The short answer is yes, you need annual furnace maintenance. Any HVAC company will tell you that 80% of service calls are maintenance related. That means a breakdown that could have been prevented had a proper annual maintenance been performed.
PRO TIP: Most furnace manufacturers require an annual maintenance to maintain your warranty.
Does my car need an oil change?
I thought we were talking about furnaces? Bear with us for a moment. If you own a car, that’s going to sound like a dumb question. It’s no different for furnace maintenance. Your car and your furnace share many of the same characteristics: they’re both expensive, you want them to last as long as possible and you rely on experts to help you get the right model for your needs. As such, they both need to be treated with the same care to ensure that you’re not having to buy a new one sooner than you should.
In fact, when done properly by a licensed technician, furnace maintenance includes a whole lot more than just an oil change. An experienced technician goes through your entire system end-to-end and can notice the signs of potential problems before they occur, such as condensation in the windows, the sound of a bad bearing, hot spots on the ignitor, and other issues associated with common wear-and-tear.
How do I know if I’m getting a quality furnace maintenance inspection?
For some HVAC companies, inspections are a cash grab. The TSSA (governing body for HVAC) requires a bare minimum checklist for inspection. Some companies book many inspections in a day to perform this bare minimum in order to get to as many customers as possible and maximize their billings. You’ll know you have a reputable technician when they take the time to go above and beyond TSSA standards.
PRO TIP: If the inspection took 15 minutes, you paid for the bare minimum. A proper inspection (the checklist below) should take around an hour.
What is included in an annual furnace maintenance?
‘Annual maintenance’ is a term you may have heard before, but what exactly does it entail, and how might it benefit you and your home in the long run?
Let’s be frank, there is no good time to have your furnace break down, especially in our climate. Cold snaps like we experience here in the Ottawa area cause our furnaces to cycle more often and for longer periods of time, meaning more wear on our equipment making it very important to ensure that when the temperature drops your appliance is operating optimally.
Here are some of the most important aspects that you can expect being covered through an annual furnace maintenance plan:
- Gas pressure
- Temperature rise
- Inducer motor amperage draw
- Blower motor amperage
- Carbon monoxide (CO) test
- Clean drain trap and flush drains
- Clean flame sensor
- Check/change filter
- Indoor air quality equipment (HRVs, EACs, UV filters, humidifiers, etc)
- Safety controls
- Thermostat operation
- Water heater maintenance and code compliance
- Protection of your manufacturer’s warranty