Furnace Check-ups: How Often?

Most households depend utterly on their heating system during the cold months.

Why risk the failure of your system by being lazy or scrimping about checking on its performance and maintaining it? Seventy-five percent of all wintertime no-heat calls are the result of insufficient or poor maintenance. That’s where a professional furnace check-up comes into the picture.

Having your furnace professionally checked and maintained regularly has important advantages:

1. It prolongs the life of your system

A poorly maintained furnace runs less efficiently and has to work harder, using more energy and increasing your costs. Additionally, a poorly-maintained heating system is at greater risk of malfunctions and of starting a fire.

2. It decreases the risk of carbon monoxide leaks

These are hard to detect because the poisonous gas is colorless and odorless.

Opinions do vary on how often such maintenance checks should be performed. Some professionals maintain that furnaces less than ten years old need checking only every other year. Most dealers, however, suggest a yearly check-up, and the warranties that come with most heating systems stipulate that damage to units because of insufficient or improper maintenance is not covered.

When you contact your Albuquerque Plumbing, Heating & Cooling professional, ask about what is covered in the check-up. You may not need every service offered at every checkup, so costs may vary.

Meanwhile, there are some things you can do yourself:

1. Change the furnace filter every three months.
This is vital to efficient performance. If you have an electrostatic or electronic filter, it must be washed regularly.

2. Check thermostat settings to check whether the system is operating properly.

3. Before turning your furnace on in the fall, move any tools or appliances that you may have stored beside it during the summer. Such intimacy invites fires or explosions.

4. Turn the furnace on and run it for awhile before that first cold morning to be sure that all is in order.

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