We are often asked if annual furnace maintenance clean & checks are necessary. That is a great question. We recommend scheduling a furnace maintenance clean & check every fall. Consider the relevant guidance from the Omaha Fire Department (OFD) website. According to OFD, heating equipment is a leading cause of fires in US homes.
Local fire departments respond to an average of 52,050 fires involving heating equipment each year in 2012-2016. These fires accounted for 15% of all reported home fires during this time. These fires resulted in annual losses of 490 civilian deaths, 1,400 civilian injuries, and $1 billion in direct property damage. There is also the concern about carbon monoxide if there is a problem with the furnace burners.
Accurate Heating & Cooling is an established HVAC contractor serving the greater Omaha metro area. We have been building trusted relationships with homeowners for over 20 years. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. And check out what our customers are saying about us on our Customer Testimonials page. Call us today at 402-238-2425 to schedule a furnace clean & check.
MUD Recommends Annual Furnace Maintenance
Metropolitan Utilities District recommends homeowners schedule an annual furnace inspection and tune-up to maintain a safe and efficient heating and ventilation system. Check out MUD’s tips to prepare for the heating season here.
Omaha Fire Department Recommends Annual Furnace Maintenance
OFD recommends making sure your home heating system is operating safely and vented properly. Have the heating system inspected every year by a licensed heating contractor. Check out OFD’s guidance on heating inspections here. Your first line of defense is regular heating system inspections.
If You Smell Natural Gas
To report a natural gas leak, call MUD at 402-554-7777. This phone is staffed 24/7 and there is no charge to check a gas leak.
If Someone Is Overcome By Carbon Monoxide
Call 911 immediately if you or someone else is overcome by carbon monoxide (CO). Symptoms of CO exposure are similar to flue symptoms. These include headaches, dizziness, vomiting or nausea, weakness, and tightness of the chest. Be suspicious if all members of your family share the same symptoms and the symptoms clear up when you are away from your home.
Other Important Reasons To Schedule Annual Furnace Maintenance
While scheduling an annual furnace maintenance clean & check may be inconvenient, homeowners should definitely not skip out on this important yearly maintenance. Even for homeowners who perform many of their own HVAC maintenance items, it is important to have us out annually. Here are a number of reasons that furnace clean & checks are necessary for the health and safety of your HVAC system.
Annual Furnace Maintenance prevents unexpected furnace breakdowns
Scheduling an annual furnace maintenance clean & check is the easiest way to prevent breakdowns in the future. Furnace clean & checks consist of cleaning vital components, lubricating the parts, making sure the connections are correct, and checking for proper system parameters. Some of the components subject to failure include pressure switches, blower motors, transformers, circuit boards, inducer motors, hot surface igniters, gas valves, and flame sensors.
Adjustments are sometimes necessary to keep components operating optimally. Technicians also keep an eye out for any problems that need to be addressed, such as cracked heat exchangers or weakening vital components. By getting yearly maintenance, you won’t have to worry about dirty gas valves, loose connections, or malfunctioning parts causing your heat to go out on the coldest night of the year. Both the 80% AFUE furnaces as well as the more efficient 95% AFUE furnaces benefit from annual maintenance.
As equipment ages, components begin to wear out and or require adjustments to operate normally. These weakening components in your furnace causes the unit to work harder than it should in order to heat your home. If you don’t get annual furnace maintenance clean & checks, the strain on your furnace can shorten the lifetime of your unit. As with any technology, the harder the parts in your furnace have to work, the shorter they are going to last.
Annual furnace maintenance clean & checks are fairly affordable. Paying the minor cost for a furnace clean & check is much better than paying for expensive repairs or replacements later on.
While we are out inspecting your furnace, we sometimes are able to identify issues early that could cause breakdowns later.
Electrical Wiring Issues
The photo below shows a failing electrical connector that was causing intermittent issues with the unit. Identifying this issue was an inexpensive fix when it was found early. It could have easily resulted in a motor failure, an electrical shock, or possibly even a fire.
