If your worst nightmare is a furnace breakdown on a cold night in Aberdeen, you’re not being unrealistic. It happens to a number of North Carolina homeowners every year. When exceptionally cold weather strikes is when furnaces are most likely to go out. Any part of a heating system that’s vulnerable can be the weak link in a chain that puts your furnace out of the game and you out in the cold.

Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent heater breakdowns by scheduling a furnace tuneup every fall. HVAC industry experts tell us that up to 95 percent of unexpected breakdowns are caused by a lack of maintenance, and here’s why: During a tuneup, your service technician will check for potential problems and correct them before they can cause a breakdown. That’s a great reason to get your system serviced now. You’ll have dependable warmth and peace of mind during those cold North Carolina nights instead of anxiety about whether your heater will make it through the night. Here are all the benefits you’ll enjoy with furnace maintenance:

Puts Safety First

Furnace breakdowns are inconvenient and uncomfortable, but the real dangers are gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. Furnaces burn fuel, and that involves combustion. For that process to be safe and efficient, a furnace must be clean and in good condition. Even small problems can create gas leaks. A dirty heat exchanger can crack and release carbon monoxide into your air. Cracked heat exchangers are expensive to repair, and if the damage is bad enough, you’ll have to replace the furnace.

During a tuneup, your technician will check for cracks or leaks near the fuel area that could pose a risk. Your tech will also inspect the heat exchanger, the gas valve calibration and the gas burner to ensure that those components are all in good condition and working together properly. Maintenance also involves a complete furnace cleaning including the heat exchanger. A clean furnace is a safe furnace.

Optimizes Performance and Maximizes Efficiency

You want consistent and reliable heating, but you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it. Maintenance ensures that you won’t have to. Tuneups help your heating system to maintain peak performance and maximum efficiency all winter long. A furnace covered with grimy buildup has to work two or three times as hard to produce the same amount of heat as a clean furnace. That stresses out the furnace, and if it’s on its last legs, the additional performance demands might be enough to send it to its grave, and that’s exactly what you don’t want.

If the air filter is dirty, it restricts the amount of air that blows over the heat exchanger. If the heat exchanger is also dirty, that layer of grit prevents heat from being absorbed by the air blowing over it. That, in turn, causes longer cycling and drives up your fuel costs. A clean furnace is an efficient furnace.

Saves Time and Money

A heating tuneup costs way less than a furnace repair or a furnace replacement. If you schedule furnace maintenance in early fall, you won’t have to wait in line for an appointment, but if you wait until the middle of a cold January night, you might have to wait for emergency service along with others who didn’t get a heating tuneup.

Keeps Warranties Valid

If you don’t stay current with maintenance, your furnace warranty could become void. A voided warranty could cost you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong with the unit down the road.

Extends Furnace Lifespan

Dirt on your furnace accelerates its aging process and shortens its life. That’s especially true for dirt on the electronic components, the blower motor, the fan and the heat exchanger.

Gives You Peace of Mind

After your furnace has been professionally tuned up, cleaned up and inspected, you can rest easy on cold winter nights knowing that your furnace can handle whatever comes its way.

To learn more about the value-added benefits of HVAC maintenance plans in Aberdeen, visit Sandhills Heating, Refrigeration & Electrical, Inc., or call (910) 338-3723.