Our home heating system is just one of those things we tend to just not think about. We set the thermostat to our preferred temperature and that’s that, out of sight, out of mind. Preventative maintenance is an easy thing to forget about. Who wants to spend money on that anyway?
Until of course we wake up to a freezing house or are forced to take a cold shower. Then it becomes an emergency and we can think of little else until it is taken care of.
Why Preventative Maintenance is so important
It keeps your family comfortable and safe
A heating tune up ensures that your system is running smoothly, efficiently and most importantly…safely. What your technician does depends largely on the type of system you have and the type of fuel it uses. In our area there are three common types of systems – furnaces (forced air), boilers (radiators) and heat pumps. Your technician is trained to service them all to run optimally and to help avoid unexpected breakdowns.
Any heating unit that burns fuel is particularly important to have inspected. Furnaces with a crack heat exchanger have the potential to release carbon monoxide into the air. Furnaces or boilers with clogged flue pipes or chimneys pose the same risk. You may be surprised how common it is for birds or other critters to build nests and cause problems.
No matter how well maintained your system is, it is always best to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home.
Believe it or not, preventative maintenance, or tune ups as we call them, saves money. Tune ups are a flat rate price ranging from $119 to $199 depending on the type of system and the fuel it uses. Compare that with a repair service call that starts with $100 diagnostic fee plus parts and labor and you can see that an ounce of prevention it cheaper than the pound of cure. Scheduled maintenance greatly reduces the chance of a breakdown and the associated costs but also can prevent having to take unexpected time off of work to deal with it.
Properly maintained units also run more efficiently which equates to lower energy bills.
It prolongs the life of your system
Just like having your car serviced, having your heater serviced regularly will make it last longer. Dirty units, clogged air filters, fuel filters and nozzles make your unit work harder than it has to and reduces the life of your system. And just like you wouldn’t drive a car without getting the oil changed, its equally important to keep your motors and the moving parts of your heater lubricated and maintained.
It protects your warranty
Many manufacturers have a clause in their warranty that requires the unit be maintained in order to honor the warranty. While it is indeed rare for a warranty to be denied because of lack of maintenance, it does happen. On top of all the other practical and logical reasons to have a tune up, the piece of mind that your warranty cannot be denied is just one more.
How often should I have my heater tuned up?
Most manufacturers and service companies recommend having your heater tuned up every year and we recommend that as well. However, some units are more forgiving than others. Gas and electric units can usually get away with every other year and still be ok. Assuming of course you routinely check and replace your air filters!
Oil burning units on the other hand are really dirty and absolutely should been cleaned and serviced annually.
What’s the difference between just a tune up and a service contract?
A service contract costs a little bit more than just a tune up but it offers you additional protection and peace of mind. Below is a chart detailing what each of the contracts cover.
Now, while you’re thinking about it – call 610-693-1120 to schedule your fall tune up and we’ll set you up with a time that is convenient for you and a technician that you’ll love!
Remember, in the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure!