Furnace Tune Up Tech Talk with Christian Barlow

Why are furnace tune-ups so very important? Furnace tune ups are important for multiple reasons. The most important thing is that during a furnace tune up we actually check for dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. One of the major issues with carbon monoxide is that it’s a silent killer. It can actually kill you in your sleep. So that is absolutely one of the most important things we check for during a tune up—that your furnace isn’t producing unsafe levels of this deadly, odorless gas. The other major reason furnace tune ups are so important is that they prevent a soot or lint build up in the unit which can sometimes result in structure fires. Other than ensuring a high level of performance, these two safety items are at the very top of our tune up checklist. The safety of our customers and their homes are our number one priorities.

Q: How often do I need my furnace tuned up?

A: Realistically, if you want your furnace running in tip top shape, you’re going to want it tuned up once a year in the fall right before you’re going to start giving it heavy use.

Q: Are there any obvious signs that my furnace needs some TLC?

A: Although there can be a few obvious signs that your furnace is in dire need of maintenance, it’s always best to just rely on a regular tune up schedule so you don’t have to worry about looking for them. One obvious sign, however, is soot build up in your duct work. If this is going on, you’ll notice nasty little black dust bunnies coming from your vents. You might also notice that your furnace filters are getting dirtier a lot quicker. Another sign to look for is that if your unit isn’t firing up and not heating every single time you call or it’s heating much more slowly than usual.

Q: What do furnace tune ups offer in terms of in home safety?

A: We measure carbon monoxide in the home by checking levels at every single vent in the home and in addition we also actually crack open the furnace unit itself and check the levels there as well. Like I said, carbon monoxide detection is a big part of our furnace tune up program and we strive to keep all Radiant customers safe in their homes.

Q: What are the main benefits of getting a furnace tune up?

A: Well, first off your system will be operating at peak performance after a tune up, meaning that your home will warm up faster and stay there longer. Well maintained furnaces also use way less energy so it’s far more efficient which means lower utility bills and allows you actually create an investment into your furnace. Another reason would be the carbon monoxide element, as I’ve mentioned. And finally, making sure that there are no combustibles in the supply and return sections of the unit will prevent possible fire damage to your home.

Q: What can happen if I continually turn on my furnace every winter without ever bothering to tune it up?

A: Well, your two blower motors could malfunction and that can run you into some real trouble. One blower motor runs your exhaust and takes any carbon monoxide build up safely out of your unit and home. And if that fails, you could be looking at potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide going into your airflow and subsequently your home. The other thing lack of maintenance can do to your blower motor is cause it to overload, which is usually about a $1000 dollar repair. Compare that to the relatively cheap rates Radiant offers for a full furnace tune up and it’s kind of a no brainer. Another thing that can go wrong in your furnace without proper maintenance is that your combustion chamber can get too dirty so you’re not getting as much heat transferred to your home as you should be, which could cause your energy bill to rise significantly.

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