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Fall Furnace Inspection

Preventive maintenance will never be exciting, but it’s definitely worthwhile. Furnaces are a great example, especially in Southern California. We don’t use furnaces much of the year, but we expect them to work when we need them.

Furnace inspections are the easy way to take care of problems early, when it’s cheap and convenient. Although inspections are much more affordable than emergency repairs, it’s natural to wonder if you really need a furnace inspection this fall.

To cut to the chase, annual furnace inspections are recommended because:

  • Furnace problems are typically invisible to the homeowner’s untrained eye
  • Heating systems typically break down during the highest demand, i.e. when HVAC technicians are super busy and you can’t get an appointment as easily
  • Cleaning filters and ducts (which you can and should do yourself) is only a small part of furnace maintenance; there are many electronic and mechanical components involved

And on a side note, manufacturer warranties typically require routine maintenance. The annual tune-up helps prove that you’ve done your reasonable part in keeping the furnace running.

How Often Do I Really Need a Furnace Tune-Up?

If you didn’t get your furnace inspected last year, you definitely should this year. The question is whether you need an inspection every single year.

We like to remind people that there’s no harm in getting your furnace inspected. If nothing else, the parts will be cleaned and primed to function at max efficiency. It’s a win/win situation with the potential of saving you thousands of dollars. If it prevents a catastrophe or tacks a few years onto the lifespan of the furnace, you’ll see plenty of value.

Still not sure if it’s worth it? Take a close look at your furnace and try to spot cracks, rust, missing covers, or other visible problems. Turn it on and see if it makes any unpleasant sounds or smells. If everything looks perfect, clean the filters and ducts and hope for the best. If you’re unsure, be safe and have a heating technician inspect it.

What to Expect from an Annual Furnace Inspection

Not all furnace inspections are the same. One company might advertise a “free inspection” that does not include any cleaning or repairs. Another might offer a full seasonal tune-up that covers all sorts of common, little repairs.

Before making an appointment with an HVAC company, ask them exactly what services they will provide for the price they quote. Also, make sure that the company has a strong reputation. You don’t want to bring in a free inspection that turns out to be an expensive sales pitch.

A good fall furnace inspection should cover:

  • Cleaning the motor, blower, filters, air intake, etc.
  • Lubricating all the moving parts
  • Testing and calibrating the thermostat and other electronic parts
  • Checking for proper airflow
  • Inspecting inside the furnace and related parts to look for signs of wear and tear
  • Request Service

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