Do Furnaces Really Need to be Inspected Every Year?

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Can’t a homeowner do this herself?  Of course she can… but if a homeowner knows how to do all that stuff I just listed above, they’re probably a heating contractor.  If your furnace tech just sticks a vacuum nozzle into the furnace and sucks a little dust out of the burner area, sure, do it yourself.  If your furnace tech does half the stuff on the list above, they’re probably earning their keep.

Before hiring a company to do a tune-up on your furnace, ask what’s included.  The company doing the work should be able to quickly rattle off a long list of stuff they’ll be checking.

Do I really need to pay $100 – $200 every year for a professional to service the furnace?  In short, yes.  This is what a professional charges; maybe even more.  For most heating contractors, $100 barely covers the trip charge.  If they’re charging much less, they might be more interested in just getting their foot in the door just to sell you a new furnace.

Annual furnace inspections aren’t just about safety; they’re also about preventative maintenance.  It’s about sometimes catching a problem before the furnace quits working in the middle of the night.  When you have to call a heating contractor on a Sunday evening because the furnace quit working on the coldest day of the year, you’ll be paying emergency rates.

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Reuben Saltzman

Reuben Saltzman works for Structure Tech, a Minneapolis home inspection company that has been in business since 1987.