According to Energystar.gov, you need to “keep your...heating system at peak performance by having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups.”
But living in Arizona, does that really apply to you?
After all, you barely use your furnace during the year. Money spent on yearly furnace maintenance could be spent elsewhere.
However, not maintaining your furnace could cost you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Here’s why:
Furnace manufacturers understand the importance of maintaining the furnace. Which is why most state that any warranty you have with them will become void if the furnace isn’t properly maintained every year.
It’s just like maintaining your car’s warranty. If a car manufacturer says you need to change your oil every 3,000-6,000 miles but you do it every 10,000 miles, you’ll void the warranty because you’re causing damage to the vehicle that leads to a breakdown. So the cost is all on you when your car suddenly breaks down.
The same logic applies to your furnace—if you’re not maintaining it, and it breaks down, you can say goodbye to your Black Friday spending money, even if you have a warranty.
Speaking of breakdowns...
Ironically, not using the furnace often is one reason it’s more likely to break down.
Dust and dirt build up on your furnace’s parts when it’s not in use, leading to issues that will cause it to break down when you first start it up during the winter.
And who wants to be left with no heat on the first cold day of winter because of a dead furnace?
Dirt and dust build-up, alongside internal parts that wear down, cause your furnace to waste fuel, increasing your monthly heating costs.
Quality furnace maintenance from a professional will include thoroughly cleaning your furnace internally and externally.
What’s there to clean and maintain, you say? Plenty! A few furnace maintenance tasks include:
There are many more tasks included in a professional furnace maintenance visit. But you get the picture.
Furnace maintenance is only as good as WHO you get it from. Every furnace contractor has their definition of furnace maintenance. So don’t assume you’ll be getting your money’s worth.
What does a quality furnace maintenance visit look like?
The Air Conditioner Contractors of America (ACCA) offers a list of furnace inspection tasks for heating and cooling equipment (scroll down to page 7 for gas furnace inspection tasks).
Ask a potential contractor what they do on a furnace maintenance visit and compare it to the ACCA’s list. The contractor shouldn’t be secretive about it.
If they are secretive, that’s a sign to move on to someone else.