm.

In this post, we’ll go over the different reasons a furnace will blow cold air. Some of these problems are ones you can fix yourself. There are other causes that a qualified technician should repair.

The goal of this post is to help you diagnose the problem yourself. That way, you can have an educated discussion with your HVAC technician. That means you can get a more accurate quote on time and cost of the repairs.

 

Don’t Panic

The first thing to remember is to not panic. A furnace blowing cold air does not always mean that something has gone terribly wrong and that you will need a new furnace.

In most cases that we encounter, you can fix this quickly at little to no cost. If it is mechanical failure, then it is usually an easy fix for our technicians. Only in rare cases, the furnace is unrepairable.

 

 

Thermostat Settings or Wires

The first thing you should check is your thermostat. It could be one of two things: the settings or the wiring.

Change the Settings

It’s possible that your thermostat has the wrong settings. This happens either just because of oversight, or maybe it’s a new thermostat that you’re not familiar with. We may not like to admit, but this is an incredibly common occurrence. Having the right or wrong thermostat settings can change your annual heating bill by as much as 10%.

There are a few things that you will want to do:

  1. Make sure the thermostat is set to heat.
  2. Raise the temperature. 69-73 Fahrenheit is a good range to test your thermostat.
  3. Make sure the fan is set to auto. Not just on.
  4. If it’s programmed, make sure the cooling program from late summer did not stay on.

If the fan is set to on, then it will blow as long as it has power. That means the furnace is not generating heat, the blower fan will just be circulating cold air through your ducts. If the fan is set to auto, then it will only blow air while the furnace is creating heat.

Incorrect Installation

Thermostats with incorrect wires are common in DIY installations. Sometimes, we’ve even found furnaces that are connected to incompatible thermostats. If the wiring is incorrect, then your settings on the thermostat may be correct, but it’s not passing that information to the control board of the furnace. A professional technician will need to correct this.

 

Furnaces Need Time to Warm Up

Your furnace, like an oven, needs time to warm up. This is something that seems obvious but doesn’t occur to us at the moment. Your furnace ignites combustible gas to warm up the air in the heat exchanger and it takes time to warm that air.

Give your furnace 15 to 20 minutes after you hear it kick on. If it is still blowing cold air, then it might be something more serious.

 

Furnace Overheating

It is possible that your furnace is overheating and turning off. Modern furnaces have an array of safety sensors that stop them from running when they overheat.

Here are some of the most common problems that could cause your furnace to overheat:

  • Dirty Air Filter
  • Equipment Failure
  • Old Age

Dirty Air Filter

An Air Filter covered in dirt

This is one of the most common problems we see in furnaces. If your furnace’s filter is dirty, then the furnace won’t be able to blow air through it. This traps the hot air back in the furnace and will cause it to overheat.

To see if your filter is dirty, give it a visual inspection. Any debris or build up visible on the filter is a bad sign. You can avoid this by changing your filter regularly, per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Equipment Failure

Furnaces are complex machines with lots of moving parts. At some point, a part of the furnace can break. It could be the pilot light, igniter, the heat exchanger, or any other number of different parts. If any of those parts breaks, they could cause your furnace to work hotter and overheat.

While there is no way to have a zero percent chance of equipment failure, regular maintenance can help reduce that risk. Keeping your furnace within warranty can also help to reduce the cost of repair.

Old Age

Most gas furnaces have a lifetime of 20 years. If your furnace is close to or over that age, it may run less efficiently than it did before. As a furnace runs, it will suffer natural wear and tear. This wears down the moving parts of the furnace and makes them less efficient. This can cause your furnace taking longer to produce heat or not producing as much heat as it did when it was new.

If you have had your furnace for around 20 years and have noticed a decrease in performance, then you should contact your local HVAC professionals. They may restore performance with some repairs, or they may recommend that you replace the entire unit.

 

Air Duct Leaks

A duct with a pinhole leak

Hot air travels from your furnace to your home through your air ducts. If the hot air escapes while it is still traveling through your duct work, then it cannot heat the interior of your home.

There are several reasons your ducts could develop a leak:

  • Pinhole Leak
  • Ducts Became Unsealed
  • Duct Collapsed
  • Ducts Aren’t Properly Insulated

If you suspect that any of these problems are the reason you’re not getting hot air, then contact your local HVAC professionals. They will perform a duct inspection to determine where the problem is and might do a quick repair while they are there.

 

Closed or Weak Gas Supply

Furnace gas valve on and off

If you have a gas furnace, then your furnace needs natural gas to create heat. It pulls this gas from the gas main through the gas valve. If your gas valve is closed or partially closed, then it cannot create heat.

Make sure the gas valve next to your furnace is set to the open position. The disk or lever should be parallel with the pipe it sits on. If it’s open, check the street side valve for the same problem.

If both valves are open but you suspect this is the issue, call your gas supplier. They could be performing maintenance in the area.

 

Sensor Failure

Another problem could be that your flame sensor is not working. Your furnace has a sensor that detects if there is a flame. If it does not detect a flame, then it turns the furnace off to prevent a gas leak.

As the furnace burns natural gas, it creates carbon residue that builds up on this sensor. This residue can stop the sensor from working. When the flame sensor stops working, it stops the furnace from turning on. So, your blower fan will cycle the cold air in your ducts, but your furnace won’t be creating any heat.

During a regular fall maintenance call, an HVAC technician inspects and cleans this sensor. If you missed your maintenance this year, call your local HVAC professionals. They can clean this sensor and see if any other problems have developed.

 

No Pilot Light or Ignition

It’s possible that your furnace’s pilot light or ignition has stopped turning on. In which case, it cannot ignite natural gas and the furnace will not create any heat.

This is another issue that gets tested for during a fall maintenance call.

If you suspect this is your furnace’s issue, your local HVAC professionals can reignite your pilot light or replace the ignition surface as needed.

 

Who Are Advantage Heating or Air Conditioning?

We are your local HVAC Experts out of Salem, Oregon. We hope that this post gave you the information you need to know to figure out why your furnace is blowing cold air. If you have other questions about HVAC systems, check out our other blogs. To learn more about who we are and how we can help you, visit our website and follow us on social media - we’re here when you need us!

A pink sign that says don't panic

7 Reasons Your Furnace Won’t Turn On. Solved!

If your furnace won’t turn on, then you might be in for a pretty uncomfortable cold season. Besides making you miserable, a non-functional furnace can cause health issues or even damage to your property. Therefore, it is critical that you get your furnace up and running as soon as possible.

The good news is that you can fix some of these problems yourself. Other problems you can diagnose yourself. This is important because it allows you to have an educated discussion with your HVAC technician. That way, you can get a more accurate quote for the time and money required.

In this post, we’ll go over 7 of the most common reasons a furnace won’t turn on. We’ll explain how to diagnose or correct them yourself, as well as, how to seek help if it’s something that we can’t recommend you attempt on your own.

 

Why is it so important to make sure your furnace is working?

Well, for your health and the wellbeing of your property. You can fight the cold for a while with blankets and jackets, but prolonged cold exposure can pose a medical risk. If you live in an area that has severe winters, then staying in an unheated home could pose serious health risks.

Frigid temperatures can also damage your home. The pipes can freeze, resulting in flooding. The cold could also damage the glass of your windows or your home’s frame if it goes on for too long.

If none of the following solutions seem to work for you, then contact your local HVAC pros so you don’t have to deal with any of those problems.

 

1. The Thermostat isn’t Working

ecobee thermostat set to 69 degrees

This may seem obvious, but this is a common problem we run into. The thermostat is the piece of equipment that tells your furnace when it’s time to turn on. If your thermostat is not working, then your furnace won’t run.

First, check if your thermostat is:

  1. On
  2. Set to Heat
  3. Set to a Warm Temperature
  4. Lighting Up its Display

If you have a smart thermostat that connects to your phone, make sure there are no problems with the app. If your thermostat is not coming on, then it could be a problem with wiring, or the thermostat has gone out.

If your thermostat is working, then disable any preset programing and set it to heat only. After you have done that, increase the temperature it’s set to.

Sometimes a thermostat's programing won’t line up with the actual temperature fluctuations in your home. Telling your thermostat to just heat your home should get hot air flowing, if that is the case.

 

2. Dirty Air Filter

Air flow problems are one of the most typical issues our technicians run into. The most frequent culprit is the air filter. If air cannot pass through your filter, then your furnace cannot heat your home.

The restricted air flow can overheat your furnace. Most modern furnaces have safety sensors that govern how they run. If your furnace overheats, then those sensors will turn off your furnace.

Check your air filter and see if it is visibly dirty. If it is, then a quick replacement should rectify that problem.

 

3. Your Furnace Doesn’t Have Power

A furnace disconnect switch

Another common problem could be that your furnace is not receiving power. As we talked about in a previous post, most furnaces will not work without electricity.

There are three common electrical problems:

  • Power Outage
  • Disconnect Switch Set to Off
  • Flipped Circuit

If you are currently experiencing a power outage, then it is likely that you cannot turn your furnace on. Our suggestion for that scenario is to seek a warming center or get aid, especially if your health is at risk.

