How Often Should You Have Your Furnace Serviced?

Winter has arrived and that means your furnace is in for a long stretch of working extra hard to keep your home and family comfy and warm. Among the many chores on your homeowner's responsibility list is furnace maintenance. Keeping on top of it of course with regular filter replacement and awareness of operation is a must; but when it comes to service and inspection, what is the recommended time frame?

HVAC experts all agree that a furnace’s heating and cooling components should be inspected and serviced once a year to extend the system’s lifespan, help save energy, and reduce health risks. Similar to your vehicle, lawnmower, vacuum cleaner, and other everyday machines; ignoring potential problems often results in much bigger (and more expensive) fixes. Annual professional attention to your furnace goes a long way in preventing major failures and keeping the unit operating at maximum efficiency.

Furnace inspection benefits

Did you know that roughly 75 percent of customer calls of no- heat in winter months are related to maintenance issues? A furnace plopped in place and expected to perform perfectly for years will eventually (and suddenly) stop working altogether, and it seems this always happens on the coldest nights.

Health risk

A malfunctioning furnace can also become a health hazard. Carbon monoxide produced within a furnace is colorless and odorless and as such, difficult to detect. That is a dangerous scenario, as this gas causes headaches, nausea, dizziness, and sometimes death. In fact, about 500 people die every year, and 15,000 more require emergency room visits, due to exposure to carbon monoxide.

Energy savings

A poorly functioning furnace also runs inefficiently, making it work that much harder and boosting your monthly energy bills. An annual furnace inspection by an HVAC professional will keep your system running like a top and the rest of the year you can help by performing general maintenance.

Change the filter every two to three months. Clogged filters restrict air flow which puts pressure on the system and inspires airborne contaminates. A programmable thermostat is another highly beneficial strategy that can save you around 10 percent on energy bills by dialing in a lower temperature setting for a good portion of the day.

Hire the right pro

HVAC systems are among the most complex and critical in your home and as such, it is important to call on a qualified service professional. Be sure to select one that licensed, bonded, and insured; and check around for references of their work.