Foreign Material In PVC Combustion Pipes
The photo below shows foreign material found inside the combustion PVC tubing on a furnace. This furnace also was experiencing intermittent flame failure issues but was caught and fixed early. Any time the furnace has to work harder to heat your home, it shortens equipment life and may cause unsafe furnace operating conditions.
The photo below shows another wiring issue. Normal vibration within the unit had resulted in the wire insulation wearing down. There are heat effects from current beginning to short to ground at the unit. This condition as well could have led to an electrical shock hazard and to motor failure. It is good that this situation was identified and resolved early.
Wow . . . Copper Tubing In Place of Safety Fuses
We are also able to find some unsafe conditions. The photo below is from an air conditioner electrical disconnect. The disconnect is designed to house fuses. Fuses are installed in electrical circuits to prevent high current conditions. They protect the electrical circuit, the equipment, the home, and the occupants from unsafe electrical conditions. This disconnect had the fuses replaced with copper tubing.
It might be hard to tell from the above photo that the disconnect contains copper tubing in place of fuses. The photo below more clearly identifies the tubing.
The photo below shows two fuses that are normally installed in this fused disconnect.
Annual Furnace Maintenance reduces your energy bill
Annual furnace maintenance is an easy way to reduce your home’s utility costs. A furnace that is not operating correctly costs more to run and is less efficient. An annual furnace maintenance clean & check can improve your system’s energy efficiency by up to 30%. This makes it much easier for your furnace to heat your home, and it lightens the load on your wallet each month.
Furnace Clean & Checks Keep you safe
Residential gas furnaces burn natural gas to produce heat. We check for proper combustion to maintain safe and efficient burner operation. Even a small problem can lead to gas leaking into your home or dangerous carbon monoxide levels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 430 people die in the US from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. And around 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room every year due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t take a chance with the health and safety of you and your family.
Furnace Clean & Checks Allow Us to Ensure Proper Airflow
During the annual furnace maintenance clean & check, we will check your heating system to ensure it is receiving the proper airflow. Restricted or limited airflow places an unnecessary strain on your furnace that can lead to increased repairs and a shortened lifespan. As you would expect, a dirty furnace air filter is the number one cause of air flow issues. Issues with the blower fan, with the secondary heat exchanger, or with the refrigerant evaporator coil can also cause air flow issues.
In addition, the correct MERV rating air filter for your particular home ducting application is necessary to obtain adequate air flow. When you have us out for the clean & check, we can also talk with you about air filter options available. Upgrading to a 5 inch air filter, an electrostatic air cleaner, or an Air Scrubber are popular options. We can also talk with you about other HVAC accessories available including humidification options for winter.
Furnace Clean & Checks are necessary to maintain your warranty
Warranty agreements vary depending on the furnace manufacturer, but most furnace warranties require the unit to be installed and maintained by a licensed HVAC service provider.
Getting an annual furnace maintenance clean & check is an easy way to ensure you are in compliance with your warranty while keeping your furnace in tip-top shape. Make sure to keep documentation of your furnace tune-ups, as many manufacturers ask for proof of maintenance when you’re dealing with your warranty.
Skipping your annual furnace maintenance clean & check will only cause pain down the road when you’re dealing with repairs or replacements.
Furnace Clean & Checks Will Extend The Life of Your Home HVAC system
A well-maintained furnace will last you much longer, which means you’ll get the most out of your investment. And if we do find a part wearing out, it is much more convenient to have the part changed out in the fall during our clean & check instead of on the coldest day of winter.
Aside from your annual furnace maintenance clean & check, the easiest thing you can do to keep your furnace running smoothly is to change your air filters regularly. This is the best way to keep dirt from building up in your system. Clear the area around your return vents of clothing and other items that block airflow. Keep flammable objects well clear of your unit to reduce risk of fire.
Accurate Heating & Cooling will professionally service your furnace. Count on us to do it right. We have been building trusted relationships with homeowners since 1998. Call us today at 402-238-2425 to schedule a furnace clean & check. We will keep your furnace operating and keep your family safe.