How to Clean a Furnace? [Step by Step DIY Instructions]
December 10, 2020
It’s the perfect time to maintain and service your heating systems. To ensure your furnace’s long life and efficient use, a series of steps can be followed to get it ready for this winter season. With Christmas right around the corner, you don’t want to ruin your holiday experience with a broken-down furnace and costly repairs.
1. As always, safety first!
2. Turning the system off
3. Clean the combustion chamber
4. Inspect flue pipe
5. Replace oil filter (only in oil-powered furnaces)
6. Clean the air filter
7. Check and fasten blower belt
8. Test furnace efficiency
9. Clean floor vents
10. Call JDs Plumbing for Denver Furnace Inspection and Cleaning
Just a heads up that cleaning a furnace isn’t an easy task. If you’re unfamiliar with this job or have never cleaned complex electrical equipment before, it’s important that you call in professionals like JDs Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning to help you.
Here are some must-haves for cleaning the furnace. You will be able to find them at any hardware store:
- Wire brush
- Rubber gloves
- Safety glasses
- Strap wrench
- Combustion analyzer
You need to clean your furnace at least once a year. There are no exceptions to this rule because, without annual cleaning and inspection, your furnace can break down at any moment.
For JDs plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning, cleaning is an essential part of their annual furnace inspection in Denver. Our rates for annual Denver furnace inspection are in the range of $50 to $100, depending on the make and model of your Denver furnace.
Always wear safety goggles and rubber gloves.
Next, turn off the system from the power switch. It is usually red-colored and near the burner or at the top of the cellar stairs. Turn off all incoming fuel from the fuel shutoff valve. Or it may be as simple as a wall switch.
You first start by cleaning the combustion chamber. Use your wire brush to scrape out the build-up gently without damaging the chamber. Carefully remove any loose material with the assistance of an industrial shop vacuum.
Since you’ve already opened the chamber, inspect it for holes or corrosion. This step ensures that the carbon soot, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other unwanted substances can be removed from inside the combustion chamber.
Inspect the flue pipe, especially where it connects with the furnace system. If you find a hole, use a piece of foil tape to seal it. If the holes are large, foil tapes won’t help and you will need to replace your flue pipe.
Just like you’d replace your car engine’s oil filter on every oil change, the same is true for your furnace. A clogged oil filter can shut down the entire system.
A clean air filter is important for furnaces to continue working effectively and efficiently. Start by cleaning the air filters and if they’re still clogged, it’s time you replaced them with new ones. A good rule of thumb is not to use an air filter for more than a year.
A tightly fastened blower belt is important for your furnace to work smoothly, without which it can break down without any notice. Press on the blower belt and tighten it if it’s loose.
Now it’s time to test the furnace efficiency through a combustion analyzer which will calculate efficiency by measuring gasses in the exhaust flue. If your furnace heats on gas, you should use a vacuum cleaner to clear away the debris.
Last, but not least, clean the floor vents. Remove the floor registers and vacuum out the ducts which usually become clogged with dust, pet hair, small toys, and food bits. When the vents and filters are clean, they will not cause foul odors in your home.
During the entire process, if you get stuck on any step, pick up the phone and give us a call. We do NOT recommend continuing with the steps if you ever get confused. Let professionals like JDs Plumbing Heating & AC clean your furnace. This step is part of our Denver furnace annual inspection checklist.
You can also request a Denver Furnace Inspection here and we’ll revert back to you as soon as possible.