Furnace Tune-Up & Inspections in Calgary
Your furnace does more than keep you warm. It can help to keep you and your family healthy too.
Conversely, if you neglect your furnace and just leave it in the basement to do its job year on year without performing the necessary checks, maintenance, and tune-up procedures, you’re asking for trouble.
A poorly working furnace puts your health at risk, as well as the warmth of your home in the depths of midwinter.
And we at Alpha Plumbing, the home heating experts, all know what that feels like in Calgary.
Why is a furnace inspection so important?
The furnace plays a central role in most Calgary homes. It controls the temperature of the air and affects its quality too.
Even when it is idle in the summer months, a furnace gathers dust and debris from the air and this can impact performance when you turn it back on. The air may even contain bacteria and germs that are then circulated by the HVAC system upon startup: not a very healthy situation.
If you fail to keep your furnace clean and well-maintained, it impacts the quality of the air, which can, in turn, affect the physical and mental health of family members.
Fresh, clean air is a necessity that should not be compromised – especially when it is relatively easy to ensure with some preventative maintenance.
Ideally, you should perform a regular tune-up and clean of your furnace – not just when it breaks down.
If the components are regularly maintained, your furnace will be kept clean and dust-free, improving air quality. It is also an investment in the longevity of your furnace. After all, it should be no surprise to any homeowner that a well-maintained furnace lasts longer.
A clean furnace also ensures that your furnace is not using more energy than necessary – so it helps maintain efficiency and optimal performance too.
What’s included in a furnace maintenance/tune-up?
Whether your furnace and air conditioning systems are separate or combined, they need regular cleaning. Furnace cleaning and maintenance involves much more than simply replacing filters.
Most homeowners are not well-equipped to maintain their furnaces as a DIY project. Professionals are required to perform a thorough under-the-hood service from time to time.
This will start from the outer surface of the furnace (controls and the exterior unit) but go deep into the motor and ductwork, where most of the dust typically accumulates.
What are the benefits of a well-maintained furnace?
Clean, fresh air that keeps those winter mornings toasty and warm in your home is the obvious benefit of a well-maintained furnace.
However, in many respects, a furnace is no different from any other appliance in your household regardless of the type. Keeping it clean and well-maintained results in:
- Fewer problems, breakdowns, and repairs
- A longer “life”
- Greater efficiency
A professional tune-up will include the following maintenance checks:
- Exterior unit check
- Leak test
- Thermostat check
- Air filter check
- Furnace operation check
- Temperature rise and gas pressure checks
- Gas/gas line safety checks
- Ignition system check
- Clean pilot or flame sensor
- Clean burners and transfer ports
- Inspection of air-fuel mixture and combustion air
- Motor cooling ports cleaning
- Lubrication of motors
- Main blower and vent motor checks
- Shaft and bearings check
- Condition, tension, and alignment of belt check
- High-pressure safety check
- Heat exchanger inspection
- Vent system inspection
- Pressure switches and vacuum lines check
- Condensate line/trap check
- Vent damper check
- Carbon monoxide test
Changing your furnace filters
One of the most important aspects of any furnace tune-up is regularly changing the furnace filters.
All air that circulates in your heating system must pass through the air filters – and their job is to filter out any impurities in the air.
Airborne contaminants such as dust, pollen and mould are captured by the filters and prevented from circulating in the heating system. The higher the efficiency of your furnace, the more contaminants and impurities it will generally catch.
So, it stands to reason that if these impurities are allowed to build up and clog the filters in any way, it hampers performance and starts to compromise the air quality in the home.
Filters should be checked once a month and changed if necessary. If light can’t pass through them, they should be changed. In any case, it’s best not to leave filters for longer than three months without changing them.
Most homeowners can do this job effectively with a little know-how.
When should you clean your furnace and ducts?
Furnaces and ducts should be cleaned at least every two years. If there are obvious signs before then of ductwork or vents being clogged with dust, don’t delay – get them checked and cleaned.
Some homes generate more dust and foreign particles than others. Those with pets should clean the ducts more often (once per year) as they generate dust, pollutants and dander.
Young children are generally more sensitive to poor air quality and so it is especially important to conduct regular cleaning of your entire furnace system if babies or toddlers are breathing in the air. Also, consider a duct clean if you notice any of the following:
- Dust emanating from an air vent when you turn on your home’s HVAC system
- Dust or pet hair trapped in a vent
- Dust coating the grill on return air registers
- Family members coughing or experiencing irritation for no apparent reason
- Anyone in the home experiencing regular breathing difficulties or allergies in the off-season
We do not provided furnace duct cleaning but can help provide a recommendation.
Furnace Service Frequently Asked Questions
The furnace might just be the most important piece of equipment in your Calgary home. And like any valued member of the family, it needs a little TLC now and again.
Furnace maintenance should appear regularly at the top of your to-do list so that you’re not left paying excessive bills or shivering at the time when you need your heating most.
Furnace Inspection Checklist
Maintenance we Perform on All Calgary Furnace Services
Schedule an appointment.
Call us today at 403-470-5785 to find out more about the type of furnaces you have and to make an appointment for a furnace inspection with an experienced Calgary plumber.
You can also fill out our online appointment form provided.