As an HVAC company that has been around since 1971, we’ve answered thousands of customer questions. One of the questions we hear over and over is this: “Are furnace tune-ups really necessary?”

If you’ve read our blog before, you know that we are strong believers in getting a furnace tune-up every year. Tune-ups are essential to the overall health and safety of your furnace. However, we understand why so many homeowners ask this question. Scheduling a tune-up every year can feel like a pain, similar to the inconvenience of having to get an oil change for your car. If we didn’t know better, we might ask this question ourselves!

Even though it can take a little time to schedule a furnace tune-up, homeowners should definitely not skip out on this important yearly maintenance. Here are four reasons that furnace tune-ups are necessary for the health and safety of your HVAC system:

1. They prevent future breakdowns

Getting a yearly furnace tune-up is the easiest way to prevent breakdowns in the future. Tune-ups can differ depending on who you hire, but the majority of them consist of cleaning your system, lubricating the parts, and making sure the connections are correct. Technicians also keep an eye out for any problems that need to be addressed, such as cracked heat exchangers or weak pilot lights. 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.

The natural buildup of dust, dirt, and debris in your furnace causes the unit to work harder than it should in order to heat your home to the desired temperature. If you don’t get yearly tune-ups, the strain on your furnace can shorten the lifetime of your unit. As with any technology, the harder the parts in your unit have to work, the shorter they are going to last.

Furnace tune-ups usually cost between $80-$150. Paying the minor cost for a furnace tune-up is much better than paying for expensive repairs or replacements later on.

2. They reduce your energy bill

ENERGY STAR estimates that the average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills, with almost half of the cost going towards heating and cooling costs. Furnace tune-ups are an easy way to reduce this cost with minimal effort.

As mentioned above, a poorly-maintained furnace has to work harder to heat your home. This not only puts extra strain on your unit, but it decreases your furnace’s efficiency, too.

A furnace tune-up 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. 

3. Furnace tune-ups are often 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 a yearly furnace tune-up 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 yearly tune-ups will only cause pain down the road when you’re dealing with repairs or replacements.

4. They can help prevent carbon monoxide leaks

Homeowners are often worried about the possibility of carbon monoxide leaks in their home--and for good reason. According to the CDC, around 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

heat exchanger diagram

While furnaces have systems in place to protect homeowners from carbon monoxide, leaks can still develop. The most common cause of furnace-related carbon monoxide leaks is a cracked heat exchanger, or the set of coils within your furnace that create the hot air that heats your home. Heat exchangers typically crack when the coils are overstressed from working too hard, which can happen because of dirty air filters or improperly-sized HVAC systems. 

HVAC technicians are trained to look for cracked heat exchangers during furnace tune-ups, and they are also able to notice any other problems that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.

Scheduling a yearly furnace tune-up may not be as exciting as scheduling a vacation, but it is an important one. By keeping your furnace clean and maintained, you are helping prevent future breakdowns, potential carbon monoxide leaks, and sky-high heating bills. Schedule a Four Seasons Furnace Tune-up today to keep your family safe and warm and benefit from our 1 Year No Breakdown Guarantee.