Why and How Often You Should Have Your Furnace Serviced

August 15, 2023
Furnace being serviced in Roseville, MI

The vast majority of homes here in the Roseville, MI area rely on furnaces for heat in the winter. And given how many cold days we experience each winter, those furnaces have quite a big responsibility. For that reason, keeping your home’s furnace in good working order is critical. Despite that, there’s plenty of confusion out there about how often you should have your furnace serviced and why it matters. We’ve even seen conflicting information online that does little to clear up the confusion. To put that to rest, the experts here at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning decided to provide some concrete answers.

The Importance of Furnace Service

When it comes to major home infrastructure, there’s always a temptation for homeowners to adopt an attitude of if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Applied to furnaces, this usually means that as long as your furnace turns on and produces heat, it’s safe to ignore it. However, that’s not always the case.

For one thing, you should always remember that your furnace is carrying out controlled combustion inside your home. While they’re engineered for safety and reliability, you shouldn’t take that for granted. A malfunctioning furnace could fill your home with carbon monoxide, which is a dangerous byproduct of the combustion process. And since it’s colorless and odorless, you’d have no idea it was there unless you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.

Your home’s furnace represents a significant investment. That alone provides ample reason to scrupulously follow your furnace’s recommended maintenance schedule. You wouldn’t, for example, neglect to bring your car in for regular service appointments, would you? Keeping your furnace in good condition with regular maintenance should help it last for 20 years or more, maximizing your return on investment.

In addition to extending the expected life span, an annual maintenance tune-up is most likely a condition of the manufacturer’s warranty. If you inadvertently let that lapse, then you’ll lose coverage and end up with higher repair bills. A typical warranty covers the replacement of defective parts for 10 years and the replacement of the heat exchanger for 20 years. A new heat exchanger can cost as much as $3,500, and that fact alone should be ample incentive to have your furnace serviced regularly.

The Benefits of Regular Furnace Service

Aside from assuring safety and prolonging your furnace’s useful life, there are plenty of other benefits that come from regular furnace maintenance. If your furnace is operating at peak efficiency, it won’t be overworked, you’ll be more comfortable on cold days, and your fuel bills will be lower.

If your furnace is nearing 20 years old, it likely operates at an efficiency of about 78% at best. This means your furnace already wastes 22% of the fuel it takes in, even when it’s working perfectly. At a time when energy prices are higher than they’ve ever been, that translates to a major loss. Some estimates indicate that skipping regular maintenance for your furnace could lead to an efficiency loss of up to 40%. That would mean you’d end up throwing away 62 cents of every heating dollar due to inefficiency. When you view it through that lens, regular furnace maintenance makes plenty of sense — and cents!

Regular furnace maintenance also helps maintain your furnace’s reliability. That can provide you with peace of mind that your family won’t have to suffer through a freezing Roseville winter night without heat. And maintenance visits can help you head off small problems with your furnace before they turn into more costly emergency repairs.

You should also know that regular furnace maintenance will help to protect and improve your home’s indoor air quality. By keeping the inner workings of your furnace, including its air filter, clean and unobstructed, you keep as much dirt and particulate matter out of your home’s air as possible. You also make sure that your furnace burns the fuel as cleanly as possible, ensuring better indoor air quality.

How Often Should You Schedule Furnace Maintenance?

At a minimum, you should have your furnace serviced at least once per year. Ideally, you should schedule your yearly maintenance appointment before the heating season begins. However, you’d be wise to think a bit ahead since almost every homeowner in the Roseville area will be competing with you for appointment times.

The technician will have to turn on the furnace during the maintenance checkup, so if you have central AC installed, you’ll want to try and schedule your furnace tune-up as close to the end of summer as possible when the days start to cool. A summer appointment provides enough time to order and replace parts before the cold weather hits if your HVAC technician discovers a problem with your furnace that requires repair.

What Happens During a Furnace Maintenance Appointment?

During your annual furnace maintenance visit, you can expect your HVAC technician to complete a variety of tasks designed to prepare your furnace for the winter. They’ll take care of the most obvious things like checking and replacing your air filter, along with some less obvious tasks like inspecting your furnace fuel connections and inspecting your burner for signs of incomplete combustion. However, they’ll also:

  • Inspect vents and intakes
  • Inspect and clean your blower motor
  • Examine your heat exchanger for corrosion
  • Check and tighten electrical connections as needed
  • Lubricate your system’s moving parts
  • Check your thermostat’s operation
  • Check your furnace’s safety systems

Your HVAC technician will also turn on your furnace and ensure that all of its parts operate as expected. If they discover any components that need adjustments, they’ll make them. And if they observe any signs of impending part failure, they’ll let you know about it so you can decide how you’d like to handle it. And if they discover any signs that your furnace may soon need replacement, they’ll let you know and discuss your options with you if you wish.

Trust Your Furnace Maintenance Experts

For over 60 years, C & C Heating & Air Conditioning has offered quality heating and cooling services to the Roseville area and the rest of Southeastern Michigan. That makes us your go-to provider for your annual furnace maintenance needs. And we also offer installation, repair, and maintenance services for all other types of heating and cooling equipment, too. Plus, we provide indoor air quality services, duct cleaning, duct repair and replacement, and even service and install water heaters too! And every one of our master HVAC technicians travels with a fully stocked truck with over 1,000 parts to provide fast repairs to a wide variety of HVAC problems. Additionally, should you need an HVAC replacement on short notice, we carry all of the latest systems from Carrier, Trane, and Lennox, so you’ll have the maximum selection possible. We even offer financing on approved credit to help you afford the HVAC system you need when you need it. So, for furnace maintenance and all of your home’s other HVAC needs, call the experts at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning today!

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