When Is The Best Time to Have Furnace and Air Conditioning Maintenance done?
Updated: Jul 15, 2019
In short, the best time to get an appliance serviced is right before the season it will perform in. Your Furnace and Air Conditioner work hard to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Your HVAC system is just like your vehicle, maintaining it will help it to last longer, which ends up saving you money. Things like a blocked air filter, or a water leak inside the furnace, can lead to a huge repair bill. These repairs are completely avoidable with routine annual maintenance's. It's easy to forget about your Furnace and Air Conditioner. When they are doing they're job, you don't even notice they are there. As soon as one of them breaks down, the world might as well have come to a stop. It can be unbearable in the extreme cold, and for some even the extreme heat. Here are a few things that you can benefit from by having routine maintenance done on your A/C and Furnace:
Detect Dangers Like Gas and Carbon Monoxide Leaks Early
Cracks in your furnace's heat exchanger can happen at any time. The heat exchanger is a metal object within your furnace that carries the heat and "smoke" from the combustion of gas through the furnace and then outside where it safely vents to the atmosphere. Imagine a metal tunnel with twists and turns. The goal is for this metal to heat up, and then your furnace fan blows your house air against the outside of this metal object, thus heating your home. The problem comes in when, over time, this metal heating up and cooling down many many times, causes it to weaken and then eventually crack. It's important to have a licensed technician in to inspect the heat exchanger visually, among other tests, to ensure there are no cracks.
Maintain Your Manufacturer’s Warranty
Many people are unaware, but the majority of manufacturers require annual maintenance to be conducted on their appliances. If there comes a day when you do need to cash in on that warranty, there's a good chance that they are going to ask for service records to prove that you’ve been taking care of it. If you haven’t, you’re most likely not going to get the outcome you were hoping for. Investing in annual furnace maintenance is the best way for you to be better safe than sorry.
Save Money On Costly, Unnecessary Repairs
High Efficiency furnaces work their magic by absorbing as much heat as possible from the products of combustion. This results in a much cooler exhaust come from the vent outside. The cooler exhaust changes state from a gaseous form to a liquid form. This liquid, while it looks like water, is actually acidic, and drips back down to the furnace (The reason it doesn't drip outside is because in the winter it would freeze up and block the vent off entirely, preventing the furnace from running). Making sure the water is draining properly, and not making contact with any electronics, is a key part of a preventative maintenance.
Extend The Life of Your Furnace - A/C
A furnace is really just a fan blowing air against a big piece of metal, with gas and electrical components and such. When you put an air filter into a system, all the air being pulled from around your house, down to the furnace, has to be pulled through this air filter. In some houses, air filters can be clogged up fairly quickly. And if this goes unnoticed for too long, it will overheat the furnace, or freeze the A/C up into a block of ice. This is what leads to a crack in your heat exchanger or can damage the compressor in your A/C unit, and ultimately the replacement of your furnace or A/C. Big bucks. Changing an air filter or catching a water leak, can be the different between replacing a 5-10 year old unit, and a 20 year old unit.
Reduce Your Energy Bills
Simple things like changing your filters will increase your savings. Clean furnace filters will keep your home at the desired temperature without the high bills. You also help to ensure proper airflow, which reduces the need for frequent repairs that occur when the furnace is strained. Running the fan all the time is really a personal preference, but know that unless you have an energy efficient motor, it could increase your energy consumption.
Annual furnace maintenance will help to keep you and your family safe. Furnaces produce heat through burning fuel and it is important to ensure that the combustion process is efficient. A problem in the furnace system can lead to a gas leak. We don’t have to remind you that a gas leak is very dangerous. An unchecked furnace also runs the risk of carbon monoxide leaks. These are harder to detect because the gas is colourless and odorless. High carbon monoxide levels can cause nausea, headaches, and in some cases, death.
Having annual furnace maintenance will help catch any potential safety risks, and give you peace of mind that your furnace is working properly and up to code.
Some people like to have their furnace checked out after winter, and their A/C after summer. We find the best time to have an appliance checked out, is right before the season that you will be using it, starts. This ensures that animals and mother nature hasn't infiltrated your HVAC system in any way, it also ensures that the appliance is working as intended, which is the most effective at the starting of a season, as the appliance will be running on a daily basis. We found that it was much more common for a furnace to have an issue at the starting of winter, if the preventative maintenance was conducted at the ending of the previous winter, rather than at the beginning of the next. In conclusion, although it's easy to neglect your HVAC system, paying it a little more attention here and there can definitely save you a bunch of headaches and money in the future!