Regular furnace tuneups can help keep homes warmer in winter, prevent future furnace failures and extend the lifespan of the unit. Tuneups can also make homes more energy efficient, saving money on heating bills. Licensed heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors or technicians can handle all furnace tuneup needs.
Most residential furnaces use natural gas, electricity or fuel oil to heat air. The furnace pumps that heated air through the duct system in the walls of a home, and the ducts push the air out into separate rooms via heat registers. This forced-air heating system requires regular maintenance to keep it clean and keep it running efficiently. Several factors affect the cost of a furnace tuneup.
Many HVAC companies charge flat rates for furnace tuneup services. Customers save money in the long run by investing in preventative maintenance because technicians can spot potential problems before a system failure occurs. Customers without a warranty may pay out of pocket for maintenance, but those under warranty or those who purchased a service plan when they had their new furnace installed may receive a tuneup free of charge from their installer. Flat rates can vary based on the company, regional cost of living, area competition and overhead costs such as insurance and licensing for the HVAC company. Here are some examples of flat rates for a furnace tuneup:
Toasty’s Heating & Cooling in Farmington, Michigan
General maintenance and cleaning: $79
Advanced maintenance and cleaning: $138
East Bay Heating and Air in Livermore, California
Tune up special: $58
Visual inspection of the heat exchanger for wear and metal fatigue
Carbon monoxide test
Test of the blower voltage and amp draw
Clean and wash existing filter
Clean balance and oil blower motor and wheel
Clean exterior of furnace
Test all furnace safety devices
Tighten electrical connections
Verify appropriate gas pressure
Measure supply and return temperature difference
Test ignition system
Test exhaust system for proper venting
Clean and inspect furnace burner combustibles inside system
Check for gas leaks
Test thermostat, calibrate and level
Free duct inspection included ($69 value)
Prevent cool air from entering the home to relieve some of the burden on the furnace—and to reduce energy bills. Experts at Wallin Heating and Cooling in Chicago, Illinois, recommend that homeowners keep garage doors closed in winter, lock windows to shore up possible heat leaks, keep drapes closed at night to seal in heat and ensure that furniture isn’t covering heat registers located on the floor, which could require cranking the heat up to achieve a desired temperature. Simple strategies like these can translate into cost savings on heating bills.
According to R-Mech Heating Cooling and Plumbing, these are common warning signs that you may need a repair rather than simple maintenance:
The furnace has stopped functioning entirely.
The temperature cannot be regulated.
Rooms in the home are either too hot or too cold.
The heated air coming from the furnace smells like gas.
The thermostat isn’t working.
Strange noises are coming from the furnace.
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