Importance of Furnace Maintenance
Furnace Maintenance: Probably Not Top of Mind
The importance of furnace maintenance is probably not top of mind in your daily thoughts. In fact, do you even remember what your furnace looks like? It’s hidden away in some closet, attic or your garage. Hopefully there are not items in storage leaning against or on top of your furnace at this moment! Out of sight, out of mind.
Furnaces are pretty reliable most of the time, so we forget they’re there…until something goes wrong!
What could go wrong with your furnace and what damage, expense or danger could result?
Much of the damage that could be caused by a malfunctioning furnace will not be discovered immediately. You’ll only discover the damage when it’s time to pay the price. Kind of like having those auto-withdrawal payments from your bank account you no longer need, forgot about and continue to pay monthly, then discover after the accumulative cost is embarrassingly large!
A poorly maintained furnace is like having a bad hidden monthly auto-withdrawal from your bank account!
Let’s list some of the hidden monthly expenses you could incur with a poorly maintained furnace.
Regular Furnace Maintenance Saves Energy Costs EVERY Month
You furnace can easily rack up 50% of your energy bill. A well-maintained furnace costs about 30% less per month to run. In terms of your total energy bill, that’s an overall 15% savings every single month. If your last energy bill was $200 with a poorly maintained furnace, it could be $170 with a well-maintained furnace, saving you $30 each month X 8 cold season months = $240 per year bad hidden auto-withdrawal from your bank account! If your furnace is poorly maintained, you’re allowing the equivalent of an auto $30 monthly withdrawal from your bank account! But there’s more!
Regular furnace maintenance can save you costs in terms of increased health care expenses.
You’re constantly breathing the air circulated through your furnace. Consider the quality of that air. The air exchange in homes is already lower by far than a shopping mall, other public buildings and certainly the great outdoors. We are all learning this with COVID19 warnings about gathering indoors. That’s because indoor air is not the healthiest. Now, compound this poor air exchange with dirty furnace filters. Your furnace filters need to be changed monthly to properly clean air circulated by your furnace. When is the last time you changed your furnace filters? Do you know where they’re located? Now, compound this poor air quality even further.
Poorly maintained furnaces regularly circulate unhealthy air.
A dirty furnace stores and regularly blows out its accumulated dust, debris, mold, pollen, bacterial and virus contaminants, circulating them throughout your home and ultimately into your lungs. Ever wonder why when one person in the family comes down with a cold or the flu or something worse, everyone catches it? It’s because many diseases are airborne and circulated by dirty furnaces and furnace filters.
Unhealthy air can create costly healthcare expenses.
So, how much did the last health issue you or a family member experienced cost in terms of doctor visits, medication, co-pays, lost time at work? Possibly, a clean, well-maintained furnace might have saved you that money. That’s like another of those hidden, run-away auto-withdrawals from your bank account! And, worst case scenario, leaky gas from a poorly maintained furnace could send odorless carbon monoxide through your home. That’s more than costly. It’s life threatening!
Regular furnace maintenance can save you costs in by adding years to the life of your furnace.
A well-maintained furnace can last around 20 years. Take 5 years off of that life-span for a poorly maintained furnace. That’s a loss of 25% of its life. You’re looking at from $1000 – $3000 for a new furnace. Add in installation costs and cost of disposal of your old furnace. We haven’t even added in financing. Let’s very conservatively say $2,000 for a new furnace that if well-maintained will last 20 years. If poorly maintained, you just lost $500 of that $2000 or $20/month bad hidden auto withdrawal from your bank account each month.
Regular furnace maintenance can save you from a void warranty.
Most furnaces come with a 10-year warranty. However, poor maintenance can void that warranty. In addition, if a well-maintained furnace lasts 20 years, it may be possible to renew the warranty for the second 10 years potentially saving you a sudden unexpected expense in the event your furnace breaks down in its later life.
Regular furnace maintenance can save you physical discomfort.
Are there rooms in your home that never seem to warm up? A back bedroom, your basement, the bathroom furthest away from the furnace? How does that feel? You probably don’t spend time in those rooms. What percentage square feet of your home are you avoiding using due to inadequate heat? Your monthly mortgage bill is a charge for your total home space. Let’s say you’re avoiding a conservative 5% of that space due to heating discomfort. That’s another hidden cost…bad monthly auto withdrawal. Let’s give this $100/month waste expense based on 5% of a $2,000 monthly mortgage.
Part of regular furnace maintenance is ensuring even distribution of heat throughout your home, allowing you to enjoy the full value of every room!
Regular furnace maintenance can save you the unexpected expense of a breakdown.
And, imagine on the coldest day of the Winter having a furnace breakdown…likely in the middle of the night on a weekend. Isn’t that when these types of things seem to happen? You have no regular furnace guy to call so you’re searching companies you’ve never heard of while freezing at 30-degree temperatures. Believe me, you’re unlikely to get the best service price on that emergency call, and an emergency furnace replacement will likely cost you much more than a planned furnace replacement. But there’s more…Your water pipes are also freezing, and possibly bursting. Now you need to find a plumber and face that additional expense. You have to turn off your water and spend the night in a motel. Water leaked, causing further damage which needs to be repaired…perhaps a carpet replacement? Replacing a floor? Yikes!!
Regular furnace maintenance saves you how much?
Let’s recap on your savings with regular furnace maintenance:
- $30/month energy costs (conservative estimate)
- $20/month loss of furnace lifespan (conservative estimate)
- $100/month. Lack of use of 5% of your home due to discomfort in cold areas.
- Health care expenses, sick time, doctors visits (we did not put a number here)
- Furnace breakdown not covered because warranty void or non-renewable warranty (no $ estimate given)
- Home damage caused by furnace breakdown (no $ estimate).
Here’s the final very conservative tab: $150/month calculated expense waste due to a poorly maintained furnace plus a potentially much larger expense if some of the other (health, damage) losses are given a dollar value.
Moral of the Story: Regular Furnace Maintenance Pays for Itself Many Times Over
Is your home in the Las Vegas area? Get valuable, professional furnace maintenance from Haik Verdanian of Mastermind Mechanical.