As temperatures begin to drop in the Greater Cincinnati area be sure to complete your furnace tune up checklist with a professional HVAC contractor. Why? It’s essential to perform regular preventive maintenance so your system operates safely and efficiently during the fall and winter heating seasons.
Besides, it helps to lower utility bills and maintain a higher level of comfort. How? In this blog we’ll cover what’s commonly included on a furnace tune up checklist, if a furnace tune up needs to be done each year, how often to tune up a heat pump and other fall maintenance tasks to save energy and increase comfort.
After all, with holidays nonstop from October to January, check heating service off your to-do list and forget about it. Enjoy festivities without worrying if your furnace will break down or make it through another polar vortex.
What’s Included on a Furnace Tune Up Checklist
While tune up tasks may vary among different HVAC contractors, a qualified technician includes these essential checkpoints in your evaluation:
- Lubricate the moving parts of your system to reduce friction, such as motors, bearings, fans, and air circulators.
- Clean and adjust the pilot light assembly and electrodes.
- Check the gas pressure and burner combustion to ensure they meet system specifications.
- Measure the current and voltage on the motor for efficiency.
- Clean the blower assembly and confirm proper airflow.
- Check blower motor and belt, if applicable for wear or malfunction.
- Clean the heat exchanger and inspect it for cracks, soot, and corrosion.
- Inspect the terminals and wiring for corrosion, and apply a non-conductive coating if needed.
- Test for dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) leaks.
- Inspect the flues and ventilation system to ensure gas vents properly.
- Inspect ductwork for loose joints, and seal with mastic duct sealant.
- Test oil pumps and gas valves for correct operation.
- Check your thermostat for accuracy.
- Test the system controls to ensure your furnace or heat pump cycles properly.
- Tighten electrical wiring and gas connections as needed.
- Change to a fresh air filter, (if supplied by customer), or drain the expansion tank.
- Measure and adjust pressure regulator or replace oil filter and nozzle.
- Test operating controls and safety features, adjust as necessary.
- Prepare equipment condition report, explaining any potential problems or recommended repairs to customer.
- Finally, provide a report detailing duties performed and any recommendations for usage changes, HVAC repairs or system upgrades.
Do I Need a Heating Tune Up Every Year? What if My Furnace is New?
Short answer: Yes. A professional HVAC checkup is the best, most cost-effective way to keep your furnace or heat pump running like new for years to come. This checkup is just as important as the tune up you get for your car.
Even if your car was brand new, you wouldn’t wait until there was a problem to bring it in for an oil change, would you? Whether your furnace or heat pump is a month old or 10 years old, it needs a tune up each fall.
Why Furnace Tune Up Checklists are Important
Furnaces create heat by combustion — or burning — fossil fuel. This means you must inspect the fuel lines, as well as check and if applicable, recalibrate the igniter.
It’s critical to inspect the heat exchanger each year. Over time, this important, and most expensive component in your furnace, develops small cracks. Overuse and maintenance neglect often accelerate this situation.
Cracks allow poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) gas to leak into your home. Regular inspections, as well as CO detectors, often prevent tragedies, so make maintenance a priority.
Comfort, Lower Energy Bills, & Less Risk
With a heating tune up, you ensure your furnace runs efficiently and smoothly this winter. You’ll also be more comfortable when you’re out enjoying the money you’ve saved, because a well maintained furnace means lower monthly energy bills and a longer lifespan for your heating system.
Wouldn’t you rather have a furnace last 15 years because you took good care of it, than have to replace it after nine?
If I Have a Heat Pump, Do I Need a Fall Tune Up?
Yes, in fact, because heat pumps both heat and cool a home, we recommend tune ups for heat pumps twice a year. Compare it to a central air set up of an air conditioner and a furnace.
You schedule a tune in the spring for the AC and a tune up in the fall for the furnace. With a heat pump performing both functions, these HVAC work horses need tune ups for both seasons.
The details of the furnace tune up checklist and the heat pump tune up checklist vary a little based on their components, of course. Think of seasonal heat pump maintenance as addressing any cooling issues after a long, hot summer and tucking it in for a winter hibernation.
In addition, the fall tune up makes sure the heat pump is ready to switch to heat mode. In the spring, it’s reversed to get ready for switching back to air conditioning mode.
What About Boiler Heating?
Yes, boilers need maintenance too. We know a lot of older houses in Cincinnati use boilers for heating and we service and repair them as well.
Additional Tips for Fall Home Maintenance and Safety
There are several things you should do yourself before you turn on your furnace this fall. These tasks will help ensure the safety of your family and the efficiency of your furnace.
1. Check and Change Air Filters
Stock up on high-quality air filters. Check your air filter every month, and when dirt and debris are visible, replace it with a clean one. This is the number one thing HVAC contractors wish homeowners knew.
A clean filter ensures optimum airflow, prevents dust from entering your system and improves your indoor air quality. Dirty filters create all kinds of problems, so check it monthly; change as needed.
For most people this is every two to three months. Smokers, pet owners, and those with respiratory conditions often need to change it monthly.
2. Is Your Ceiling Fan Rotating Clockwise?
Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans in winter to pull cool air up and push warm down the walls, keeping you more comfortable at lower thermostat settings.
3. Test and Change the Batteries in Smoke and CO Detectors
Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Install one of each on every floor in your home, with one close to each of your sleeping areas. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 10,000 people suffer from CO poisoning every year. Nearly 500 people actually lose their lives.
Prevent Major Heating and Cooling Problems with the Apollo Care Plan
For homeowners in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, we recommend an investment in the Apollo Care Plan. Membership includes seasonal tune ups of your heating and cooling equipment as well as annual evaluations of your electrical and plumbing systems.
Use this yearly evaluation to ask questions and to ensure your home mechanicals and systems are in good shape. Apollo Care Plan members also enjoy benefits like 24/7 service, priority scheduling, discounts, and a VIP phone number.
Let Apollo Home Check Your Furnace Tune Up Checklist Twice, So You Don’t Have To!
With winter right around the corner, it’s time to schedule a precision furnace tune-up. That way, no matter what Mother Nature has in store for Cincinnati or Kentucky, you´ll have the peace of mind knowing you won’t be left out in the cold.
Appointment calendars are filling up. We’re heading into heavy heating season, so call today for the best scheduling options. Your tune up helps ensure your furnace or heat pump is there when you need it.
Neglected equipment costs more to run and is more likely to break down – often for good. Finally, an evaluation and heating tune up could even uncover a gas leak or electrical problems putting your family at risk.
Ready to upgrade? Furnaces are now available with 98 percent efficiency. That means 98 cents of every dollar spent on heating your home goes to use.
Many homes built only 10 years ago use furnaces with 80 percent efficiency. Twenty cents of every “heating dollar” disappears up the flue. We offer many products to fit your needs including ductless mini splits as well as finance options to spread out payments.
Since 1910, Apollo Home has served the home comfort needs of the greater Cincinnati area. Whether it’s heating, air conditioning, electrical or plumbing services, Apollo Home is there for the health of your whole home.
Driven to serve, Apollo Home has received awards such as “Best in Cincinnati” for Home Services, Angie’s List Super Service Award, Contractors of the Year from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and an A+ Accredited Business rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Contact us today for help when you need an HVAC contractor, a licensed plumber or a licensed electrician in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky.