Furnace Maintenance Checklist
Your typical home furnace should last about twenty years and proper maintenance is key to its longevity. There are many components inside a furnace that need to be checked in order to maintain it properly and we’ve put together a quick furnace maintenance checklist to help you cover the basics. Here are a few of the items we recommend inspecting, along with details on what to look for:
- Burners & Pilot Light – Are they dirty? Is the flame burning evenly?
- Drive Belt – Do you see cracks or frayed areas?
- Dampers – Did you adjust to seasonal settings?
- Air Ducts – Do you detect leaks?
- Motors & Bearings – Are they properly lubricated?
One item missing from our checklist above is the furnace filter. Why? Because replacing the furnace filter is a non-negotiable, must-do for every homeowner! Read on for more details about switching out this very important element.
How Often to Change A Furnace Filter
Changing the filter is the easiest way to keep your furnace functioning properly and running for many years because a clean filter protects the blower and blower motor from dust and soot buildup. You’ll need to take into account the number of people and pets in your home, the indoor air quality, and whether or not you or your family has allergies. Considering these factors, many experts recommend changing the filter every two to three months, regardless of the condition of the filter. If you do the math, this means you will change your filter more than four times a year! But don’t fret! You can save money by buying your replacement filters in bulk, and then set a recurring reminder in your smart phone’s calendar to alert you every two months to change the filter. It’s an easy trick that will save you money.
Annual Furnace Maintenance
Many home owners wonder how often they need to have their furnaces maintained. Not surprisingly, furnace manufacturers recommend annual inspections, and many include verbiage in their warranties stating that damage to the unit caused by improper maintenance is not covered under the warranty. This does not mean that annual furnace service is required by the manufacturers, but it is a good idea. It’s also helpful to familiarize yourself with your furnace’s warranty before you schedule a maintenance appointment so you understand what is covered by the manufacturer.
What’s truly most important in determining how often to schedule furnace maintenance is the age of the unit. The general rule is, the older the furnace, the more frequent inspections are needed. Meaning, newer furnaces can get by with an inspection every other year, but if your furnace is over ten years old, a yearly inspection is recommended.
With that said, if your furnace is due for an inspection, it’s time to schedule a service appointment. When shopping for a service provider, be aware that each companies’ description of a checkup, tune up, or annual maintenance inspection can vary greatly. Refer to the furnace maintenance checklist above for comparison so you can be sure you are comparing apples to apples.
In the event that your furnace inspection reveals the need for repairs, make sure you are protected from high costs with heating coverage from HomeServe. With many affordable repair plans available, you'll get peace of mind knowing that you are covered.