How Often Should a Furnace Be Serviced? A Practical Guide

Technician working on a furnace

As a homeowner, you already know that it’s important to keep your home feeling comfortable throughout the year. 

After all, your furnace keeps your home warm during the winter months. 

Without proper care and maintenance, there are a number of issues you can run into with your furnace. So, how often should a furnace be serviced?

Unfortunately, this isn’t always common knowledge. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about furnace maintenance.

How Often to Service Your Furnace?

A general rule of thumb is that your furnace should be serviced at least once a year. Ideally, it would be best to schedule furnace maintenance in the fall, before the heating season begins. 

By having your furnace serviced before you start using it, you can ensure that it’s in good condition and will work reliably throughout the winter.

The last thing you want to worry about is firing it up for the first time and running into problems when you need to heat your home. These tips from This Old House can help you save on energy costs, but they won’t replace a broken furnace.

How Do I Know if My Furnace Needs Cleaning?

Now, you know how often to service a furnace in general. How do you know if service is needed in the immediate future, or if the previous owner of the home has ever done it?

There are some telltale signs of a furnace in need of service. Some of these indicators include:

  • Increased energy bills
  • Strange noises coming from the furnace
  • Cycling on and off more frequently than usual
  • Soot or dirt around the furnace
  • Unusual amounts of dust in the home 


These are all signs that your furnace hasn’t been serviced in a while. If you’re purchasing a home or recently bought one, check the furnace itself. Look to see if there is a register of all recent services on the unit. 

Chances are you’ll find documentation somewhere on or near the furnace about the last time a technician came out to look at it.

What is Included in Furnace Servicing?

What exactly should you expect during furnace servicing? A trained technician will come out and do some or all of the following:

  1. Cleaning the furnace’s interior and exterior components, including the burners, blower motor, and air filters.
  2. Checking and adjusting the furnace’s gas pressure and ensuring the furnace is running at peak efficiency.
  3. Inspecting the furnace’s electrical components, including the wiring, control board, and safety switches.
  4. Lubricating any moving parts to reduce friction and wear.
  5. Checking the furnace’s thermostat to ensure it’s working correctly.

Is a Furnace Tune-Up Worth It?

A tune-up might be one of those things you think you can go without. After all, the furnace and everything else around it seems to be running fine, right?

Regular maintenance will keep your furnace running efficiently, which will save you money on your energy bills. Additionally, regular maintenance can prevent breakdowns and extend the life of your furnace. 

The cost of a tune-up is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of replacing your furnace prematurely.

It’s essential that you remember to get your furnace serviced regularly to prevent issues in the long run.

What Happens if You Don’t Service Your Furnace?

If you neglect to service your furnace regularly, it can result in costly breakdowns, reduced efficiency, and increased energy bills. 

Additionally, a poorly maintained furnace can pose a safety hazard. A dirty furnace can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home, which can be deadly. Regular furnace maintenance can prevent these issues and keep your home safe.

How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

One critical area of furnace maintenance is regularly changing the air filter. Having a dirty air filter will restrict airflow reducing your furnace’s efficiency, causing the furnace to overheat. 

You’ll want to change the furnace filter once every 1-3 months, depending on how often you use it. If you have pets, you may want to change it more frequently.


Technician replacing a filter

Final Thoughts

Furnace maintenance might seem like one of those things you can neglect and not worry about it. The furnace is usually tucked into the corner of the house, so it gets forgotten about. 

That said, scheduling regular furnace maintenance will help prevent costly breakdowns and will help you save money on energy bills while extending the life of your furnace. So, how often should a gas furnace be serviced? Once a year.

You’re now equipped with the knowledge necessary to properly care for your furnace.

It’s important that you only hire trained and experienced professionals like the team at Hibdons Heat and Air. 

We’re all experts in heating and cooling, we’re focused on service, not sales, and we have over 60 years of experience servicing homes in the OKC area. If you need furnace servicing, schedule one today!