In Calgary, a full-service furnace tune up from a reputable provider will cost around $170. You can often get a price reduction if you combine the tune-up with another service, such as duct and furnace cleaning.
A furnace tune up is a preventative maintenance appointment for one of your home’s most important, hardest-working (and expensive) appliances. It is performed by a trained professional who specializes in furnace maintenance, cleaning, and repair.
Scheduling an annual furnace tune up is more essential than you think. Every homeowner is most likely to face problems when they don’t get their HVAC system checked or fixed before the winter sets in.
These annual tune ups will help discover any problems with your system that may get worse as time passes. At the end of every heating or cooling season, your furnace system needs a furnace cleaning performed to confirm its present status.
How to know you need a furnace tune up
As homeowners, there are a lot of systems in your home that can break down, and sometimes at the worst possible time. Without an expert under your roof, it can be tough to know when your furnace is doing its job or on the fritz. Here are 6 signs that your furnace needs some love from a professional furnace maintenance and repair company.
1. Strange noises
A furnace is never totally quiet. It’s normal to hear some bangs and pops in the ductwork, and humming while the blower runs. But if you start to hear loud bangs, rattling, whining, grinding, or squealing, it’s time to call an expert in. They can assess the sounds, find the problem, and (hopefully) resolve it before you need an entirely new furnace. Regular maintenance is a great preventative measure.
2. Flame won’t stay lit
If your furnace burner light or pilot light keeps going out, that’s a sign of trouble. There are different types of furnaces that ignite in different ways so it can be difficult to troubleshoot what’s causing the ignition issues. You don’t want to ignore an issue like this, which can leave you cold – or cause gas to leak into your home. Call an expert, and keep your fire burning all winter long.
3. Water leaks
The most common cause of a water leak around the base of a furnace is due to leaks from your condensate trap and drain lines, which again, should be assessed by a professional. If it’s not a condensation trap/drain line issue, it could be related to your humidifier (if you have one) or a clog in the humidifier drain line. A professional furnace inspection will typically provide a thorough cleaning and inspection of the condensate trap, drain lines, and condensate pump, which will help prevent leaks which if left without repair will cause rusting and premature failure of your furnace cabinet and other components. It’s another reason regular inspections are a good idea.
4. Cold air
When winter rolls in, the last thing you want is cold air rolling in with it. From pilot lights going out and poor gas supply to condensation clogs and duct issues, there are many reasons your furnace could be blowing cold air. There are some simple things you can try on your own. First, check your thermostat. Is the temperature set to where it should be? If your thermostat is battery-powered, check to see if the low-battery indicator is flashing. If so, change it!
Other things you can do yourself include; checking and relighting the pilot light and changing a clogged furnace filter. You can always review your users’ manual too. If the cold air persists, pick up the phone and call for help.
5. Heating costs rising
Maybe there are no strange sounds or water leaks, but suddenly your heating bill is out of whack. That too can be a sign that your furnace is on the fritz, and needs a tune-up or inspection. Professional servicing will reduce the need for repairs, reduce energy bills, improve the efficiency of your system, and keep your home safe and secure. Keep eye on your furnace, and call the pros if it fails you.
6. A rapid ‘stop and go’ of warm air
“Short cycling” is a common problem where a furnace turns on for a very brief period before shutting off again. This prevents the warm air from moving throughout your home. Short cycling can happen if the furnace heat exchanger is overheating, and turning off to protect itself. A clogged filter, or blockage in the ductwork or in some cases a clogged exchanger (very common in early Carrier High Efficiency Furnaces) can also be the culprit. If the furnace is overheating, call a professional right away. Overheating can cause the heat exchanger to crack, which can allow dangerous carbon monoxide gas to enter your home.
What’s involved in a furnace tune-up
We’ve all heard of an automotive tune-up, and know the importance of getting our oil and fluids changed, and our filters and sparkplugs replaced.
But if you ask most people what’s involved in a furnace tune-up, there’s a good chance you’ll be met with blank stares.
A comprehensive furnace tune-up can involve a 50+ point testing and inspection checklist. It will include a detailed review and assessment of all key components, including the heat exchanger, flame sensor, ignitor, burners, venting and flue stacks, thermostat, wiring, blower motor, belts, switches, carbon monoxide detectors, humidifier, UV light… the list goes on.
The service technician will also provide general maintenance, such as cleaning the flame sensor, burner assembly, furnace cabinet, lubricating any bearings (if required), and more. The tune-up should include measuring and recording key performance indicators to determine if the furnace is operating at full or reduced efficiency.
Benefits of getting a furnace tune up
There are several ways you can benefit by regularly having your furnace tuned-up by a professional.
1. Keep your home safe and secure
In Calgary and most parts of Canada, furnaces run on natural gas. If there is a leak, it can pose a danger to you and your family and, worst-case, cause extensive damage. A furnace tune-up can determine if there is any risk of a carbon monoxide leak and address any issues that may be cause for concern.
2. Reduce the likelihood of furnace repairs
Inspection and regular maintenance can help you avoid problems before they get worse. And if you have to call a furnace repair person for 24/7 emergency service, it will cost you more.
3. Lower your energy bills
If your furnace isn’t running at full efficiency, it may need to kick-in more frequently to maintain the desired temperature. This can consume more electricity and natural gas, which means higher utility bills.
4. Improved comfort and performance
You expect your furnace to work, no matter how cold it gets. A tune-up helps ensure your furnace is running at its best and keeping your house warm day and night. Even if its’ -30°C, you should still be able to walk around in your PJs without having to be wrapped up in a blanket!
When to book a furnace tune up
Winter is your furnace’s “time to shine”. A Fall tune-up can help you be proactive in identifying and addressing issues that could cause your furnace to unexpectedly quit at the most inconvenient moment. That said, there is no wrong time to get your furnace tuned-up. Often it comes down to when is most convenient for you. Plus, you may even save money by booking your tune-up in the slow season.
Just like your vehicle, your furnace system needs a service and check-up so that you can avoid a pricey repair or replacement in the future. A Furnace tune-up service will ensure that your system is working at an optimal condition without any problem. The best time to do a tune-up is in the fall and before you need to heat your home. After all, you will never want to experience the freezing cold in your home just because your HVAC system is not working.
How to choose a furnace tune up company
A licensed and insured HVAC service provider is what you should look for while thinking to hire one for tune-up and services. During the annual furnace tune-up , the service provider checks the heat rise options, oil motor and motor amp draw, heat exchanger, and conducts humidifier check and flame sensor testing. The main motive to get these checks in order is to ensure that your HVAC system is working fine, has clean ducts, and adequate gas pressure.
Be sure to choose a licensed furnace maintenance, service, and repair company. Make sure they’re insured. Ask what services they provide as part of their tune-up/maintenance package. And it doesn’t hurt to check their Google reviews, to see what other customers have to say.
Stay toasty, Calgary!
Read our Homeowner’s Furnace Guide to learn more.