Keeping Your Furnace in Tip-Top Shape



When you find yourself with a little extra cash at the end of the month, it can be really fun to start some home improvements or other projects around the house. However, before you start with new projects, it’s important to ensure that your existing infrastructure is in good working order.

Just as your car needs regular services to keep everything running smoothly, so does your heating system. When your furnace is running at maximum efficiency, it’ll provide the highest level of heating efficiency for the lowest price. In most cases, getting furnace tune-ups about once a year will do the trick. However, you might also need to do it more often.

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

When your furnace is in tip-top shape, it’ll use up to 30% less energy to do the same job, which also means you’ll pay less for your heating. On top of that, the air quality in your home will improve since a well-maintained furnace produces less exhaust.

Most furnace systems have both mechanical components and electronic components. That means you’ll need technicians who are skilled in both these areas. Specialized equipment is also required for monitoring systems that run on gas or propane, since leakages are not always easy to detect with the senses alone.

Apart from the electronics, the two main things that go wrong with furnaces are natural wear and tear, on the one hand, and the build-up of dust and dirt, on the other. To an extent, you can keep your furnace clean yourself, but you’ll probably need a qualified technician to remove and clean the internal components. You can’t see many of these components from the outside, so you won’t really see if they’re dirty. However, once they’ve been cleaned, you’ll notice how much better your furnace runs.

The Tune-up Process

Exactly what happens during a furnace tune-up depends on what type of furnace you have, what sort of condition it’s in, and who you call to perform the service. It also depends on what you’re willing to pay and how much. For example, some cheaper service packages exclude certain tune-up procedures. In this case, the technician should advise you that your furnace requires procedures not included in the type of service you’ve paid for.

The least complicated type of heating system uses a burner (gas or oil), or an electric heating element, to heat the air, and some kind of blower to circulate the warm air around your home. Even a simple system like this, however, has its vulnerabilities.

In these systems, the blower compartment needs to be cleaned, and the blower wheel needs to be cleaned and lubricated. The motor and wire connections need to be checked. On gas-powered units, the ports on the gas valve and pilot tube need to be checked and cleaned. Airflow through all vents and ducts must be evaluated, and all furnace filters must be cleaned or replaced.

Furnace 1

With more complex heating systems, most tune-ups comprise the following procedures:


All moving parts in the system, like the motor and the fan belt pulley, need to move smoothly against one another without friction or sticking. Your technician will need to check and lubricate these components.


Electrical wires are liable to pull loose with the normal movement of the moving parts of the furnace system. Sometimes, all that’s required to fix a furnace that isn’t working is reconnecting a wire that has come loose. You can also go for furnace repair north york, if there exists any big problem in your furnace.


Furnace burners are actually quite delicate. It can stop the whole system from working if something goes wrong or comes loose. The same goes for the exhaust system and other components. Qualified furnace technicians have the necessary equipment to test all the components individually.

Fuel Connection Systems Check

Since the gas or oil piping is so crucial to the overall furnace system, this should be checked separately. Even a tiny leak can make the difference between sufficient and insufficient fuel pressure traveling through the system. Some leaks are easy to detect, but others are virtually impossible to find without taking everything apart and/or using specialized leak detection equipment.

System Controls Check

Even if all the components of your furnace are in good working order, faulty system controls could still lead to problems. It’s essential to determine whether the controls are working correctly, so you need a furnace expert who can identify the source of a problem correctly.


In order to get your furnace really clean, the technician will need to remove its component parts, clean them, clean around where the parts fit together, and put the parts back. The vents and ducts need particular attention because the build-up of dust and grime in these parts of the system prevents the warm air from reaching the room where it’s needed.

Final Thoughts

Getting your furnace serviced is a very easy task to procrastinate. During cold weather, you don’t want to risk going without heating while you wait for the service to be completed, and during warm weather, the idea of getting your furnace service probably doesn’t even enter your mind.

Another reason for procrastinating that service could be the cost: a professional furnace tune-up can cost anywhere from about $80-$200. However, if you neglect the routine maintenance your furnace needs, you may have to repair or replace it after it stops working altogether (leaving you with no way to heat your home. Chances are, this will be even more expensive.

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