If the rest of your home has power, then the furnace disconnect switch may be in the wrong position. Check the switch to your furnace. It sometimes looks like a light switch or a toggle switch in a box next to the furnace.

Make sure it’s set to “on.”

If it is unlabeled, contact the company that installed your furnace. Most commonly, up should be the “on” position.

The last common electrical problem is a blown circuit. Check your circuit breaker and see if a switch flipped. If this is the case, then the issue will need to be resolved by searching for a potential overload.

 

4. Your Furnace Doesn’t Have Gas

Furnace gas valve on and off

This is another common issue for gas furnaces. Sometimes the gas valve gets left shut.

If your furnace cannot get gas, then it has nothing to ignite to make heat.

Check the gas valve next to your furnace. It should look like a box with a disk, or a lever about the size of a thumb. It normally sits on a gas line somewhere within 6 feet of your furnace. Typically, if the lever is parallel with the gas pipe, then it’s open. If it’s perpendicular, then it’s closed.

If your furnace’s gas valve is open, then check for the same problem at the street side valve. It is not unheard of for utility technicians to leave the valve closed accidentally after servicing the gas main.

If both valves are open, contact your natural gas provider and ask if they are servicing the main in your area or if anyone else has reported a loss of gas.You can also test other gas equipment such as a stove or oven to see if it’s just your furnace or if your entire home is without gas.

If you suspect that there is a gas leak in your home, then please get to safety and call your gas provider or 911 immediately.

 

5. There Could be Residue on the Flame Sensor

This is where we get to some problems that will require the attention of a qualified HVAC professional.

The flame sensor or ignition sensor is another safety device that monitors your furnace. It detects if a flame is burning and will shut off the furnace if it can’t sense a flame. That way, your furnace does not leak unburnt gas into your home.

As the furnace burns gases to create heat, carbon residue can build up on this sensor. If residue completely obscures the sensor and it cannot detect a flame, then it will not let your furnace turn on.

If you disconnected your furnace, you should be able to see this buildup in the combustion chamber.

There are DIY guides on how to clean it yourself online. However, we recommend that you have a qualified technician do this for you. Improper maintenance on your furnace can void your warranty, leaving you with large repair bills in the future. In the worst case, you could damage the sensor and need to have it replaced.

 

6. The Blower Motor Could Need Repairs

Another part that could stop working is the motor of the blower fan. This is the fan that blows the air from your furnace through your ducts. If the motor has stopped working, then your furnace cannot push that warm air into your home.

Look to see if your furnace has a glass window to see the blower fan or blower motor. If there is a blinking green light next to the blower, then it will need to be repaired.

 

7. Your Pilot Light May Not Work

The last common problem could be the pilot light. If the furnace cannot ignite the natural gases, it cannot create heat.

This is another problem that will need to be handled by a qualified HCAV technician. They will reignite or replace your pilot light if need be.

 

How Can You Prevent These Problems?

Most of the time, a regular tune up could have prevented these problems. During a tune-up, your technician will check the electrical switches and gas flow. They will also check the interior of the furnace to make sure that every sensor and part works as intended. Of course, the technician will also replace the air filter and check the air flow.

However, it is entirely possible that something has gone between the time a technician serviced your furnace and when it stops working. While HVAC technicians do their best, unexpected machine failure can happen to any piece of equipment or appliance.

 

Who Are Advantage Heating and Air Conditioning?

We are your local HVAC Experts out of Salem, Oregon. We hope that this post gave you the information you need to know to diagnose why your furnace won’t turn on. If you have other questions about HVAC systems, check out our other blogs. To learn more about who we are and how we can help you, visit our website and follow us on social media - we’re here when you need us!

EPA Refrigerant Regulations and How They Affect You (2022)

Did you know that the refrigerant inside your air conditioner or heat pump can be dangerous? Don’t panic though, it’s perfectly safe when it's inside the system and doing what it's supposed to. However, if the refrigerant ever gets mishandled or leaks out of the system, that’s when it can pose a danger to your health and the surrounding environment. As with other hazardous substances, there are refrigerant regulations that dictate how it is to be handled.

That’s where the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act come in. Besides everything else they cover; they also create the rules that make sure your HVAC technician is handling your system with care. The Clean Air Act is a regularly updated piece of legislation that serves as a base for the EPA’s regulations.

The EPA also updates these regulations regularly. This makes sure that the regulation reflects changes in environmental science and current advancements in technology. These changes can be as small as wording changes or as large as whole guidelines being redesigned.

