Do I really need a furnace maintenance tune-up every year? Can’t I do it myself? Do I really need to pay $80-150 every year to have a professional perform furnace maintenance? These are great questions.

A recent blog post about fall maintenance mentioned having your furnace inspected/tuned up by a qualified heating contractor annually. One reader sent an email asking if this was really necessary. We would like to share that post and response with you. It appeared on the Fox Business website. You can read the post or article in its entirety below.

It’s an excellent article and it represents the questions we get from our own customers. First and foremost, this article points out that furnace manufacturers have language in their warranties stating that annual inspections by a qualified technician are recommended. And, that some HVAC contractors recommend getting newer furnaces checked every other year, but once they’re more than 10 years old, have them checked annually. Secondly, it addresses the procedures technicians perform to actually perform furnace maintenance or a “tune-up.”

What procedures are performed in furnace maintenance or tune up:

You’ll learn that the procedures can vary greatly. There is no industry standard for providing this furnace (or boiler) maintenance. But, it does provide a generic list that should be performed. For example, the vent system needs to be checked for blockage and/or leakage, combustion gases must be analyzed and compared to specification, the blower and access door need to be checked, the burners need to be checked for proper ignition, etc. These are all safety as well as system issues. Plus, this article describes other procedures that need to be performed.

Could the homeowner perform proper furnace maintenance?

Of course, but the only homeowners who are knowledgeable enough to do all the tasks listed above also happen to be heating contractors. Contractors also perform static air pressure checks, gas pressure testing and temperature rise checks. If the only thing your furnace maintenance tech does is stick a vacuum nozzle into the furnace and suck a little dust out, sure, do it yourself. If your furnace tech does half the stuff on the list above, they’re earning their keep. Before you hire a company to do a tune-up on your furnace, ask what’s included. The company doing the work should be able to quickly rattle off a long list of stuff they’ll be checking.

What a fair price for furnace maintenance?

This article also addresses this issue very well. $80 barely covers the trip charge. Keep in mind, this is about safety; it’s also about preventive maintenance, and it’s about having the proper equipment and certified tools to perform an inspection. It’s also about catching a problem before your furnace quits working in the middle of the night, or on a weekend when service can be hard to find and much more expensive. When you have to hire a heating contractor to show up on a Sunday evening or a holiday because the furnace stopped working, you’re probably going to end up paying emergency rates.

We have your safety and convenience in mind! That’s why we are offering a limited time 10-Point Safety and Maintenance Check on your furnace and boilers. Please go to our Fall Furnace Maintenance Special offer to take advantage of this offer.

Here’s the full article on furnace maintenance on the Fox Business website...

A recent blog post about fall maintenance mentioned having your furnace inspected/tuned up by a qualified heating contractor annually. One reader sent an email asking if this was really necessary – here’s his original question: “I have a question about furnace tune-ups. You say get one every year – is that really necessary? What do the HVAC guys actually do to the furnace to ‘tune’ it up? There’s no spark plugs to replace like a car tune-up, and my understanding is they basically vacuum out dust and inspect it. Couldn’t the homeowner do this himself? Or do I really need to pay $80-$150 every year for a professional to do it?” These are great questions worthy of a post all on their own. Are annual furnace inspections really necessary? Furnace manufacturers all recommend annual inspections and maintenance 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? Probably not, but it’s recommended. The best analogy is going to the dentist every six months for a checkup […]