Winter is here, and the need to maintain a warm home is crucial. Furnaces of every type get overworked during this season, and hence it is essential to keep it clean and well maintained. Furnace airways can get clogged with dirt, which might affect productivity. Under such cases, the fuel efficiency of the furnace is lowered. Regular furnace maintenance can prevent this from happening.
It is recommended to clean the furnace before every winter when it will be used extensively. A thorough cleaning of a furnace can be divided into three parts – the filter system, the blower, and the heat exchanger. There are a few items that will come in handy to complete this job:
- Replacement filter (if required)
- Vacuum cleaner
Outlined below is a general step-by-step procedure for cleaning furnaces:
- Turn off the power switch before beginning then remove the chamber door
- Vacuum the inside of the burner
- Filter system- Remove the filter carefully. If the filter is so dirty that light does not pass through it, then it needs replacement. Otherwise, clean it (depending on the type of filter) by either vacuuming or using mild soap and tap water. It is advisable to change the filter once every three months.
- Blower- After disengaging power to the furnace, remove the front panel of the furnace by loosening the screws. Remove the fan without damaging the wires connected to it. Vacuum the blower carefully and then use a toothbrush to clean it further. Mild soap and water can also be used to clean the blower assembly. Replace the blower to the original position.
- Clean the surface igniter by blowing the dust off with a straw
- The flame sensor (for a gas furnace) can be cleaned using a fine cloth after removing it from its bracket
- Heat exchanger- The chamber should be cleaned using a damp cloth. A narrow vacuum attachment can be used to clean all loose debris.
- If the drive belt is cracked or frayed, replace it and adjust the tension
- It is advisable to oil the shaft bearings and the blower motors for their smooth functioning.
- Reinstall the chamber door, plug-in the furnace, and switch on the power and gas. Turn it on and observe if the flames (in a gas furnace) are even and blue.
Refer to your furnace’s owner maintenance manual for the exact cleaning procedure for your furnace.