In this post, we’ll explain what this change was and how the Clean Air Act affects your life as the owner of an AC unit.

 

What is The Clean Air Act?

The Clean Air Act (CAA) is a set of rules and guidelines signed in 1970 to coordinate State, Federal, and Tribal government efforts to clean up pollution in the air. It also incentivizes companies to develop and use technology that reduces emissions.

Congress has updated the CAA regularly as researchers discover new pollutants, health risks, and environmental dangers.

What is Title 40?

Title 40 is a regulation related to the Clean Air Act that governs the use of refrigerant. As an AC owner, this section of the CAA will directly affect you. Refrigerants have to meet the standards set by the EPA to be used in ACs and heat pumps. It also governs the maintenance of systems that use refrigerant.

To break it down simply, Title 40 determines the model of refrigerant that goes into your AC or heat pump and how your HVAC technician has to maintain it.

Your HVAC technician has to keep your equipment above the EPA’s standard otherwise, your equipment could actually be a pollution risk in your own backyard. Obviously, that’s not ideal for your health or the wellbeing of the plants and animals in your neighborhood.

 

How Do Refrigerant Regulations Affect Maintenance?

Repairing An AC Unit

In an earlier post, we discussed how your HVAC technician cannot just top off your AC with new refrigerant. It’s not solving the problem and is negligent in terms of the impact it can have. The impact is not just the health and environmental ramifications of mishandling refrigerant. There are also severe consequences that come down from the EPA.

Practices Over the Years

If your AC unit is running low on refrigerant, it has a leak somewhere. Refrigerant does not just leave the system. In the past, a technician may have just added refrigerant to your system if you asked for a onetime top off.

Today, there are no exceptions that allow for such additions.

Title 40 says that a person operating or maintaining an AC or heat pump cannot vent refrigerant. If you have a leak, and add more refrigerant to the system, the refrigerant will eventually escape through the leak unless a technician repairs the leak. This results in that refrigerant being vented out of the system.

What that means is that your technician cannot just top off a system with low refrigerant levels. A technician must repair the leak before they add any new refrigerant to the system.

The Timeline for Repair

According to the guidelines, you have 30 days to repair a refrigerant leak once it is discovered. If you cannot get it repaired in that time, then you have to create and record a plan to get it fixed within 120 days.

The Consequences of Not Following Refrigerant Regulations

Fanned Money

So, what happens if you do just add refrigerant to a leaking AC system, or don’t get it fixed once the leak is reported?

The EPA will fine you.

There is no way to sugarcoat this. The fine can be as high as $37,500 per day. If a technician topped off the refrigerant and they did not repair the leak, they can lose their EPA certification and be fined as well.

That can have a pretty big impact on everyone involved.

 

How To Know If You Have a Refrigerant Leak

Leaky Outdoor Unit

If your AC cannot cool the air in your home, but you are still getting good air flow. You might have a refrigerant leak.

The most common cause of an HVAC system not cooling your home is airflow. You’ll want to rule that out, as it is usually a much easier fix.

First check:

  • Filter Cleanliness
  • Thermostat Settings
  • Vents and Registers are Open
  • AC Unit is Running

If all those parts are as they should be, contact your local HVAC professionals and ask for a leak check. They’ll be able to find any refrigerant leaks for you and perform the repair.

Repaired Outdoor Unit

 

How To Stay Up to Date on Refrigerant Regulations

As we stated earlier, the CAA is a living document that changes, and it gives the EPA authority to change the related regulations as needed. If you want to make sure you’re getting up-to-date information, you can check back at our Learning Center regularly.

Or, if you want to hear it straight from the horse's mouth, there is a digital library of every federal regulation.

 

Who Are Advantage Heating and Air Conditioning?

We are your local HVAC Experts out of Salem, Oregon. We hope that this post gave you the information you need to know about refrigerant and how it has to be handled. If you have other questions about HVAC systems, check out our other blogs. To learn more about who we are and how we can help you, visit our website and follow us on social media - we’re here when you need us!

A technician performing a furnace tune up

How Often Should I Service My Furnace?

With how short the hot season can be in Oregon, it can sometimes feel like we get a month of Summer before we have to prepare for fall again. With cold weather on the horizon, something that you should do is make sure your furnace is running without issue. Regular maintenance can prevent many issues that result in your furnace being unable to heat your home. So how often should you service your furnace?

This question has a pretty universal answer. Urgency may change based on how much usage your furnace gets in a year, but everyone gets the same guidance.

