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Old 11-20-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


I have a forced air oil furnace, and when we first bought our house someone (probably the oil company) told us we need to get it service every year. It makes sense it has to be serviced, but we don't burn a lot of oil, last winter we only went through about 150 gal, and I'm thinking we'll use less than a tank this season as well.

I know other people who sometimes fill their tank twice a month in the winter, they still only service their furnace annually.

So my question is this, is it necessary to service the furnace every year regardless of how much oil you actually burn?

And if it is necessary, is it something I can do myself, or should I just fork out the 200 bucks and be happy?
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


It's sort of like checking the oil water on your car. It may not need any...but it's best to check it anyway.

At least pull the filter and have a look at things.

Remember....an HVAC company is going to want to sell service....that is their bread and butter....nothing wrong with it....for the DIY'r, it's a waste of money...for the clueless, a good HVAC company is worth every penny....
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


"Necessary" is pretty hard to define. I get asked that question by lots of folks on the phone. One answer I often give is that most fuel, manufacturing, fire and insurance authorities advise for annual servicing, virtually all my clients do it and if I can't return most of that servicing charge in value, then I'm not really doing my job properly.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:32 PM   #4
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


Thanks! I'm not clueless, so I'm sure I can figure out how to clean it and whatnot. But what about replacing/adjusting the nozzle? I assume that requires special equipment to fine tune?
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:42 PM   #5
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


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"Necessary" is pretty hard to define. I get asked that question by lots of folks on the phone. One answer I often give is that most fuel, manufacturing, fire and insurance authorities advise for annual servicing, virtually all my clients do it and if I can't return most of that servicing charge in value, then I'm not really doing my job properly.
Yeah that seems to be the advice most people give, I was just wondering if there is a relation between service frequency and amounts of oil burned, rather than just an annual cycle?
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:49 PM   #6
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


Oil burning yes. Gas maybe every two, same with the a/c or Heat pump.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


It's the best way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:49 PM   #8
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


yes it should be done every year ....reguardless of the usage....testing safety switches and checking for carbon monoxide....best money spent imo..ben sr
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


OK, sounds like I will keep doing it annually then! Thanks guys!
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:12 PM   #10
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


I'd like to know where that magical place in Pennsylvania is where you can get through an entire winter on 150 gallons. I have a 2300 sq ft house insulated to R30, but with all unoccupied rooms set to 61F using setback thermostats during the afternoon, and I average 150 gallons per MONTH from Nov through March in Chester county. You must have one small, efficient house.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:48 AM   #11
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


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I'd like to know where that magical place in Pennsylvania is where you can get through an entire winter on 150 gallons. I have a 2300 sq ft house insulated to R30, but with all unoccupied rooms set to 61F using setback thermostats during the afternoon, and I average 150 gallons per MONTH from Nov through March in Chester county. You must have one small, efficient house.
add a heat pump to the unit and go duel fuel and save some oil if you have a oil furnace
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:34 AM   #12
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


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I'd like to know where that magical place in Pennsylvania is where you can get through an entire winter on 150 gallons. I have a 2300 sq ft house insulated to R30, but with all unoccupied rooms set to 61F using setback thermostats during the afternoon, and I average 150 gallons per MONTH from Nov through March in Chester county. You must have one small, efficient house.
My house is about half the size of yours. It's a late 60's ranch, but it was completely remodeled before we bought it and I think they did a pretty good job insulating. All windows and doors are also relatively new.

With that said, last year was a pretty mild winter, and we will probably use about a full tank this season. We also use some supplemental electric heat to warm up the rooms where we are, as I feel closing vents in unoccupied rooms isn't that effective. So at night and when we're not home we keep the house set to 58. If I'm home working I often keep it at 58 and just turn on the electric heater in my small office rather than heating the whole house to 70 or whatever. When we have company we sometimes have to crank it way up though as some people are used to keeping their house at 80 in the winter...

We might use more this year if it's a colder winter and if we're home more during the day. I still haven't turned the oil furnace on this season though, probably will this weekend.

Next year I'm looking at getting a wood stove to supplement as well.

I don't mind keeping the house a little bit cool, if we're comfortable when wearing a sweater then that's the perfect temperature I think. And I also don't like forking out close to a grand to fill my tank too often...
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:07 AM   #13
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


Quote:
Originally Posted by operagost View Post
I'd like to know where that magical place in Pennsylvania is where you can get through an entire winter on 150 gallons. I have a 2300 sq ft house insulated to R30, but with all unoccupied rooms set to 61F using setback thermostats during the afternoon, and I average 150 gallons per MONTH from Nov through March in Chester county. You must have one small, efficient house.
Do you have a boiler, and does it also heat your potable water.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:42 AM   #14
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


Need to keep the whole house at the same set point. The room that is set warmer, causes the unit to work harder to keep up with the recovery, due to cold zones pulling the heat towards them.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:54 PM   #15
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Do I need to service my furnace every year?


get a maintenance contract that way they will check you ac also if you have it
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