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Trane Furnace Tune-Up
Furnace5min read

What Is a Furnace Tune-Up?

Learn about what a furnace tune-up includes, and how often you should schedule one to keep your furnace operating at peak performance.

February 23, 2024

The Importance of Regular Furnace Maintenance

Your HVAC system is one of the hardest-working systems in your home. In the colder months, you depend on your furnace to comfortably heat your home, even in the worst of cold snaps. But if you want to stay cozy and warm, you must understand the need for regular furnace maintenance. 

Why is preventative maintenance important? Here are 3 big reasons:

  1. You Extend the Lifespan of Your Furnace
    The average life expectancy of a gas furnace is 15-20 years with regular maintenance. Failure to adequately maintain your furnace can reduce its lifespan.
  2. You Improve Energy Efficiency
    Just like your car gets better gas mileage when it is well-maintained, your furnace will have improved energy efficiency when you get a regular furnace tune-up. This helps keep your energy bills in check.
  3. You Prevent Costly Repairs
    Regular furnace tune-ups can catch small problems before they turn into big ones that need costly repairs.

Professional Furnace Tune-Up vs DIY

Are you the DIY type, or do you like to hire professionals to do home maintenance and repairs? Learn some of the benefits of hiring a pro and the pitfalls to watch out for if you decide to take the DIY route.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional HVAC Technician

We believe the minimal cost of hiring an HVAC company to perform your furnace tune-up is well worth it. There are several benefits to hiring a professional, including:

  • HVAC professionals are licensed, have specialized training, and put safety first.
  • Maintenance plans make it easy to keep your HVAC system in excellent condition.
  • They can identify small problems and make minor furnace repairs before small problems become major issues.

In addition, an HVAC professional can help you with long-range planning and budgeting for a new furnace.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During a DIY Tune-up

If you’re mechanically inclined, you may consider doing portions of a furnace tune-up yourself. There are certainly plenty of YouTube videos and forums out there to walk you through some of the basics. 

If you decide to make it a DIY job, avoid these common mistakes:

  1. Air Filter Failure
    Failing to regularly change your furnace filter is the most common HVAC maintenance mistake homeowners make. A clogged filter makes your furnace work harder and can lead to much bigger problems. Change your filter every 30-90 days, depending on the thickness of the filter and whether you have an air purification system
  2. Risk Starting a Fire
    Your furnace can be a fire hazard if you don’t know what you’re doing. From a faulty igniter to faulty wiring, if you don’t have the proper knowledge, you might do more harm than good. 
  3. Risk Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
    If you try to perform furnace service yourself, you could inadvertently release carbon monoxide into your home and cause carbon monoxide poisoning to your or a family member. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
  4. Botching the Job
    Finally, as an untrained person working on your furnace, there is the potential that you will botch the job, resulting in the need to call in a professional for repairs. By trying to save a few dollars, you could end up paying more than the professional tune-up costs. If your furnace is under warranty, going the DIY route will also void the warranty.

    What to Expect During a Professional Furnace Tune-Up

    If you (wisely) decide to leave your furnace tune-up to the HVAC experts, it’s helpful to know what you should expect. Feel free to watch what your HVAC technician is doing, and ask questions. You may also choose to let them perform the furnace tune-up unsupervised.

    A gas furnace tune-up might be slightly different than an oil furnace tune-up, but both will include:

    • Thorough inspection of all furnace components
    • Cleaning and lubrication of key parts
    • Testing and calibration for optimal performance
    • Minor repairs or replacement of parts as needed

    At the end of their visit, your HVAC technician will likely give you a furnace tune-up checklist outlining what they did. They may also make recommendations to help you keep your HVAC system in good health.

    How Often Should You Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up?

    The recommended frequency for a heating tune-up is ideally once a year before the heating season starts. But you can schedule furnace maintenance at any time of the year.  Many HVAC companies provide service plans that make it easy to get preferential scheduling for furnace maintenance. HVAC maintenance plans may also include a discount on parts. 

    Furnace Tune-up Cost

    The average furnace tune-up cost is $100 but can range from $70-200, depending on where you live and whether you have a gas furnace or an oil furnace. The cost of your furnace tune-up may be less if you have an HVAC maintenance plan. Some HVAC companies offer coupons and discounts as well. 

    Factors That May Require More Frequent Furnace Service

    You may require more frequent furnace service if your furnace is approaching the end of the expected lifespan of 15-20 years. You may also need more frequent tune-ups if your furnace is a bargain brand vs a premium brand - premium brands are built better and last longer. Finally, if you or a previous homeowner neglected regular furnace maintenance, you may need more frequent service.

    If your furnace is more than 15 years old and repair service calls are becoming more frequent, you may also want to check out our Repair or Replace Guide.

    Trane has several high-efficiency furnaces to choose from, including both gas furnaces and oil furnaces. You can also consider a dual-fuel system if it’s time to replace your furnace. In this scenario, we pair a cold-climate heat pump that cools your house in the summer and heats it in the winter. It’s paired with a gas furnace that will kick in to provide heat when it’s extremely cold.

    Prolong the Life of Your Furnace with Regular Tune-ups

    Get the most out of your furnace by scheduling regular furnace maintenance. Contact your local Trane Comfort Specialist™ today to schedule a furnace tune-up if you didn’t get one in the fall.

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