If you’ve recently had a new furnace installed in your Bountiful, Utah home, you may have heard that servicing it just once every two years is sufficient. According to this line of thought, new furnaces are unlikely to develop problems and don’t require as much general cleaning and care during the early phases of their lifespans. In reality, however, home heating systems are far too complex to make this determination. Factors that lie outside of your new furnace such as your HVAC ductwork, integrated accessories, and home envelope make annual service essential. Moreover, some of these factors may make more frequent service the ideal choice.
Annual Furnace Service
Many HVAC experts recommend servicing furnaces annually, irrespective of their age. When performed at the end of autumn or in early winter, these services are an opportunity to prime residential heating equipment for the challenges of the cold season. However, there are also instances in which regular, yearly visits are vital for preserving important consumer protections. For example, if your furnace still has an active manufacturer warranty, you may be required by the terms of this agreement to have annual service performed. This is additionally true of many home service agreements or home warranties that include home systems coverage. It’s also a good idea to check the terms of your home insurance plan as well. Taking good care of your HVAC equipment from year-to-year will minimize the likelihood of claims events and keep your warranties and other protections intact.
Twice-Annual Furnace Service
Although your furnace only sees consistent activity during the colder months of the year, twice-annual service could be important. For instance, installing integrated accessories that clean your indoor air and balance indoor humidity may add extra stress to your heating and cooling equipment. You should ask your HVAC technician to help you establish a needs-specific maintenance schedule if you have a:
- Whole-house dehumidifier/humidifier
- Media filter
- HEPA filter
- Air purifier
- Air scrubber
Even if having integrated accessories does not cause air pressure challenges or additional system stress, twice-annual servicing will ensure that all of your HVAC system’s components are working seamlessly together and performing exactly as they should.
Twice-annual service is also a good idea for furnaces that are well-advanced in age. Having your furnace serviced once at the start of the heating season and again at its end will ensure that you aren’t confronted with unfortunate surprises the next time that winter rolls around. It will also give you the information you need to plan and financially prepare for heater replacement.
Caring for Your HVAC Air Ducts
The health and integrity of your HVAC air ducts have a significant impact on the functioning and efficiency of your furnace. During furnace service, we check HVAC air ducts for rips, tears, and other structural damage. We make sure that internal air pressure isn’t excessively high, and we verify that no HVAC air vents are blocked. If your HVAC system has been zoned for efficiency, we’ll also verify that all bypass ducts and other zoning components are working like they should.
These visits should not be confused with professional HVAC air duct cleaning. Your home’s air ducts should be professionally cleaned about once every three to five years.
Your Furnace’s Venting System
Gas-fired furnaces have venting systems that route their exhaust gases outdoors. When your furnace burns fuel to produce heat, it does so incompletely. Incomplete fuel combustion is what creates carbon monoxide (CO) and the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Thus, one very important part of furnace service is inspecting venting systems. This entails making sure that venting systems aren’t blocked, that their structural integrity hasn’t been compromised, and that backdrafting isn’t occurring.
Over time, the sidewalls of venting systems can buckle, bow, or collapse. Changes to your home’s envelope or its level of airtightness can also affect your furnace venting system’s performance. For instance, throughout the year, you may take steps to improve the efficiency of your home such as:
- Adding more insulation
- Upgrading to insulation with higher R values
- Sealing up air leaks in building materials
- Replacing your windows
- Adding weatherstripping to your doors
Cumulatively, efficiency-related changes like these may make your home too airtight. As indoor air escapes the building via bathroom and range hood exhaust fans, or exits through your fireplace chimney, your home may develop negative air pressure. Negative air pressure can cause outdoor air to get sucked into the building through the furnace venting system. When it enters the home, this air will carry dangerous exhaust gases with it.
As such, even if your furnace and your HVAC air ducts are in excellent condition, efficiency changes that you’ve made throughout the year could be putting your health at risk. Scheduling annual furnace service will help us make modifications that account for potentially dangerous changes in indoor air pressure. Twice-annual furnace service will ensure that no indications of furnace venting problems are neglected for long.
Your Central AC System
There’s an obvious benefit in having your furnace serviced twice each year. This is the fact that it’s good for your air conditioner to. After all, central AC systems require annual service as well. When you work with us, your furnace service in late autumn or early winter can include an inspection of your air conditioner’s outside condenser, and measures to get your cooling system ready for a prolonged period of inactivity. In early spring, your AC service appointment can include a brief review of your furnace. If your heating system has sustained excess wear or developed minor problems throughout the cold season, we can take care of these issues right away. When homes have central heating and cooling systems, twice annual service can be incredibly convenient.
In-Between Your Service Visits
In-between service visits, it’s important to perform regular HVAC air filter changes. In most households, this component should be replaced about once every two to three months. If you have residents with chronic respiratory illnesses, indoor pets, or an unlandscaped backyard, you should perform filter changes monthly. Frequently filter changes are also recommended for homes that:
- Are located near busy freeways or streets
- Have high amounts of foot traffic
- Have thick-pile carpeting
You can also use a soft, damp cloth to clean accumulations of dirt, lint, hair, and other debris off of all accessible air registers, vents, or grills. When performing regular heater maintenance, it’s a good idea to pop outdoors and remove debris from the perimeter of your air conditioner’s condenser as well.
The Benefits of Preventative Maintenance Plans
Preventative maintenance plans make it easy to give your furnace the needs-specific care that it deserves. The moderate cost of most preventative maintenance plans eliminates the financial stress in scheduling annual or twice-annual furnace service. These plans also make it easy to stay up-to-date with the maintenance requirements that are set forth in many home insurance policies, manufacturer warranties, and home service agreements.
As the only women-owned and women-operated HVAC service in Utah, Blue Best Heating & Air brings more than 20 years of combined HVAC experience to the table. We proudly serve residents of Bountiful, Utah and the surrounding area, and we’re committed to providing solutions that help our clients save money and optimize their home comfort. We offer HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also also provide advanced indoor air quality solutions and preventative maintenance plans. Give us a call today!