Do I Really Need Annual Maintenance For My Furnace/Boiler/AC?
Are those annual furnace inspections really necessary? Does my boiler really need it? Won't my air conditioning keep pumping? Can't I get by without them? Can I just do it myself? Why do I need to hire a professional? Is it worth the cost? All are great questions. And by now we're sure you know where we stand when it comes to annual maintenance, but let's get you some answers.
Are annual inspections really necessary?
The short answer - yes! All manufacturers recommend them, and some even require them for your warranty to be in good standing. Their verbiage usually states something along these lines, "Damage to the unit caused by improper maintenance is not covered under warranty."
It's possible that you might be able to stretch out maintenance to 2 years if your system is new, but if it's over 10 years old you definitely don't want to risk it. And you're remembering to check your filters frequently, right?
Can't I get by without them?
Of course you can... until you can't. Just like your car - you could decide to skip oil changes. Your car will keep running. First it won't be as efficient. Then you might notice it has problems running smoothly. But eventually it just won't work. The oil will clog up the engine and you car is kaput.
We can tell when we get a service call and the system hasn't been serviced in years - or sometimes ever. By that point it's often past the point of no return you're looking at least a lot of replacement parts, but more likely, a new install.
Can I do it myself? Why do I need to hire a professional?
You sure can do it yourself if you know how to check all the things that we do. But in our experience, the only ones who can are HVAC contractors. Your tech shouldn't only be vacuuming out some dust...
The vent system needs to be checked for blockage and/or leakage. This includes the outside termination and the connections at and internal to the furnace.
Combustion gases must be analyzed and compared to the unit specifications.
The blower access door needs to be checked to make sure it makes a tight seal at the furnace.
The blower wheel needs to be checked for debris and cleaned if necessary – this requires complete removal of the blower wheel.
The fresh air intake grills and louvers need to be checked for blockage.
The heat exchanger needs to be inspected for rust and corrosion.
The burners need to be checked for proper ignition, burner flame, and flame sense.
The drainage system needs to be checked for blockage and/or leakage. This includes the hoses internal to the furnace. The condensate drain and trap need to be cleaned, and the water replaced in the trap.
An amp-draw test should be conducted on the blower motor and compared with what is listed.
The wiring needs to be checked for corrosion and damage.
The filters need to be checked (but this needs to be done much more frequently than annually).
Is it worth the cost?
If you want your system to last – YES!
If you want to keep your warranty – YES!
If you want your system to run as efficiently as possible – YES!
If you want to catch a problem before it quits in the middle of the night – YES!
If you want to avoid emergency rates – YES!
If you want to plan for a new system when the time comes – YES!
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