Are Annual Heating Tune-ups Really Necessary?

Happy senior couple rest in autumn park

Fall is here and you know what that means – only a few short months before the mad holiday rush. Working, shopping, cooking, attending and hosting parties. On top of everything you have to do, you also have to deal with Old Man Winter. A daytime high of 60-degrees may trigger the thought: “Should I turn on my heating system now?”

Many of us put off turning on our heaters before October because running your heating system is not cheap, no matter what type of system you have. (Besides, who doesn’t hope for a few more days of warm weather?). As the temperature drops, you might find yourself asking the perennial question, “Do I need to give my heating system an annual tune-up?”

What is an Annual Heating Tune-up?

To help you decide if a tune-up is necessary, let’s look at what happens when one is performed. In an annual heating tune-up, a qualified technician fully inspects your system for safety and inefficiencies. After the inspection, they will perform any basic maintenance that is necessary to ensure your heating system is working optimally.

Here are some things the technician will check:

  • Proper airflow
  • Carbon monoxide emission
  • Gas leaks from the gas valve, lines, and connections (which can potentially lead to carbon monoxide poisoning)
  • System inefficiencies
  • Pilot/pilot sensor, filters, and belts
  • Wiring and electrical connections
  • Visible ductwork, flue pipe, and filter

These checks are meant to nip potential issues in the bud. By having an annual tune-up in the fall, you can catch small issues now, instead of experiencing bigger problems in the dead of winter. This can save you time, money, and prevent you from freezing your buns off.


Air Conditioning Check Up

Two workers on the roof of a building working on the air conditioning unit.

Any time is better than never, but spring is the ideal time to budget for an air conditioning tune-up. Early air conditioner maintenance can prevent many small problems from becoming more expensive repairs later on. Furthermore, if your air conditioner check-up is scheduled for spring, you’ll also beat the long waits and higher prices that come with peak season HVAC repair visits.

Reasons to Schedule an Air Conditioner Check-Up

There are two main reasons to schedule annual air conditioner maintenance with your local HVAC contractor: saving money and saving money (no that isn’t a typo). For starters, you greatly increase the chances that your A/C technician will catch small problems before they become big ones by schedules regular check-ups. Repairing a small refrigerant leak shouldn’t cost much more than the service call. Buying a new compressor when low refrigerant levels burn your current one out, however, can cost a thousand dollars or more. The other way an annual checkup saves you money is by ensuring that your A/C unit is working at optimal efficiency. When your A/C is running well it uses less energy to cool your house, and lower energy use means bigger savings for you on your monthly utility bills.