No one likes to get a flu shot until they end up home sick with the flu, missing a week of work (loss of income) and putting the health of your family members at risk. It’s one of those inconvenient tasks that take time, effort, and extra money. The flu shot is similar to furnace maintenance. Like the flu shot, if we avoid it we find that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In other words, by not regularly maintaining your furnace (e.g. your health) you end up spending more money on repairs and utility bills (e.g. doctor bills) and putting your family’s safety at risk (e.g. health).
Below are some consequences of not regularly maintaining your furnace. A yearly tune-up will check all of these issues and make sure your system is running efficiently and safely.
- Dirt and dust build-up in your system over a year’s time left unchecked increases the likelihood that your furnace will breakdown in the future. According to the EPA this build-up in the #1 cause of furnace breakdowns. Increased breakdowns mean higher maintenance costs to you. (The cost of a tune-up is starting to look pretty good!)
- A heating system that is not properly maintained will run less efficiently, use more energy to provide the same comfort level, and cost you more in higher utility bills.
- Lack of maintenance results in decreased safety as well. Failure of your gas furnace can result in any of the following: gas leak, fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Gas furnaces can sometimes spring a leak. This natural gas leaks have multiple dangers associated with them. The carbon monoxide associated with a gas leak can cause numerous health problems, including death, and the leaking gas is also an explosive hazard.
- Worn or poorly adjusted and maintained combustion devices (e.g., boilers, furnaces) can be significant sources of carbon monoxide (CO), or if the flue is improperly sized, blocked, disconnected, or is leaking.
- Furnace filters and filtering systems that are blocked or dirty can cause CO to back up inside the furnace as well.
- Cracks, holes, and metal fatigue in combustion and heat exchangers allow CO to leak inside your home.
- Pilot lights and gas flames can be a source of carbon monoxide also. A mostly yellow flame in gas-fired equipment is often a sign that fuel is not burning completely and higher levels of CO are being released.
Prevention is important when dealing with your furnace, just as your health. By scheduling a yearly tune-up for your furnace you’ll be ensuring that your furnace is working at its most efficient, you’ll be lowering your utility bills (most of the time you can save enough on your utility bills to offset the cost of a tune-up), reducing the chances of having to pay for a major repair and best of all keeping your home and family safe.