Even if you prefer cold weather, there is not much to love about high heating costs or a broken furnace on a chilly night. Keeping your furnace and its equipment running in tip-top shape can result in higher efficiency. In other words, furnace tune-ups can save you time and money—this winter and every year. With just an hour or two of preventive maintenance each fall, your furnace can last longer, while costing less to run. Snell Heating & Air Conditioning provides trustworthy furnace tune-up services in areas of Virginia such as Centreville, Leesburg, Arlington, Alexandria, and Reston. Give us a call by phone at (703) 543-9649 to schedule an appointment for your heating system.
10 Main Steps of a Professional Furnace Tune-Up Service
- Lubricate Moving Parts – Reduce friction between moving parts in areas such as the motor, bearings, fans, and air circulators
- Check the Gas Pressure – Also, check the burner combustion to ensure they meet system specifications
- Clean Blower Assembly – Confirm proper airflow
- Clean the Heat Exchanger – Inspect for cracks, soot, or corrosion
- Inspect the Flues and Ventilation System – Ensure gas vents properly
- Tighten Electrical Wiring and Gas Connections – Do as needed
- Test For Dangerous Carbon Monoxide Leaks – Do as needed
- Check Motor and Belt for Wear or Malfunction – If applicable for wear and malfunction
- Measure Voltage on Motor – Replace oil filter and nozzle
- Test Thermostat for Accuracy – Test the system controls to ensure your furnace or heat pump cycles properly
Explanation of the Steps of a Furnace Tune-Up
Check Gas Pressure
If the gas pressure is not set correctly when your furnace is installed, you will notice cold spots in your household. In addition, a furnace with an insufficient gas pressure can produce too much warm air. The gas valve in a furnace is engineered to deliver gas to the burners at a manifold gas pressure that ranges from 3.2” WC to 3.7” WC. However, the gas pressure will vary depending on the model of your furnace. Our team of licensed technicians will use a manometer during the furnace tune-up appointment to inspect the gas pressure of your furnace.
Clean the Heat Exchanger
Our certified technicians will use a miniature vacuum hose to remove dirt and dust from each chamber of the heat exchanger at the beginning of the furnace tune-up service. Do not attempt to clean the heat exchanger without a licensed contractor. This component of a furnace is easy to crack or damage without the correct vacuum and tools.
Sanitize the Blower Assembly
The next step of a furnace tune-up is to remove dirt from the openings of the blower assembly. Our staff of certified technicians will use a brush and vacuum to remove dirt from the fan blades, pulleys, belts, and motor housing. Removing dirt from the blower assembly is critical to ensure the furnace does not become too hot.
Lubricate Parts & Furnace Motor
If the motor in your furnace is equipped with oil ports, we will apply motor oil to keep your furnace efficient. Next, our team of technicians will perform an inspection of the blower shaft to confirm if it’s damaged. Oil will be applied to the ports on the shaft to prevent damage to parts. The ports on the blower shaft and motor need to be lubricated once a year by a certified contractor.
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Perform an Audit of the Gas Connections & Flues
The flue is a pipe in your furnace designed to remove the byproducts of natural gas from your household. Once the exhaust pipe in your furnace becomes clogged, a fire can develop when your furnace is activated. We will disassemble the flue cap to inspect for dirt, dust, animals, or a bird’s nest.
If we discover bugs or animals in the flue, this is a sign of a loose flue cap. Our team of licensed technicians will remove each object from the exhaust pipe to restore the flow of natural gas. Next, we will install a new cap to the flue or exhaust pipe to prevent animals from entering in the future. We will inspect the exhaust pipe for signs of rust or moisture during a furnace tune-up to confirm if the pipe is blocked.
Top 5 Benefits of Performing a Furnace Tune-Up
Lower Utility Bills
Hiring a licensed technician to performa furnace tune-up will help your system operate more efficiently through the winter months. Keeping every part of the furnace working at full capacity helps to increase efficiency during operation, which in turn lowers utility bill costs.
Extended Equipment Life
Hiring a professional to perform a furnace tune-up will help prolong the lifespan of your heating system. When you schedule a heating repair appointment with the team at Snell Heating & Air Conditioning, our team will lubricate all moving parts, inspect or clean condensate drains, and test the unit’s starting capabilities. Our goal is to prevent the deterioration of internal parts and components in your furnace.
During a seasonal furnace tune-up appointment, our technicians will perform an inspection of your heating system to detect any issues, big or small, before these could turn into a big problem with expensive repairs. The cleaning, lubrication, and assessment of your furnace will keep it running at peak performance, to ultimately reduce any breakdowns and minimize potential problems during operation.
Safety is our top priority, especially when your family and loved ones are involved. Every heating repair or maintenance session includes a review of possible problem areas and any signs of occurring issues with your furnace.
Once the furnace tune-up is complete, your system should be running at its top efficiency and performance. With all of the important parts lubricated, adjusted, and inspected, your furnace will have improved capacity. This will allow your furnace to have an easier time meeting your home’s heating needs.
