Why annual furnace maintenance is important

Published by Parisa Ostovari

A common question homeowners ask our service techs and sales team: How important is annual furnace maintenance?

Our simple answer: extremely important.

When you buy a new car, do you run it 100,000 miles without getting the oil changed? Not a chance. It’s the same idea with your home’s heating system. Annual maintenance keeps your furnace working efficiently and reduces the chances of an unexpected midwinter breakdown.

Benefits of annual furnace maintenance

One of the main concerns for your furnace is dirt. Homeowners in Iowa typically use their furnace for six months of the year. For the other six months when the furnace isn’t being used, dirt and dust accumulates in the machine, which prevents the furnace from working at peak performance.

Quick fact: By not properly cleaning your furnace every year, your HVAC system can lose up to 40% of efficiency.

Routine maintenance helps extend the life of your furnace and also ensures it’s working safely. Annual furnace maintenance performed by a trained technician should include:

  • Full cleaning of HVAC system
  • Inspection of safety switches and devices
  • Check of heat exchanger for cracks or damage
  • Filter replacement
  • Calibration of temperature controls and economizer controls
  • Adjustment of fans and belts
  • Inspections of all electrical components

DIY furnace maintenance

While most furnace maintenance needs to be performed by a professional, there are a few things homeowners can do to keep their system working efficiently throughout fall and winter.

  1. Change your furnace filter regularly. Standard 1-inch disposable filters should be changed monthly while high-efficiency air cleaners can be changed less often.
  2. Don’t overwork your system by cranking your furnace too high. The perfect situation in the winter is 72 degrees and 35% relative humidity. If you’re turning your furnace up, that means your humidity could be too low. Using a humidifier to raise the humidity to 35% allows you to be comfortable around 72 degrees.
  3. Check the batteries in your thermostat. If you haven’t had annual maintenance completed on your HVAC system in the last two to three years, there is a good chance the batteries need replacement.

Related article: DIY furnace maintenance checklist

Annual furnace maintenance cost

The cost of an annual maintenance program ranges between $180 and $575. The main factors that impact the cost are added benefits like receiving priority status during times of emergency — unexpected furnace or AC breakdown — and waiver of diagnostic fees.

At Bell Brothers, our primary objective is to help provide homeowners with the peace of mind that their HVAC systems are running at optimal safety and efficiency. We work closely with homeowners to understand their needs and challenges and help them choose an annual maintenance plan that works best for them.

To learn more about our residential HVAC maintenance programs, call 515-244-8911 or contact us online.