How Do I Know If My Furnace Needs a Tune-Up?

John Martinez

John Martinez

With his MBA, Master HVAC Mechanical license, and nearly a decade of HVAC experience, John Martinez is the founder and strategic leader of Polar Bear Mechanical LTD.
The background of this graphic is an image of an HVAC specialist conducting a furnace tune-up. On the left portion of the graphic is the title of the blog, which reads, "How Do I Know If My Furnace Needs A Tune-Up?"

If your furnace malfunctions, it can cause damage to your entire HVAC system and leave you with an ice-cold home. The last thing you want in a place like Colorado Springs is a faulty furnace during the winter months. To avoid costly repairs, pay attention to how your furnace is operating. Look out for signs that it’s time to schedule a furnace tune-up. 

For over 40 years, Polar Bear Mechanical has been helping Colorado Springs residents and business owners make sure they have efficient heating and cooling systems. We’re committed to educating you so you know how to maintain your HVAC system and all of its components properly. Keep on reading to learn more about deciding if your furnace needs a tune-up.

Common Furnace Problems

Even though there are many different types of furnaces, they all operate the same way and have the same essential components. So, whether you have a commercial furnace or a residential furnace, learning how to watch out for these common furnace problems can wind up saving you time and money in the long run.

  1. Strange Noises
    • All heating systems make some degree of noise, but when the noises become loud, it could signal the need for a check-up. Furnaces have many moving parts that work in harmony. If one component fails, the unit may begin to make groaning, hissing, banging, or rumbling sounds. 
  2. High Utility Bills
    • As the winter months creep in, so do the freezing temperatures. Thus, it’s normal for your utility bills to go up a bit when it’s colder outside. However, if they are unreasonably high, your unit is not functioning as it should. If you have a faulty furnace, it means the system has to work harder to heat your space. This extra work uses more energy and costs you more money.
  3. Furnace Odors
    • When crucial parts of the unit’s system get clogged and backed up, it will begin to produce unpleasant smells. Typically, this happens when the condensate drain gets blocked. Because the moisture is unable to drain, slime and mold build up. These culprits are what cause the foul odors. Other unusual furnace odors that signal a more significant problem are the smell of burning rubber, oil, or smoke. Call an HVAC specialist immediately if you smell any of these odors coming from your furnace.
  4. Carbon Monoxide Leaks
    • A carbon monoxide leak means your furnace requires urgent, emergency service. When your alarm goes off, deadly gas is already seeping throughout your home. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector installed, check the color of the furnace’s flame. A yellow flame means your furnace is producing carbon monoxide. If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak, have people and pets evacuate immediately and call an HVAC specialist.
  5. Inconsistent Temperatures
    • If you’re struggling to maintain your indoor temperature throughout different rooms or feel like you’re constantly messing with your thermostat to keep your space warm, your furnace needs an evaluation.
  6. Dust In Your Space
    • If there’s suddenly an abnormal amount of dust in your home or office space, it might be time for a furnace tune-up. If you have an older furnace and haven’t changed the air filters recently, it will negatively affect your indoor air quality. Also, if your skin is extra dry, your space is dusty, or your allergies are acting up, there could be a problem with your furnace. 
  7. No Heat
    • One of the most obvious signs of something wrong with your furnace is that your system isn’t producing heat. If you’ve checked your circuit breakers and confirmed your power is working correctly, your furnace has an issue. 

The image shows the back of a furnace and all of it's wires and air filter.

What Does A Furnace Tune-Up Consist Of?

During a furnace tune-up appointment, your HVAC specialist will look at the components of your furnace to make sure everything is working correctly. A thorough furnace tune-up includes:

  • Cleaning furnace components.
  • Checking and cleaning your furnace’s condensate lines.
  • Conducting a temperature differential test. Temperature differential tests measure the air entering and leaving the furnace.
  • Analyzing the combustion of the exhaust.
  • Checking the ignitor and flame sensor.

Are Annual Furnace Inspections Really Necessary?

Yes, yearly inspections are a necessity for all heating systems! Most new units require annual inspections to guarantee the warranty remains valid. Plus, by staying vigilant in the health of your unit, you are saving money by investing in less expensive furnace tune-up costs now instead of costly furnace repairs later.

The average furnace life expectancy is 15-20 years, but you can substantially expand your furnace’s lifespan with regularly scheduled tune-ups. So keep an eye out for the issues mentioned above between regular furnace maintenance appointments to ensure your heating system remains safe and efficient. 

The image shows an HVAC specialist in a blue shirt conducting a furnace maintenance appointment.

Keep the Chill Away With Polar Bear Mechanical

Furnace repair is critical for your HVAC system, and it’s important to address furnace concerns early on to avoid irreparable damage. If you experience any of the common furnace problems mentioned above, or you think your furnace isn’t operating as efficiently as it should, contact our HVAC specialists immediately. We’ll run diagnostics on your furnace to pinpoint what malfunctions need fixing.

Contact Polar Bear Mechanical Today

As the top HVAC technicians in Colorado Springs, our goal is to bring quality service, expert solutions, and affordable options to our neighbors. Book your service with Polar Bear Mechanical Today!

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Not sure if your HVAC system needs servicing? Schedule a free estimate with our expert technicians.

Colorado Springs' Best HVAC Company

At Polar Bear, We Care! We are experts in all things HVAC. From furnace installation to AC Tune-Ups and everything in between, you can trust your heating and cooling systems to the best.

Over 200+ 5 Star Reviews

Frosty93
Frosty93
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It was our first time using this company, and we had an outstanding experience. They diagnosed our boiler problem and fixed it same day. Very friendly service and showed up exactly when the appointment was set. I highly recommend them.
Sally-Marie Martinez
Sally-Marie Martinez
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Very knowledgeable, friendly and want to do things right the first time. I won't go anywhere else after finding Polar Bear Mechanical. I will be a customer for life. Thank You Again.
Bethany Tessmann
Bethany Tessmann
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Best decision! They were so easy to work with, quick to respond, affordable, and super nice. The HVAC work they did on our basement finishing project looks great and was done so quickly. Will definitely be using them again for other home projects.
James Admire
James Admire
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John and team have been impressively knowledgeable and have been very attentive to any issues. Have come at multiple times very fast, for some emergency issues.
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