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Most of us don’t think about our furnaces in Austin until one of two thoughts occur: the first being “I’m cold,” and the second being “What’s that smell?” Neither is necessarily a major issue; however, routine furnace maintenance, as part of your HVAC system, will help avoid – or at least address – these.

Do furnaces require maintenance?

A furnace is a natural gas or propane-fueled appliance – a machine – and machines need regular service. Typically, they will not function if there is something wrong. However, it is best to have a professional maintenance check done annually, ideally prior to the heating season, to ensure both warmth and furnace safety.

What does professional furnace maintenance include?

During a furnace maintenance visit, the technician will:

  • perform a carbon monoxide test
  • check the gas line for leaks
  • verify there are no obstructions in the flue or combustion pipe (bird and insect nests are common and can cause carbon monoxide leaks)
  • confirm the burner is working (via ignition source operation, inlet gas pressures, manifold gas pressures)
  • inspect and test the inducer fan motor, which assists in creating the necessary draft for venting combustion gasses safely out of gas furnaces
  • make sure there is no flammable debris near high-heat areas
  • burn off dust buildup
  • check for carbon buildup in the burner/flame sensors
  • measure the rise in temperature during the heating cycle

A thorough maintenance inspection can identify if you need a furnace repair or help you decide if it’s time to consider furnace replacement.

Note: A little “burnt dust” smell is normal for the first heating run of the season; however, there should be no gas smell.

Our Furnace Maintenance Process

When you call us, we’ll schedule an appointment with one of our technicians at your convenience. If you are part of our proactive HVAC maintenance program, we’ll remind you when it’s time to schedule. You’ll also save on each maintenance visit and receive discounts on furnace and AC repairsas well as  electrical and plumbing work.  

On the day of your furnace maintenance, we’ll notify you when we’re en route to your property. Once onsite, our technician will follow our checklist – including the items listed above – and record their findings. If all is as it should be, we’ll see you next time for your pre-cooling season visit! If any issues are noted, the technician will review them with you along with their recommendations on how to move forward. We have fully stocked trucks and can typically perform any approved repairs the same day. We back all our repairs with a 1-year warranty on both parts and labor.

Is there anything a property owner or occupant should do, apart from scheduling regular professional tune ups, to maintain their furnace?

Yes, change furnace filters at the appropriate frequency, which varies depending on filter type and conditions. Generally: 

Filter Size Replacement Frequency
1” Monthly to quarterly
2”  Quarterly to semi-annually
4-5” Semi-annually to annually


Regular furnace filter changes and professional maintenance will minimize heater repairs and help extend the lifespan of your machine. 

Check out this in-depth video from our owner, George, about how often you should change your AC filter:

How long do furnaces last when properly maintained?

In Texas, furnaces typically outlive cooling systems – sometimes lasting well over 20 years. For this reason, it can be tempting to just replace the cooling side of the system, when the time comes, and continue to use an older furnace. Keep in mind, though, that the older furnace is no longer part of a matched set and still has an older blower motor that runs all year. It is less expensive, as a whole, to replace all system components at one time, so try to avoid partial system replacements.

Key Takeaways

Overall, furnaces are reliable appliances that heat quickly, cost little to operate and require minimal maintenance. To maximize coziness, equipment lifespan and safety and minimize repairs:

  • Schedule professional maintenance annually, prior to heating season
  • Stay on top of filter changes

Whether you need a tune up, repair or want to discuss furnace replacement, we can help. 

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