Furnace manufacturers all recommend annual inspections and maintenance of your furnace by a qualified technician. They also have language in their warranties saying that damage to the units caused by improper maintenance is not covered under the warranty. Does this mean that an annual furnace checkup is really required, or the warranty is voided? Possibly not, but it’s recommended.
Another really good reason to have your furnace inspected annually is peace of mind. You don’t want to wake up to a freezing cold house on a Saturday morning and have to call the HVAC guy for emergency service. Remember the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” An ounce of prevention is cheaper too.
You might ask the question, can I do this myself and save some money? The short answer would be, you probably could, if the only thing you do is check the pilot light and filter and vacuum dust out of the furnace (which you should do regularly anyway) but for anything more extensive than that, only if you have experience and know what you are doing. Otherwise, it’s worth spending a little money every year to have a professional do it and ensure that your furnace is adequately taken care of.
Included below is a partial list of things that different furnace manufacturers recommend having a qualified HVAC technician perform annually:
- Check the vent system for blockage and/or leakage, including the outside termination and the connections at and internal to the furnace.
- Analyze combustion gases and compare to the unit specifications.
- Check the blower access door to make sure it makes a tight seal at the furnace.
- Check the fresh air intake grills and louvers for blockage.
- Inspect the heat exchanger for rust and corrosion.
- Check the burners for proper ignition, burner flame and flame sense.
- Check the drainage system for blockage and/or leakage. This includes the hoses internal to the furnace. The condensate drain and trap also need to be cleaned, and the water replaced in the trap.
- Check the blower wheel for debris and clean if necessary (this requires complete removal of the blower wheel).
- Conduct an amp-draw test on the blower motor and compare with what is listed.
- Check the wiring for corrosion and damage.
- Check the filters (but this needs to be done much more frequently than annually).
Another thing to keep in mind no matter who you hire, is that you make sure you know exactly what they are going to do for the price they are quoting you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. With Peter Needham, you get up front pricing so you know exactly what you are getting. Peter also has over 30 years of experience, so remember that when you are getting quotes. Experience matters.
Give Peter a call today and let him quote your Preventative Furnace Maintenance Check, Furnace Tune Up or Furnace Startup Inspection. 781.396.4800.