Furnace Maintenance Checklist Guide: 3 Easy Tune Up Steps

Furnace Maintenance Checklist Guide: 3 Easy Tune Up StepsFurnace maintenance is essential to getting the most out of your heating system. The more homeowners know about their HVAC system or furnace, the easier it will be for them to make the right decisions to maintain it.

I have been working in the HVAC Industry for over 15 years, and have serviced many different heating systems, primarily furnaces. Between my experience working with these systems, and continual training and certifications, I have learned a lot about furnaces. That’s why we have put together this brief checklist to better help you understand how your system operates and know when it’s time to bring us in for assistance.

Annual Furnace Maintenance Checklist

Maintenance should include the following checks to optimize performance and also to make certain that your system is running safely. Here are the steps a professional should put into their furnace service checklist:

  • Inspecting the flue & vent connections
  • Cleaning or changing the air filter
  • Ignitor testing
  • Dusting the furnace interior, vents, & external coils
  • Checking the fan belts, blowers, & motors
  • Adjusting the pilot light & burners
  • Checking fuel-source connections
  • Performing a combustion analysis for gas & oil furnaces
  • Checking electrical components
  • Inspecting ductwork for air leaks
  • Checking the heat exchanger
  • Inspecting the furnace condensate drain for clogs
  • Testing thermostat settings

Each of these tasks requires a detailed knowledge of how your particular system operates. With the exception of cleaning or changing the filter – which should be done every 3 months or so – your system maintenance should be performed at least once a year to prevent possible corrosion from soot buildup.

DIY Furnace Inspection Checklist

If you are the DIY type, there are a few tasks that you can do yourself to help maintain your furnace:

  1. Change air filter
  2. Clean around your furnace
  3. Check the carbon monoxide detector

Air Filter

If Your Air Filter Is Clogged, It Could Be Causing ProblemsAs we mentioned before, your system’s filter should be inspected and changed out every 3 months or once a quarter. A buildup of debris in the filter can greatly reduce system efficiency making it work harder to achieve the desired temperature. It can also prevent the flow of air from reaching every space in your home.


Make sure that your furnace is free of any objects or debris that might impede air circulation or limit accessibility. Keep the general area around your furnace clear, especially from flammable substances.

Examine the ductwork for blockages and make sure that the blower motor is free of dust or matter that could attach itself to the air ducts.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Like your smoke detectors, your carbon monoxide detector should be checked annually. Carbon monoxide is a natural byproduct of a combustion system and is usually vented outside. It is a colorless and odorless gas that is difficult to detect without a carbon monoxide detector. Occasionally, system clogs can create backups causing an unsafe release of CO inside the home.

If your carbon monoxide detector is a battery operated system, batteries should be replaced annually.

Heater Maintenance Checklist For Various System Types

Your furnace’s annual maintenance checklist will vary depending on the type of HVAC system that you have. I have put together a short list of additional inspections based on the heater type.

Read More: Why Is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

Electric Heater Maintenance Checklist

  • Inspect the bearings on the blower motor
  • Inspect the blower belt, wear, tension
  • Verify voltage to the unit
  • Verify amp draw on the fan blower motor
  • Verify amperage draw on each element
  • Inspect electric wiring for signs of wear
  • If your HVAC unit is a heat pump, clear away excess debris from outside units

Gas Furnace Maintenance Checklist

Your gas-powered furnace requires all of the usual checks with a few important, additional checks.

  • Smell for any gas or propane leaks. If you detect any odd smells, turn off the gas usually located near the gas meter.
  • Listen for any unusual noises or rattling. If you hear any unusual vibrations, it is time to call in your technician.
  • Always turn off the gas supply before attempting any kind internal repair.
  • Check the pilot light for a blue flame. If the pilot is a yellow color, it is a sign that your gas furnace is not firing hot enough.

Unit Heater Maintenance Checklist

Furnace Tune Up Cost (Check-And-Clean) In Elgin, IL [2023]While a unit heater is small and compact, frequently located off the floor, it still requires all of the basic inspection points as any other heating system. Keeping your heating system free of debris and the filters clean is job number one.

Check the inducer and the inducer assembly. The inducer is a critical control bringing in oxygen and blowing the heated air out into the room. It functions as a method of providing air quality by keeping dust and soot away from the heat exchanger.

Furnace Inspection Checklist: Indoor Air Quality

Your furnace inspection checklist’s number one job is to improve and maintain indoor air quality by making sure that your system is running as it was designed to. A well-running system has proper ventilation.

Some systems have built-in humidifiers. In that case, always make certain that the condensate line is open and free of debris.


How often should a furnace be serviced?

A furnace should be serviced at least once a year. In some cases, before and after the season is a good move, but at least once a year.

How do I know if my furnace needs service?

Your furnace may be showing signs of needing service if you notice that it is not working properly or seems to have reduced efficiency. Loud noises, funny smells, and frequent cycling off and on are also signs.

How much does it cost to check a furnace?

The cost of a furnace check can vary depending on the scope of the call. Generally, a service call is between $100 – $200 for a furnace. If you need repairs or replacements, the cost will go up. Check-and-clean for your Hoffman Estates home.

Call Compass Heating and Air at (630) 504-8688 to speak with your trusted check-and-clean for your Hoffman Estates home.