I can’t tell you how often our Merts Heating & Air Conditioning technicians are called out for gas furnace repairs that could have been prevented with routine maintenance. Some HVAC experts say that as many as 75% of no heat calls are a direct result of neglecting seasonal maintenance. So, the answer to the question posed in this article is that absolutely yes, gas furnaces require annual maintenance.
THIS IS WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
Every year when the cold weather arrives, we see some of the same problems over, and over again. Here are some of the most common and most preventable examples we find in many Illinois and Northwest Indiana homes.
- Dirty & dusty filters—When your furnace filter is even partially clogged, the furnace has to work much harder than it should to keep your house warm. This raises your monthly gas bill and will eventually cause a breakdown. A filter change is always part of seasonal maintenance but it’s also something the homeowner should be doing every two to three months.
- A faulty pilot light—Electric igniters are getting more common, but lots of gas furnaces still have pilot lights and when they aren’t working correctly you won’t have any heat. Pilot lights need to be cleaned and adjusted as part of routine maintenance.
- A cracked heat exchanger—This is one of the most dangerous problems that can result from ignoring annual maintenance. When this happens, it can often cause carbon monoxide poisoning. A cracked heat exchanger is another problem that can be caused by a clogged filter because it restricts airflow. Inspecting the heat exchanger is a critical part of routine maintenance.
WHEN AND HOW OFTEN?
At a minimum, you should have seasonal HVAC maintenance twice a year. One visit in the fall for the gas furnace and another in the spring for the air conditioner. I know many people react to this by saying, “Oh those darn HVAC companies just want to make more money.” Feel free to do your own online research. Even neutral observers recommend routine maintenance to increase heating efficiency and prevent breakdowns. The easy way to handle seasonal maintenance in your Steger, IL or Crown Point, IN home is to sign up for the Energy Savings Agreement from Merts Heating and Air Conditioning. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more great information like this.