How to Clean a Furnace

Like everything else in your home, you want to keep your furnace clean.How to Clean a Furnace?

A build up of dirt and dust can mean a breakdown the efficiency of your heating system. And these days, who can afford to waste anything, let alone fuel. These steps apply whether you are doing gas furnace maintenance, oil or electric furnace.

Cut the power to your furnace by shutting off the breaker switch. Remove the front safety panel from your furnace. In gas and oil furnaces, the pilot light and fuel supply should be shut off for safety.

Vacuum the interior area. Use caution, do not displace any wiring. Use an old toothbrush to carefully remove grime and dust build-up, then vacuum the area a second time.

Clean the furnace’s blower assembly thoroughly, using a toothbrush, toothpicks and cotton swabs. Remove build-up from all surfaces of the assembly, paying special attention to the blower fins. In some furnaces, a blower cover must be removed to access the fan assembly. Vacuum up displaced debris.

Use a large, dry scrub brush to clean all vents. Pull off the furnace filters and replace if needed. Disposable filters should be replaced yearly. Vacuum permanent filters well, then use the scrub brush to remove build-up. Vacuum a second time, or blow dust out with an air compressor.

Put the furnace back together. Replace filters, and any safety covers (except the front panel) you have removed. Look for loose connections and signs of corrosion. Check for worn or melted wiring. If everything is in order, re-connect the furnace and turn it on.

Allow the furnace to run for several minutes to check for unusual sounds or smells. Disturbed dust commonly makes a crackling noise, which should cease after a few minutes. If you smell burning gas, oil or electrical wiring, shut down the furnace immediately and call in a professional.

Replace the front panel when you feel everything is running smoothly and safely.

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Notice for Power Vent Water Heater Customers

Effective August 2007, gas code requires technicians working on venting to replace black ABS vent pipe with white UL-certified vent pipe.

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