HVAC FAQ

Furnace Maintenance

Furnace maintenance is a preventive heating service that involves a thorough inspection and tune-up of your system.

Given that most people only call for HVAC service when something goes wrong, you may be wondering, “Do I really need furnace maintenance service?”

Yes—you really do need furnace maintenance if you want to save money, stay comfortable, and enjoy some other benefits.

To explain why this is the case, here are some helpful answers to common questions about furnace maintenance service.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING FURNACE MAINTENANCE SERVICE?

Furnace tune-ups involve checking all of the system’s essential components and adjusting, cleaning, testing, and/or lubricating them, as needed. Some of the specific tasks involved in furnace maintenance services include:

  • Inspecting the vent system and air intake grilles, removing any blockages

  • Checking the heat exchanger for signs of damage or corrosion

  • Examining and cleaning the blower, removing any debris

  • Checking the blower motor and testing its amp draw

  • Inspecting the electrical connections, tightening them and/or replacing damaged wiring as needed

  • Checking the burner and flame sensor

  • Cleaning out condensate drain lines

  • Examining the belts for any signs of damage or cracks

  • Inspecting the thermostat and calibrating it as needed

  • Lubricating all moving parts in the heating system

  • Checking the air filter, cleaning it or replacing it as needed

  • Checking and testing the system’s safety controls and startup cycle

If you have an oil or gas furnace, additional steps included in furnace maintenance service include:

  • Examining fuel lines for potential leaks

  • Checking and testing gas pressure, the burner, and the pilot

  • Inspecting the thermocouple

  • Replacing oil nozzle

  • Adjusting electrodes

  • And more!


HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET A FURNACE TUNE-UP?

At Lutz Heating & Cooling, we recommend getting furnace tune-ups:

  • At least once a year: Annual furnace maintenance can keep your system running efficiently. If you’re serious about maintaining optimal indoor air quality—or if anyone in your home has respiratory issues or a compromised immune system―it’s generally best to get furnace tune-ups more frequently, like two to four times per year.

  • Before the cold season: The ideal time for furnace maintenance service is before you’ll be running your system on a daily basis when the temperatures drop. In the Midwest, the best time for a furnace tune-up is usually during the end of summer and the beginning of fall. By getting a furnace tune-up before winter sets in, you can make sure your system is ready to support your comfort needs during the entire cold season to come!

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FURNACE MAINTENANCE?

Regular furnace tune-ups offer several advantages, including:

  • Saving money: Furnace maintenance keeps your heating system running as efficiently as possible. That can mean monthly savings in energy bills. Over time, this savings can cover the cost of regular furnace tune-ups!

  • Maintaining the warranty: Many furnace warranties include terms that require regular maintenance. If yours does, getting routine tune-ups is key to keeping your warranty valid and ensuring you have the coverage you need if anything does go wrong during the warranty period.

  • Minimizing the risk of unexpected breakdowns: With regular furnace maintenance, minor issues can be identified and addressed before they become more serious problems. That means fewer system failures, a reduced need for heating repair service, and minimal chances that you’ll be left without heat during the cold season.

  • Maximizing the service life of a furnace: A well-maintained furnace can last for well over a decade, letting you get the most out of your investment.


HOW MUCH DOES FURNACE MAINTENANCE SERVICE COST?

Furnace maintenance is one of the most affordable heating services you can get from a professional HVAC company. While the exact cost can depend on the type of furnace you have, in general, you can get the best deal on furnace maintenance when you sign up for a maintenance plan.

At Lutz Heating & Cooling we offer:

  • Money-saving maintenance plans: Our maintenance agreements make it as affordable and convenient as possible for homeowners in the Tri-County area to get the regular tune-ups and service they need.

  • Special offers and deals: We regularly run special promotions to give our customers an opportunity to save whenever possible!

5 Signs It's Time to Replace your HVAC System


Finding the right balance between maintenance and HVAC repair or replacement can be a tricky task. You don’t want to needlessly invest in a new unit, yet you don’t want to pay the price of waiting too long. Fortunately, there are signals property owners can watch, indicating when it’s time for a new HVAC system.

Check out these five signs that you need to replace your HVAC system:

Rising Utility Bills

Energy bills fluctuate along with outdoor weather conditions over the course of a year. However, if a homeowner notices that the cost to heat or cool their property is significantly higher than the same month last year – unless some sort of climate phenomena occurred – then it might be time to replace their HVAC system.

According to Service Experts’ Senior Manager Jim Hughes, a system’s efficiency will drop 5-10 percent as it ages, but a spike in energy bills is a sign that you should have a technician evaluate your system. Your unit might require extensive repairs, and it might be more cost-effective to replace it with a newer model.

The efficiency of the system decreases over time from normal wear and tear. Buildup of dirt and corrosion on the inside causes the greatest loss of efficiency.

For owners and operators of multi-family communities, a particularly hot or cold summer can affect multiple units, causing significant increases in energy expenses for tenants or the property itself.

Aging System

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, property owners should replace HVAC systems every 10 to 15 years. While most modern units are more durable than previous models, some of their major components still deteriorate over time. The typical lifespan for an HVAC system is about 10 years. Of course, regular maintenance and as-needed repairs will help extend a system’s life expectancy.

Another component that influences the cost-efficiency of replacing an HVAC unit is the type of refrigerant used by many older systems. Several years ago, federal regulators moved to phase out the common compound R22 because of the chemical’s detrimental impact on the environment.

Beginning in 2020, companies will no longer be able to produce or import R22 refrigerant, which means existing supplies will become even more expensive – possibly too expensive for property owners to replace R22 in their older HVAC systems.

Increased Maintenance and Repair

Any HVAC system will require regular maintenance to operate efficiently over time. It’s not unusual to replace certain parts, such as the capacitor or an electrical switch. However, when a system starts leaking refrigerant or its compressor stops working properly, expensive repairs could become too costly to keep the unit.

Rather than continuing to pay expensive repair bills, property owners often find it more cost efficient to replace HVAC systems. At this stage, technicians will begin offering customers both a repair quote and a replacement quote, so the property owner can make an informed decision on when to replace their system.

Ineffective Climate Control

If you’ve broken out into a sweat in one room in your house, but find yourself freezing in another room, it might be time to replace your HVAC system. Sometimes, an aging system might not have enough power to consistently cool or heat a building. When this happens, not only is the system ineffective, but energy costs rise as the unit runs more to achieve desired results.

Of course, temperature isn’t the only comfort factor an HVAC system controls. An ineffective HVAC unit can cause issues with excess dust left in the air or increased humidity, which can lead to mold and mildew. Just be sure you’ve also assessed your property for leaks or inadequate insulation before blaming these problems on your HVAC system.

Technology Advances

At Lutz Heating & Cooling, we offer top of the line equipment manufactured by Johnson Controls. From furnaces up to 98% efficiency to air conditioners with up to 20 SEER of cooling.

With these incredible efficiency numbers, upgrading your old outdated system can pay for itself over time with savings on energy bills.

Contact us today for a free estimate! (262)-249-6124