Reasons not to skip even one year, no matter how new your furnace may be, include:
- The number one cause of furnace failure is dirt. One way to keep the furnace clean is to change your air filters at least every three months, but ideally every month. The other way is to ensure a qualified technician cleans it at the beginning of every heating season.
- It saves you money. Proper furnace maintenance will extend the life of your system, usually by about three to five years. Even though a tune-up isn’t free, it pays for itself quickly and in several ways. Annual maintenance helps keep your furnace running at peak efficiency. If there is dirt on the blower blades, it will reduce the airflow. Reduced airflow makes a furnace work harder to move the correct amount of air, and a harder working furnace uses more energy. Depending upon the severity of the problem, this can raise your utility bill by between 20-50%.
- Eliminate the “mystery” factor regarding the condition of your furnace. Yes, a furnace should last around eighteen years; the key term there is should. If you never have a trained technician have a look inside, you won’t know of any conditions present that may shorten the lifespan of your furnace. Catching a needed repair early is less expensive, less inconvenient, and helps ensure the overall health of your furnace. If your furnace is aging, a technician can also give you an idea of how much life it has left in it before you need to think about replacing it.
- If your furnace is still under warranty, annual maintenance is required to keep it that way. Every furnace manufacturer requires it, so if you aren’t maintaining your system, you are potentially eliminating all the benefits and peace of mind that come with your warranty.
- A clean furnace keeps the rest of your home clean as well. If the inside of your furnace is dirty, and air is moved through the furnace…it’s picking up that dirt and blowing it into your home through the vents. That goes the same for bacteria, viruses, and fungus particles. Since we’re inside so much more during the winter, this one extra step to improve indoor air is a big one.
- A tune-up keeps you safe. A technician will ensure that your flue pipe and chimney aren’t leaking or blocked, which can lead to carbon monoxide entering your home. He will also ensure that the gas pilot safety system and safety circuit are operating correctly and safely. If they’re not, it could lead to an unsafe situation such as fire or explosion.
- No one’s schedule has time to accommodate an emergency repair. Your furnace is much more likely to break down unexpectedly if you aren’t maintaining it. And we all know that if it does break down, it will be on the coldest, nastiest night of the winter (Murphy’s Law). And it’s likely that if your furnace isn’t working, there are several homeowners who are in the same boat and you may have to wait quite a while for comfort.