Does Your Furnace Really Need a Yearly Inspection?
A recent blog post about fall maintenance mentioned having your furnace inspected/tuned up by a qualified heating contractor annually. One reader sent an email asking if this was really necessary – here’s his original question:
“I have a question about furnace tune-ups. You say get one every year – is that really necessary? What do the HVAC guys actually do to the furnace to ‘tune’ it up? There’s no spark plugs to replace like a car tune-up, and my understanding is they basically vacuum out dust and inspect it. Couldn’t the homeowner do this himself? Or do I really need to pay $80-$150 every year for a professional to do it?”
These are great questions worthy of a post all on their own.
Are annual furnace inspections really necessary?
Furnace manufacturers all recommend annual inspections and maintenance by a qualified technician. They also have language in their warranties saying that damage to the units caused by improper maintenance is not covered under the warranty. Does this mean that an annual furnace checkup is really required, or the warranty is voided? Probably not, but it’s recommended. The best analogy is going to the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning; probably not necessary, but recommended.
Some HVAC contractors recommend getting newer furnaces checked every other year, but once they’re more than 10 years old, have them checked annually.