How Often Should You Change Your HVAC Filter?
Changing your furnace filter regularly ensures the air in your home will remain clear of dust and other contaminants. If you don’t change your filter, it will become full and will not have the ability to trap new particles and pollutants. A full filter will not be able to prevent additional dirt and debris from circulating through your home, causing your family to breathe in more dust and allergens on a daily basis. Additionally, an unchanged, full furnace filter causes the motor on your furnace/HVAC system to work harder, and it will subsequently become less efficient.
It is a general recommendation that you should change your air filter in your home every 30 days when using less expensive fiberglass filters. Premium pleated filters can last as long as 6 months, but these typical guidelines assume standard usage and don’t take into account the size and type of filter.
As a general rule, you’ll want to replace pleated air filters and furnace filters in your home every 90 days. The longer the filter is in place, the more dirt, dust, and allergens are trapped clogging the filter and decreasing their efficiency. Find out below if perhaps you should be replacing your filter more often than you may think.
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4 Main Components of a Furnace
A heat exchanger is a component in a gas furnace that is designed to keep harmful carbon monoxide and other types of gases out of the air in your house. Once a gas furnace receives a signal from a thermostat, a set of gas flames ignite in the interior of the metal pipes of a heat exchanger. Each pipe is engineered to flush carbon monoxide out of your home through the roof.
Once a standard heating cycle begins, a fan in the gas furnace is activated to collect cold air from each room in your household. Next, the cold air is blown past the outside of the hot pipes of the heat exchanger. This causes the temperature of the incoming air in your furnace to increase. Since the toxic gases are trapped in the pipes of the exchanger, the warm air produced by a gas furnace is safe to breathe.
As the heat exchanger in your furnace becomes older, you may notice cracks or holes in the metal tubes. Unfortunately, small to large cracks in the heat exchanger may allow toxic gases to be released into the warm air of your house. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, give our team a call by phone at (703) 543-9649. Our team of licensed HVAC technicians provides safe and efficient furnace tune-up services to homeowners in Centreville, Arlington, Reston, Alexandria, and the surrounding areas of Virginia.
A burner is a compartment of a gas furnace that blends incoming natural gas with air. Some types of gas furnaces are engineered to combine the incoming air with natural gas at the camber where it is burned. On the other hand, a gas furnace may be equipped with a pre-mixer. This is a component that blends the natural gas prior to distributing it to the combustion chamber. Depending on the model and manufacturer, you have one or more gas burners in your furnace.
If your furnace features an Inshot Burner, fuel is distributed through an orifice by a gas valve. Next, a supply of incoming cold air will enter the orifice near the gas burner in the furnace. Once the air and natural gas reach the interior of the burner, they will blend together. The gas and oxygen will be ignited by a hot surface ignition system or an electrical plug. A flame will be produced by the gas burner and will be distributed to the heat exchanger of the gas furnace.
If you have a new energy-efficient furnace, you may have two heat exchangers. The secondary heat exchanger is designed to flush the toxic air from your system. Next, a blower motor is activated to distribute warm air to each room of your house. Are you struggling to activate your gas burner? To avoid injuries and hazardous gas leaks, call a certified technician in your area to performa furnace tune-up.
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The thermocouple in a gas furnace is designed to deactivate the natural gas if the electronic ignition system or pilot light is malfunctioning. If the standing pilot light is activating and deactivating rapidly, this is a sign of a damaged thermocouple. In some cases, you may be able to fix the pilot light by securing the thermocouple but with a wrench. Next, activate your furnace to confirm if the pilot light is working properly.
If the pilot light deactivates, we recommend replacing the thermocouple in your furnace. Do not try to remove the thermocouple without the proper tools and instructions. To avoid damage to the electric ignition system or pilot light, give our staff a call by phone at (703) 543-9649. Our team of certified HVAC contractors provides reputable furnace tune-up services in Centreville and other areas of Virginia.
Once the flames begin to form in a gas furnace, the flame sensor develops a stream of electricity that is supplied to the control panel of the furnace. The electricity is measured with a metric called micro amps. If the furnace command console detects an abnormal amount of micro amps, the natural gas will be deactivated to prevent a gas leak or explosion. Since the flame sensor is used every winter to monitor the heating cycle, excess dirt and debris will begin to form on the component. To prevent a combustion issue, it’s important to conduct a furnace tune-up each year to ensure the flame sensor is clean.
Booking Furnace Tune-Up Appointment
There are many benefits to booking an appointment for a furnace tune-up or heating repair. Reducing the risk of an emergency breakdown, longevity of furnace lifespan, lowering your monthly energy bills, ensuring the safety of your household, and all together peace of mind are some things to look forward to when keeping up with your heating repair inspections.
To save yourself the headache and to stay warm all winter long, call Snell Heating & Air Conditioning by phone at (703) 543-9649 or book an appointment online.