why and when to have a furnace tune up

furnace_tune_upHey guys, Jamin here today and I’m really excited about getting to share this helpful reminder with you. In light of what we are going to talk about, I thought we should play a little name-that-movie game. So here is the movie quote. Ready?

“My old man was one of the most feared furnace fighters in Northern Indiana.”

“In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.”

csA classic movie (though I’m pretty sure from her refusal to watch it with me, Ashley doesn’t share the same point of view). In honor of “A Christmas Story” today, we are talking about your furnace and specifically, caring for your furnace.

Thankfully, most of us don’t have to fool with a furnace like Mr. Parker did. Or even an old coal or wood burning one.

The obvious question is why the need to talk about our more modern furnaces?

Here are two main reasons… not to cause worry, but to help raise awareness.

1. Carbon Monoxide

It’s toxic. Did you know that poorly maintained devices like boilers and furnaces can be a significant source of CO gas, but even a brand-new furnace can pose a hazard if improperly installed?

And that gas has the potential to leak into your house. Which is not only dangerous, but in some cases lethal.

2. Energy Loss

If your system is not running correctly or has not been tuned up, it could increase your energy cost for the unit up to 30%. That’s $30 for every $100 of your energy bill for the unit. Wow.

Thankfully there is a very easy remedy to both of these problems. As Dave Moody of Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning suggests, “An annual furnace tune-up will help identify and correct potential problems, as well as save homeowners extra money on energy bills.”

It’s as simple as having your unit tuned up, just like you would a car. It really is no different than getting a tune up before a long trip.

As we learned from Service Experts, “Although there is not usually ‘oil’ to change on heating and cooling equipment, there are standard maintenance steps for properly cleaning, lubricating and correcting the temperature control system,” and make no mistake they all get out of balance over time. A good tune up will clean and balance the equipment, and ensure all parts are operating as safe and efficiently as possible.

So while there might be a little money output on the front end, you will absolutely get it back in energy savings and peace of mind over a properly working unit.

These guys recommend you do this once a year.


Service Experts came to our home for a check up, and they did a fabulous job on our unit. Enter Jeremy, our newfound friend who was kind enough to climb into our attic for a routine checkup of the aforementioned furnace. He also let us take random photos of him. I’m pretty sure it’s not often he shows up for a tune up, and has two people standing over him in the attic. We were probably a little creepy. Don’t show up at our house, unless you plan to score a pic while you hang out in our insulation and drink sweet tea. That’s how we roll.

Our new friend Jeremy took the time to explain everything he was doing. He was even thoughtful enough to put on slippers when entering the house and pose for photo ops. Ashley was in love with the slippers.


During our tune up, we discovered a part that was right at the threshold of failure. It was still ok, but teetering on the outside of the acceptable range after years of use. We were able to replace it that day and won’t have to pay someone to come back out when it failed completely. This was a money saver and will continue to help keep us warm on these cold winter nights. (Yes, even in the tropics.)

While thinking about your Heating and air isn’t as fun as something like our Backyard Bliss or a Handmade Hideaway, it is very important, and well worth your time. It will protect your family and save on your energy bill.

This post is brought to you in partnership with our friends at Service Experts.

(Read our full disclosure here.)SE_Stacked

Stay safe this winter… and have an inspired day!

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Responses to why and when to have a furnace tune up

  1. Gale says:

    Gas, Oil or Electric Furnace’s?

  2. Eileen says:

    I really need to get on the stick and have this done.. I totally forgot and you’re right.. you dont want to wait until it’s 17* one night and the furnace has quit on you! Thank you for the reminder!

  3. Lin says:

    A timely and informative article. I’d like to add something concerning heat pumps: when the outside unit sounds like a car starting on a cold day and when the unit is blowing cold air continually, get a pro’s opinion. Try changing the filter first. If it’s clogged, there’s no air flow which leads to an over-worked system and shut down. I’ve been told to change them every three months, but if your filter has a high rating for greater filtration they should be changed every two months. I had problems for 3 years. One serviceman told me there was nothing wrong and was very patronizing. Finally someone listened and it was determined to be a burn-out relay. Another possible reason it’s not working could be a failing thermostat. If it’s old, consider replacing it.

  4. Maria says:

    There are some things that are I just feel better having done by a professional, and checking my furnace is one of them. Even though we live in the South I have been very surprised at the size of our heating bill this month! At least we know it’s working properly since we just had it inspected. I also had a great deep cleaning service come in and take care of dust and vent cleaning, etc. If you have to breathe recycled air, make it as clean as possible.

  5. Susan says:

    When we had our furnace serviced this fall, I was so surprised when
    The service person (Derek) told me the bearings were going out
    On a part, it was loud, our furnace is only a few years old, when
    He called to order the part ( we didn’t want it failing in zero weather)
    & the office looked up our records & they were pleased to tell us the
    Part was still under warranty. We did pay the labor to put the new
    Part in but had we not had the furnace serviced, the part may have
    Failed After! – that part was out of warranty. Now the new part has
    A warranty period. Good post you had to remind us all to take
    Care of equipment in our homes for safety, efficiency & warmth!

  6. Rachel says:

    Sweet info. Thanks! And seriously – we watch A Christmas Story every-single-year. It’s a classic.

  7. Rob says:

    Service Experts also will often have fun contests. They are having a facbook pet photo contest now for a free new furnace http://www.facebook.com/ServiceExpertsHeatingandAirConditioning/app_190322544333196