How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Furnace?

| Heating

Every year we run specials for pre-season furnace cleanings. We do a couple of different formats, but the basic idea is to get a heating professional in to look at your unit and to bring it up to its maximum performance level for the upcoming season. The question often comes up regarding how often is often enough to get a unit serviced.

If you think about it; the amount you use your home heating system is amazing compared with other mechanical equipment in your life. You drive your car maybe a few hours a day. You use your stove, your microwave, your toilet (ha!) only a few times per day each. Maybe the refrigerator and the microwave get used a bit more but still represent a fraction of the time a typical heating system runs. OK… you may use certain light fixtures as much… but I don’t think you could compare a bulb to a heating unit.

A modern heating unit is a complex system of mechanical components. The reliability, the efficiency and the safety of these units depend on everything working the way it was originally designed. Normal use can put things out of original design parameters and can cause issues that are foreseeable and avoidable.

The components that make up any HVAC system are all subject to wear and tear, as well as normal replacement of some specific components. An organized checklist that addresses each of these components is the best way to systematically review each of the individual systems and subsystems to make sure the units are all in good working order and are likely to stay that way.

Do I really need to clean my furnace?

You heating system gets used a lot, and they do experience soot and sediment buildup as well as mechanical wear and tear.  Should you get your furnace cleaned, and how often is often enough?  The answer is “YES” and “Annually.”

Some people do not know that furnaces need to be cleaned in order to keep them running in a healthy and efficient way. Not cleaning your furnace can result in a variety of different problems, such as a decrease in efficiency and an increase in the risk of a fire. The majority of homeowners should perform routine heating maintenance every year. However, if you have pets or small children who spend time around your furnace, it’s best to clean it more often.

However, to use the word “clean” to describe a furnace is overly simplistic. The checklists we use are very comprehensive because there are a lot more things to check than to clean. When deficiencies are noted, we bring them to the homeowner’s attention so that heating system repairs or upgrades can be considered.

What goes into a furnace tune-up?

A professional furnace cleaning usually takes up to two hours. However, it may take longer if the furnace is especially large or has not been cleaned in a few years.

A routine furnace cleaning and tune-up includes:

  • Examining and replacing the air filters
  • Examining and cleaning the flue pipes
  • Examining the heat exchanger for cracks or damage and cleaning it out
  • Checking safety controls
  • Setting the natural gas pressure

How often should your furnace be cleaned?

We believe an annual furnace inspection and maintenance makes common sense. Can you get away with waiting till things break? Sure, you can… but the cost and the inconvenience, the waste of fuel, the potential for damage to property, and the safety risks just doesn’t make deferred maintenance the logical choice.

Keeping a furnace running properly is important, but it’s also a huge hassle for homeowners. It’s not something you can do on your own, so it’s important to find a reputable HVAC contractor to do the job.

Have your heating system checked and serviced for top efficiency, safety and performance. Schedule an appointment online or call 845-237-2291. Based in Newburgh, NY, we serve Orange County, Dutchess County, Ulster County and Putnam County, New York.