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That ‘Free’ Check Up May Cost You

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Posted October 15, 2014

You may have seen them already, slick advertisements featuring flashy graphics with promises of free or deeply discounted furnace check-ups. They’re everywhere this time of year.

Have you ever stopped to wonder what a furnace ‘checkup' entails?

And how is it they can afford to just give them away?

The answers may or may not surprise you.

But here’s the thing, when you take advantage of that  ‘free’ furnace check-up, you get what you pay for, which is…

What DO you get with a free check up, anyway?

Good question. We can’t say, exactly. A common industry standard for this service doesn’t currently exist. Just as no two companies are the same- every installation, check-up or tune-up is different.

You will need to do your homework to make sure you are paying for a valuable service because a comprehensive furnace tune-up IS a valuable service.

Do I really need to have my furnace tuned-up every year?

Yes. You can skip the free cleaning- but your furnace does need an inspection and a certain maintenance tasks performed annually to keep it running as efficiently and as long as possible.

In fact, most every furnace manufacturer will void your system’s warranty if you don’t keep your furnace up to date. 

So then, what SHOULD a furnace tune-up include?

The simple answer is to see your furnace manufacturer’s guidelines to start.  You will find a list of recommended maintenance tasks along with timelines for completion on every major manufacturer’s website.

Armed with your list, give your local service providers a call.

Then you will truly be able to compare apples to apples.

We’ve included the following as a guideline. Most major furnace manufacturers will recommend a similar list:

1. Check vent system for blockage and/or leakage.
2. Analyze combustion gases and ensure they are within system specifications.
3. Ensure blower access door seals tightly.
4. Check fresh air intake grills and louvers for blockage.
5. Check burners for proper ignition and flame.
6. Ensure the heat exchanger is free of rust and corrosion.
7. Clean blower if needed.
8. Check drainage system, including internal hoses, for blockage and leakage.
9. Clean and replace water in the condensate drain and trap.
10. Conduct an amp-draw test on the blower motor.
11. Check the wiring for corrosion and damage.
12. Replace the filter.

In Conclusion:

A legitimate service is rarely, if ever, free.

However, you can get a great value on heating and cooling maintenance and services- if you’re willing to do your homework.

Have you done your homework already? We would love it if you would put us to the test. Click here to schedule your tune-up, we’ll be there fast.


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