You should have your furnace serviced twice a year. Once in spring, to service the cooling equipment and once in fall to service the heating equipment. Once in fall at the bare minimum, but that increases the risk of something going wrong come summer.

 

What Happens if a Furnace isn’t Serviced?

A Destroyed Furnace

If you do not service your furnace at the recommended intervals, an issue could develop and prevent your furnace from being able to heat your home.

What Kind of Problems

  • Poor Airflow is because of a dirty filter or debris build-up. If an air filter gets dirty or if debris has lodged itself in the vent or intake, your furnace will lose airflow. This will make it much harder for your furnace to provide heating to your home. It could also damage the equipment and require more severe repairs.
  • Faulty Burners from damage or build-up on the pilot light. The combustible gases may also lose efficiency or potency. If either of these situations happens, you’re going to be without heat until a professional repairs your furnace.
  • Cracked Heat Exchanger: This can become a severe health risk for your household. If the heat exchanger is no longer sealed, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and soot can blow into your home.

 

What Is a Furnace Tune-Up?

A List Of What Happens during a furnace tune up

Now we know why it’s important to service your furnace. Let’s talk about what a furnace tune-up actually is.

Each HVAC company is going to market its furnace maintenance or tune-up as something different. They’ll say they check X-number of points while someone else checks less. They may even perform the maintenance slightly differently, but they should all check the same basics.

No matter who services your furnace, they should do these basic steps:

  • Check the Vent and Intake
  • Check the Seals
  • Test the Combustible Gases
  • Test the Burners
  • Clear the Drainage
  • Check the Electrical

 

Can I Service My Furnace?

Yes, but it’s not recommended in a vast majority of cases. Usually, the only people with the equipment or training to conduct their own furnace maintenance are HVAC professionals.

Of course, saving money by doing your own home improvement is a great goal. There are some aspects of a furnace tune-up you can do yourself. Checking for blocks in the condensation drain is fairly straightforward. The rest of the steps involved could pose a risk to your well-being or home if done incorrectly.

Potential Danger

Working with the electrical wiring is obvious. First, you need to know what everything does and how to interact safely with it. Second, you must know how it integrates with your HVAC system.

The combustible gases are another point of extreme caution. We cannot recommend anyone who is untrained attempt to work with those gases or the burners.

Something else to be aware of is your furnace’s warranty. Not servicing a furnace correctly could void the warranty.

This isn’t meant to scare you. A furnace is a complex piece of equipment and needs to be handled with care. Attempting to perform maintenance while not being properly trained could cause injury or property damage.

For all those reasons, we recommend you contact your local HVAC professional. They will have the training and tools to service your furnace without risking your well-being or warranty.

 

How Long Does It Take?

A furnace tune-up will run between 30 minutes and 2 hours on average. It could take more or less time, depending on a few factors.

  • If you have multiple systems.
  • If your technician detects an issue that they can repair.
  • The location and accessibility of your furnace.
  • The severity of blockages and build-ups, if present.
  • If your furnace has had a tune-up before.
    • If your furnace is up to date on its maintenance, it may require less work.

Your HVAC professional should let you know if there is anything that will delay their work or if you will need to schedule a more intensive repair.

 

Why Twice a Year?

Orange Fall Leaves On The Ground

As we stated at the top of this post, we recommend that everyone have their furnace serviced in spring and fall.

Fall is typically the start of the “heating season” and spring is typically the end. That’s the part of the year where furnaces experience much more use and people need to heat their homes.

By servicing your furnace in fall, you can make sure that it is not likely to fail during the coldest days of the year. Servicing your furnace in spring ensures that your furnace did not incur strain or damage while it was in use.

Most air conditioner units use the furnace for airflow. Servicing your furnace in Spring also works to ensure your AC will have good airflow.

Having preventative maintenance performed on your furnace decreases the chance of it breaking down when it goes through periods of heavy use.

 

The Bare Minimum

The bare minimum is to get your furnace serviced at least once a year. Having your system serviced at least once a year will provide some level of prevention in terms of equipment failure.

This creates a risk of something going uncaught and becoming a severe issue down the line. You may find your furnace becoming less efficient or non-functioning during or after periods of high use.

Some experts say 75% of heating-related calls in winter are caused by issues that regular maintenance could have prevented. Having your furnace serviced twice a year could save you a lot of trouble when the cold weather hits.

 

Who Are Advantage Heating and Air Conditioning?

We are your local HVAC Experts out of Salem, Oregon. We hope that gave you the information you need to know how often you need to service your furnace. If you have other questions about HVAC systems, check out our other blogs. To learn more about who we are and how we can help you, visit our website and follow us on social media - we’re here when you need us!