What Is a Heater Tune Up?
Most furnace manufacturers and dealers recommend an annual heater tune up, but what goes into a “heater tune up”?
A tune up is a regular part of furnace maintenance that can help mitigate the effects of wear and tear. Negating regular wear and tear can eventually render a heater inefficient, shorten its operating life, and increase the number of repairs needed. Plus, you can avoid the more expensive breakdowns, while enjoying more predictable comfort.
If a heater malfunctions, not only could you be uncomfortable, but your safety may be at risk as well. That’s because a poorly maintained furnace can develop issues related to electrical or gas connections, creating a fire and explosion hazard. Air quality is a concern as well. Fumes and carbon monoxide can put your family at risk of exposure.
What a Heater Tune Up Entails
When performing a tune up, an heating & air conditioning technician typically runs through a checklist of items. The manufacturer’s warranty may also specify the types of service needed. Be sure to keep all records of service and schedule it according to the terms, or the warranty may be voided.
In general, here is what’s done when a technician tunes up your heater:
- Furnace control and safety features are tested.
- Soot is removed from burners.
- Parts inside and outside the unit are cleaned.
- Motor bearings and other moving parts are lubricated.
- Fan belt tension is tested and adjusted as needed.
- All belts, pulleys, and connections are tightened.
- Voltage and current are tested to ensure the correct values.
- Wires are inspected, tightened, and adjusted.
- The gas pressure and flame are tested and adjusted as required.
- The heat exchanger is inspected for cracks and other damage.
- Exhaust components are tested for blockages and other defects.
- Ignition elements and the pilot light are tested.
- The condensate drain is inspected and cleared.
Additionally, the technician will replace the air filter. A clogged filter will affect heater performance and efficiency. Changing the filter is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your furnace and air quality. Air filters should be checked monthly and replaced every two or three months, which usually doesn’t require a professional.
During a tune up, a variety of other adjustments can be made. These include adjusting the air/fuel ratio, calibrating the thermostat, and tweaking other components as necessary.
How a Heater Tune Up Protects the System
A tune up is a form of preventative maintenance. It involves a thorough examination of the furnace’s inner workings and components. Most heating & air conditioning companies suggest completing maintenance in the fall or early winter and more frequently for older units. Overall, a tune up helps avoid a breakdown during times of highest demand, such as when it gets extremely cold outside.
Aside from improving safety, air quality, and energy efficiency, comprehensive service also ensures proper airflow. If airflow is restricted or blocked, it increases strain and oftentimes the need for repairs or replacement. During a heater tune up, a technician may perform a static airflow test in which they can measure how hard the fan is working.
Whether you recently purchased your heater or have had it for 20 years, it should receive a tune up every year.
Schedule a Heater Tune Up with Service Today
Serving the entire Twin Cities metro area, Service Today is trusted for heater, furnace, and boiler maintenance (and other heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical services). We’re familiar with all the advantages of heater inspections and tune ups and provide a thorough examination of all components and moving parts, then make any minor adjustments or repairs needed. Receive regular maintenance as a member of our SHAPE Membership program and call (888) 409-9784 to schedule your heater tune up appointment today!