Furnace Maintenance?

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Hello,
As a new homeowner, I was wondering whether annual (or other interval) maintenance is needed on the furnace (other than regular changing/cleaning of the filter) ? I called the company whose name was on the heater tag for the unit in the house I live in (it's about 4 years old) and they told me they normally do a yearly or semi-annually cleaning for customers.
My question is - Is this necessary? And if so, what do they really do and what is the frequency that I should have it done.
Thanks very much for any info!
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Dave wrote:

An annual inspection and cleaning will help maintain your system. If you have it done before the heating season, you may prevent having an emergency call during a snow storm or on Christmas day.
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writes:

Sort-of-related question:
What is the expected lifetime of a natural gas forced air furnace? Just replaced the H2O heater this summer after 14.5 years, and wondering how much life I should expect out of the furnace?
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
    26-October, 2001: A day that will live in infamy     Support Freedom: http://www.indefenseoffreedom.org /
... One nation under survielence, divisive, with liberty and justice for none.
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Provided its taken care of and serviced regularly, *normal* design service life is 18 - 20 years
writes:

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On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 14:46:27 -0500, Noon-Air wrote:

I just had an annual done on our 20-year old Lennox Pulse furnace. In 1998, due to a factory recall, the heat exchanger was replaced. The tech told me today that he would expect another 20-25 years of life out of it. The furnace is 90-96% efficient too.
Of course you never know...and I am knocking on wood. I've heard of furnaces dying after 6 years.
The furnace, AC, and water heater in my parent's home are all 27 years old. The Heil furnace has _never_ had an annual cleaning/inspection. The AC needed a repair once. My dad doesn't even bother draining the water heater...ever!
We live in Wisconsin too.
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That wasn't actually a recall, it was a service bulletin. If you got a new heat exchanger out of it, good deal! These are good furnaces and highly efficient, they just suffered from manufacturing problems. That said, I would get a reliable CO detector. Not just for this one, for any furnace burning fuel. The Lennox Pulse is a bit more dangerous in failure than most due to the positive pressure heat exchanger design.
wrote:

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service
So....you think he could have saved any money by doing what the maker of the unit suggested?
Nah...of course not.
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Steve@carolinabreezehvac spilled my beer when they jumped on the table and

Meh.
My $.02?
This is the type of fellow who would never change, or even check the fluids on his car then start bitching one day when it suddenly quits running... :)
NOI
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fluids
:)
DAMMIT, I had oil in it when I bought it

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As energy efficient as our house is, we passed on the pulse furnaces. The builder had some bad experiences with them causing a resonating noise through the entire house.

Heil? Tempstar? HeLl! I'd never buy one of their products again. My heil/tempstar heat exchanger failed at about 5 years. Called a reputable HVAC contractor to fix it. He did so, but told me to contact the company, as there was a recall and the company should reimburse me for the problem. I did, and they said that the recall had expired, so I was SOL. Of course they never told us about the recall when it was in effect, even though we'd sent in the supid card. I don't do business with companies that don't stand behind their products.
Since then 2 other failures have been from design defects, including the combustion intake blower that's mounted horizontally where all others are vertical.
I realize that there are only a handful of furnace manufacturers, and that many brands are relabels. Is there somewhere I can find a list of who owns whom? IIRC heil/tempstar is now owned by Carrier...
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
    26-October, 2001: A day that will live in infamy     Support Freedom: http://www.indefenseoffreedom.org /
... One nation under survielence, divisive, with liberty and justice for none.
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Most furnaces go 15 to 20 years. Yep, it's about time to consider getting that replaced. The new ones are more energy efficient, anyhow.
--

Christopher A. Young
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This is Turtle.
Stormy, The man said his hot water tank give out and had it replaced in 14.5 years and not his furnace. He is now looking at maybe changing his furnace out.
TURTLE
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Hmmm, when did I become "the man"?
As a matter of fact, the house is 14.5 years old, so the H2O heater, furnace, AC, roof, sump pump, fridge, etc. are all 14.5 years old. Only the owners are older :-(
I guess I'm not surprised to see these groups getting as many flames on simple questions as the ones I usually hang out in. But a quick glance tells me that alt.hvac is for the hvac trade folks, while alt.home.repairs is for folks like me sharing home repair questions. it would seem to me that trade folks would look forward to educating consumers, so they don't have to deal with so many ID <ten> T types all the time...
As to my furnace, we'll see wht the 'pro' says this afternoon. The old one was supposed to be a higher end unit (90% effecience condensation type). When I do replace it, it will be with top of the line stuff, with variable heat and fan speeds.
The house itself is as energy efficient as was possible in 1989: super insulated passive solar. Most folks don't believe a 3000 ft^2 house in the Chicago area can be heated with a 100K BTU furnace. [Last HVAC guy to work onthe unit wanted to know where my other furnace was!] Nor do they believe that when gas prices went nuts 3 years ago, and news reports had folks with small houses paying over $1000 a month for heating, that my bill maxed out at $145 a month. BTW, AC bills are similarly small. One HVAC co told me I needed a 5 ton unit, the builder speced it out at 2.5 which is what I went with, and what has done the job well for 14 years now.
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
    26-October, 2001: A day that will live in infamy     Support Freedom: http://www.indefenseoffreedom.org /
... One nation under survielence, divisive, with liberty and justice for none.
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kaplow snipped-for-privacy@encompasserve.org.TRABoD (Bob Kaplow) wrote:

They don't quit coming, asking the same lame shit, year after year that a google search could have handled. Homemoaners are targets after the first post to go to alt.home.repair.
Pinging the dense retards who stay is sport. The diehard DIYer's remain after a fire bath. The nuts that stay we use as bait. Fresh squirrels are a treat.
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You didn't know how important you are? Hey, we speak well of you now and again.
"the man answered my question...." kind of thing.
--

Christopher A. Young
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And how does that affect (in the slightest way) anything I wrote?
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Christopher A. Young
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My last furnace Natural gas was replaced after 18 yrs, no annual maintance I oiled the motor every 3 yrs and replaced the filter monthly. The furnace was still going when I did replaced it just opted for a more efficient unit. I would install a carbon monoxide detector if I was not going to have the heat exchanger inspected annually.
Tom
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Yes. Annual. Remove and clean burners. Inspect heat exchanger. Oil blower motor. Clear drain line if it has one. Look for visibly bad parts. Run a couple cycles of heating up and blowing heat. See if limit switches and such are working.
Spring time maint is a good idea if the unit has AC.
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Christopher A. Young
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If it's a relatively new gas furnace, I wouldn't waste money on having it serviced more than every few years. I change the filters on mine twice a year, vacuum and dust, dirt debris, etc., make sure the flames look ok, make sure the drain is working, never had it serviced and have never had a problem in close to 20 years in 2 homes. If it's an oil system, well that's another story. I would have that serviced once a year.
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Change filters. Vacuum out. clear drain. inspect burner flame color.
May I suggest that YOU are doing the service?
--

Christopher A. Young
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