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Annual Furnace Inspections Necessary?

Category: General HVAC

Thinking if Annual Furnace Inspections are Necessary?

We have been asked these great questions on several occasions and I thought it would make a great post to share with you in case the same thoughts have crossed your minds.

Are annual furnace inspections really necessary?  All furnace manufacturers recommend annual inspections and maintenance by a qualified technician.  If you look at your warranties, they have language that states that any damage to the units caused by improper maintenance is not covered under warranty.  Does this mean that an annual furnace clean & check is required or the warranty is voided?  Probably not, but it’s recommended.

What does a HVAC technician do to the furnace for a Clean & Check?  The services provided by different heating contractors will vary, depending on who you call and what you pay.  If you’re going to hire a heating contractor to do a Clean & Check on your furnace, ask them what they’ll be doing.  Included below is a partial list of what the furnace manufacturers recommend to be performed annually by a qualified heating technician.

  • Inspect and tighten all electrical connections and terminals
  • Remove, clean and adjust main gas burners
  • Remove, clean and adjust ignition/pilot assembly
  • Thoroughly brush, vacuum and clean the heat-exchanger(s) and combustion chambers
  • Inspect heat-exchanger(s) and combustion chambers for cracks, rusting or problem areas
  • Vacuum out blower compartment; return air drop and surrounding area
  • Inspect the flue assembly and test flue gas drafting mechanism
  • Test and inspect all furnace safety controls
  • Remove and clean blower motor, drive mechanism and fan assembly
  • Inspect and test thermocouple output as well as pilot safety switch
  • Inspect and test all system transformers, relays, contactors and controls
  • Check carbon monoxide levels

Couldn’t the homeowner do this herself?  Of course… but the only homeowners I know who are knowledgeable enough to do everything listed above happen to be heating contractors.  If the only thing your furnace technician does is stick a vacuum nozzle into the furnace and suck out a little dust out… then sure, do it yourself.  If your furnace technician does half of the stuff on the above list, they’re earning their keep.    Before you hire a company to do a tune-up on your furnace, ask what’s included with the Furnace Clean & Check.

Do I really need to pay $80 - $150 dollars every year for a professional to do it?  In short, yes.  This is what a professional charges – maybe even more.  For most heating contractors, $80 barely covers the trip charge.  Keep in mind, this isn’t just about safety; it’s also about preventative maintenance.  It’s about (sometimes) catching a problem before your furnace quits working in the middle of the night.  And when you have to hire a heating contractor to come out on a Sunday evening because the furnace stopped working, you’re probably going to end up paying emergency rates. 

Aries Mechanical offers a Preventative Maintenance program which provides these benefits:

  • Two (2) inspections and cleanings each year, cooling and heating. 
  • Priority service at our normal hourly rates, should the need arise between inspections. 
  • Preferred Customer Discount (15% off of parts)

Savings of $10 per year on inspections and cleanings

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