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Fall Is the Season for Furnace Tune-Ups

Why Furnace Maintenance Is a Must-Do This Fall

After a long and intense summer, autumn is finally here. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and the trees are showing off their brightly colorful transition into winter. For homeowners, fall means it's time to set out the pumpkins, warm up the cider, and rake in the countless falling leaves.

But it also means it's time to make sure the furnace is in good shape and ready to handle the coming winter. Many homeowners make the mistake of neglecting their heating system until a problem manifests itself. Usually, this happens in the middle of winter, when the unit is working the hardest, and when a heating issue is most unwelcome. Since most heater problems result from poor or insufficient maintenance, it's best to stay on top of it - while the weather's still nice.

More Time Spent at Home = Bigger Workload for the HVAC System

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With the strict self-isolation and lockdown measures of the spring and summer months, homeowners have spent much more time indoors than ever before. Especially for those who continue to work from home, this means plenty of extra work for the home's cooling and heating system. 

It may seem like simply spending more hours at home wouldn't have much of an impact. But between manual thermostat adjustments and incidental fluctuations in indoor temperature (from cooking, exercise, going outside, etc.), the unit may run almost perpetually. Over several months, all this additional usage can contribute to premature wear and tear, dirt and dust buildup, and mechanical vulnerabilities, especially in homes with one central HVAC unit. 

Regular Maintenance Saves Money In the Long Run

A poorly maintained furnace can (and likely will) develop several issues, any one of which can put a huge strain on a family's finances. Excess dust can cause electrical components to fail; insufficient lubrication can burn out the blower motor; filthy burners delay ignition and cause dangerous gas buildup, which can damage the heat exchanger when it finally combusts. These can all be very expensive problems to fix and may even necessitate an all-out furnace replacement.

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Additionally, even something as seemingly benign as a dirty air filter can greatly hinder performance and cause a heating system to work overtime. Though less dramatic than the above examples, this type of issue is perhaps even more insidious, as it's easier to overlook. Not only does the loss of efficiency put undue stress on the unit, but it also drives up energy costs significantly. 

Autumn Maintenance Can Prevent a Winter Breakdown

Seasonal maintenance, much like regular oil changes for a car, is the best thing a homeowner can do to improve their furnace's lifespan and performance. Those who live in colder climates or who use their furnace year-round may need maintenance more often. But every homeowner would do well to get an annual fall tune-up, at the very least.

It's a relatively inexpensive service, and the money it saves (not to mention the peace of mind) is well worth it. But homeowners shouldn't hesitate - a furnace breakdown in the cold winter months can turn a cozy home into a frigid icebox very quickly. A good rule of thumb: when the leaves start falling, there's no time for stalling!

About Garneski Air Conditioning & Heating

Since 1982, Garneski Air Conditioning & Heating has served all of Sterling, Virginia's HVAC needs. They are an award-winning, BBB accredited business and have been family owned & operated from the beginning. They offer flat-rate pricing, 24-hour service, financing options, and a rewarding membership plan. Call them now for expert furnace services!