Cleaning your gas furnace is important to ensure that it runs smoothly. A well-maintained gas furnace will run effectively for years to come without any expensive repairs or replacements. The best time to clean your gas furnace is before the winter season sets in. You can do it yourself or hire furnace services for it. Let’s discuss some important steps that will help you get your furnace ready on your own.
Turn Off Gas And Power
The first step of cleaning your gas furnace requires shutting the unit off from the breaker box. Locate the breaker box and turn the electrical power switch to the “Off position”. If the unit is plugged in a switch, make sure that the switch is turned off as well and the plug is plugged.
Then, locate the gas valve and shut it off. Proceed with cleaning the furnace.
Cleaning The Exterior
The exterior is the first area that needs to be cleaned as it is exposed to dirt and dust. You need to remove the accumulated grime, dirt, and dust deposits. To do that, grab a cloth, wet it so that it is slightly damp, and begin cleaning the exterior parts.
Then, remove the furnace gas door by lifting it slightly and pulling it out. If your furnace has a has burner cover, remove it and use a vacuum to clean the burners and base of the furnace. Plus, you might have to use different attachments to get the job done.
Try to reach as many areas as possible and vacuum the blower compartment and door. During the process, keep an eye out for soot deposits. This indicates a poor combustion level. If there is, contact an HVAC professional to help fix the issue.
Remove And Clean The Blower Motor
Now, move on to cleaning the blower motor. Locate the control panel and unscrew if it gets in the way. Then, using a ratchet and socket set, carefully remove the bolts that help secure the blower unit in place. Make sure to store the bolts in a safe place and remove the blower unit gently to avoid any damage.
At the same time, avoid disturbing the electrical wires and components such as the fan blade. You might need a small stiff brush to clean the blower unit effectively. Once the unit is cleaned, re-assemble it by following the instruction’s manual.
Clean The Igniter
Next, it is time to clean the pilot or hot surface igniter using a drinking straw. The reason is that the igniter is a very sensitive component. If it gets damaged during the process, the furnace will not work. Therefore, using a straw, simply blow away as much dirt and dust as possible until it is clear and clean. And once you are done cleaning these components, put the furnace doors back on to avoid damage.
Inspecting The Drive Belt
The blower unit includes a belt that can crack or fray with time. It is similar to the belt in a car. With time, as the blower belt degrades, the belt will lose tension, ultimately leading to reduced performance. On the other hand, a replacement belt is quite affordable. This means that you should change it immediately when the time is due.
Replacing The Furnace Filter
Replacing the air filter is of utmost importance. Then again, it is similar to the air filters installed in vehicles. They are designed to keep the dirt and dust from entering the house. Additionally, air filters have a lifespan attached to them. You will need to replace them at least once a year.
Ignoring the replacement can damage your furnace and expose your family members to contaminants, which can lead to chronic respiratory problems.
Finally, once everything is done, reassemble everything and turn on the furnace. Check the color of the flame. It should be steady and blue. If it happens to be yellow, it means the burners need adjustment or thorough cleaning.
Cleaning a gas furnace is simple and easy but you have to be a bit careful. If you are not confident enough, consult furnace repair services Tyson’s Corner. If you still decide to clean the furnace yourself, make sure to follow the instruction’s manual.