How to Clean Your Gas Furnace
The furnace is the powerhouse of the HVAC system. Routine maintenance of this component is crucial to the health and longevity of your HVAC system. The easiest way to maintain your furnace and ensure it functions properly is regular cleaning. If you have never cleaned your furnace, it is entirely possible in just a few simple steps.
This cleaning process takes a few minutes and is incredibly important as it keeps your furnace running at an optimal level. Learning how to clean your furnace can save you time and money by increasing the machine’s efficiency, reducing your energy bills, and decreasing the chance of encountering costly repairs. Keep reading to learn how to easily clean your furnace!
5 Steps of Furnace Cleaning
Your furnace is a serious piece of equipment. It must be treated correctly, or you could potentially damage the furnace or hurt yourself. If you feel uncertain about any of the following steps, it’s important to contact a professional HVAC contractor for assistance.
1 – Turn The Power and Gas Off
Before beginning any kind of maintenance on your furnace, it’s important to prioritize your safety. Make sure that the power to the unit has been turned off. If you fail to shut off the power, you risk causing an electrical short or giving yourself an electric shock.
If the unit is connected to natural gas, make sure the gas has also been shut off before attempting to clean your furnace. The best way to make sure that both the electricity and the gas have been shut off is to have the same person turn the power off and on. This way, no one accidentally turns on the power, and the person cleaning the furnace can work without fear of being shocked.
2 – Clean the Exterior and Surrounding Area
The furnace is the largest HVAC system component and typically requires a significant amount of space to operate. Before attempting to clean the interior of the furnace, it is important to make sure its exterior surroundings are properly maintained as well.
This includes ensuring that the ductwork or the pipes that move air to and from the furnace are clean and free of dust and debris. Suppose you notice that an unpleasant smell is emitting from your unit when it is initially powered on. In that case, it’s likely that the furnace is slowly burning accumulated dust in the ductwork.
To fix this, simply take an ordinary vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment and clean the tops of the ducts, the pipes, and the electrical conduit that lead to the unit. Additionally, you can vacuum the outside of the furnace case. Using a feather duster, gently dust off the electrical connections. Make sure you do not dislodge the wiring, especially on the wiring panel.
3 – Clean the Blower
To clean the blower, you need to access the interior of your furnace. Your unit is equipped with a metal panel that can be removed for easy access. Look for a handle or other clear method of removal. Once the panel has been removed, identify the blower. Slide the blower out of the main unit. Once removed, you can clean the blower by rinsing off the blower blades with warm, soapy water and a stiff brush.
4 – Clean the Heat Exchange
One of the most important components of the furnace is the heat exchange. This part, which draws in cool air to be treated by the furnace into hotter air, can occasionally collect dust and debris. Before attempting to clean off excess dirt, it is important to check that the heat exchange is cool enough to touch. Hold the back of your hand a few inches away from the heat exchange to assess the temperature. If it is cool, then use a stiff brush to dust off the component and to remove excess scale. Once the heat exchange has been cleaned, vacuum the surrounding area.
5 – Clean or Change the Filter
The easiest aspect of furnace cleaning and maintenance is to ensure that the disposable air filter is replaced or the reusable air filter is cleaned. If the filter is dirty, your unit will not be operating efficiently. It may not even be blowing hot air.
Furnace Service in Phoenix, AZ
The technicians at Howard Air have been helping customers in the Phoenix area with their furnace and HVAC needs for more than forty years. If you need further assistance with your furnace or have questions regarding furnace cleaning, make sure you contact the experts at Howard Air.
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