Does Your Furnace Need a Check-Up? Why a Routine Cleaning Matters

furnace maintenance air qualityAnother winter is upon us in Oswego, Yorkville, Aurora, Naperville and Montgomery (IL), and as we all know, it’s going to be parked with us for a while. Our furnaces will be our steady, faithful soldiers in keeping us warm, safe and comfortable for the next few months.

While springing into action regularly, the furnace will attract dust, dirt and other particles as it constantly cycles air to be heated. Over time, that accumulation can get pretty thick, and the furnace will try to march on in spite of it. However, even the most resilient machine will begin to falter as building dust and debris lead to system duress.

A dirty furnace also will start to push its build-up into our spaces, where it will deposit the impurities as well as possible allergens that can initiate or irritate health conditions. Did you know that the system for an average six-room house can gather up to 40 pounds of dust each year? A dirty furnace can notably challenge proper heating, air quality and, consequently, our comfort and safety.

This need not be the case, however. By simply scheduling a periodic furnace cleaning and check-up for winter performance, we can keep the furnace a truly lean machine.

Signs Your Furnace Needs Cleaning

While it’s best to be proactive about a cleaning by scheduling it periodically, there are also some indicators the furnace will give you to let you know its burden is increasing.

Be on the lookout for conditions such as:

Weaker airflow. Excess build-up in the system will obstruct cycling air. If you notice little or no air coming from the vents, schedule an inspection and cleaning with RJ Kuhn right away. Vents that are blowing cold air instead of warm air likewise are signs the furnace needs a check-up.

Damp ducts. The home’s heating system should not contain moisture. If the ducts are damp, it could be a sign of another issue such as mold deeper in the system. An inspection and cleaning can help to stop and prevent a bigger problem.

Funny sounds. A properly functioning heating system will make typical noises such as a normal start-up. If however you are hearing sounds such as scraping, banging or rattling, there could be something else going on, such as a blower out of balance or a draft inducer starting to fail. An inspection and cleaning will get to the bottom of – and correct – the issue.

Occupation of a new home. If you have recently moved into another house, you might not know what the former residents did to maintain a clean furnace. If you’re unsure at all about the state of the system, schedule a cleaning and inspection soon with RJ Kuhn.

Increasing utility bills. While energy prices can sometimes fluctuate, in general your heating bills shouldn’t show vast variations from what can be expected. If you notice a spike in your costs but energy rates haven’t also jumped, you could very well have a furnace that needs cleaning and inspecting.

What Does Furnace Cleaning Include?

A professional furnace cleaning and inspection will remove the dirt and debris to ensure that it does not compromise air quality and system performance. The thorough cleaning will include important components such as the blower, the fan blades, the drain line and the cabinet. System parts will be properly lubricated as well.

The flame sensor also will be cleaned, and the thermostat batteries and the air filter will be checked. Any one of these items can cause a furnace failure, which can often happen when it’s cold out and the system is working harder.

The cleaning and inspection will further ensure all other parts are operating according to the manufacturer’s specifications. For example, the heat exchanger should have no signs of corrosion or damage. Electrical connections should be tight and wiring should be intact. The fan belts should not be cracked or show excess wear.

As an important safety measure, the system also will be checked for any leaks of gas or carbon monoxide.

How Often Should I Schedule a Furnace Cleaning?

If you want to ensure that your furnace in Oswego, Yorkville, Aurora, Naperville or Montgomery is at full function for winter, it’s best to schedule a cleaning at least once each year.

If you use your heating system more often than is typical in the area, or if you or someone in your home suffers from allergies or another health condition, the furnace should be cleaned and inspected at least twice each year.

Ideally, schedule your cleaning in Oswego, Yorkville, Aurora, Naperville or Montgomery comfortably before winter begins. The tail end of summer or early fall are often good times to schedule because the weather is mild and your HVAC may usually be less active. Technicians’ schedules can also tend to be more open than during peak season.

At the same time, if you haven’t had your system checked and cleaned in the last several months or longer, there’s still no time like the present. Taking care of it now will benefit you for the rest of the winter and further into the year.

The Big Benefits of Furnace Cleaning

By now you probably have a good idea of why a furnace cleaning and inspection matters. In sum, when you are proactive about it, you:

  • Keep the system operating at maximum efficiency
  • Save money while conserving more energy
  • Help prevent system failure (especially at the wrong times)
  • Avoid inconvenience and lost time while waiting for service
  • Help prolong the lifespan of the furnace (and postpone expensive replacement)

Most manufacturers also require consistent maintenance to keep a warranty active. Plus, a cleaning and tune-up is inexpensive compared to resolving system problems or replacing equipment. A cleaning and tune-up simply makes good financial and operational sense.

When You Need Service Soon, Contact RJ Kuhn

RJ Kuhn specializes in furnace cleaning and inspection for homes in Oswego, Yorkville, Aurora, Naperville and Montgomery (IL). We’ve been doing it locally since 1972! To schedule your furnace cleaning or further discuss your heating system, just give us a call at (630) 554-3336. Also ask us about our Kuhn Care maintenance program with special member discounts and benefits!