Can I Clean My Furnace Myself?

Regular cleanings and maintenance can extend the lifespan of a furnace and help to ensure its safe and energy efficient operation. As a homeowner, you don’t have to wait for a professional to come out every time your furnace needs to be cleaned. There are some furnace cleaning and maintenance tasks that you can do yourself between professional tune-up and service visits. Knowing how to clean furnace burners, changing air filters and cleaning evaporator coils could save you hundreds of dollars in heating system operation and repair costs each year.

How to Clean Furnace Burners

Built up debris around the furnace burners reduces the efficiency of the gas combustion process. Before starting to clean the burners, first cut off the electrical power and gas supply to the furnace. Use a screwdriver to remove the metal housing from the burner chamber and set the housing aside. Next, remove the burners. With a medium-bristled brush, sweep away the dirt and dust from the bottom of the burner chamber. Use a clean, damp cloth to clean all sides of the chamber, and brush and wipe down the burners. When you have finished, return the burners to their original positions and put the housing back onto the furnace. If this is all you’re cleaning, restore the power and gas supply and restart the furnace.

Cleaning Evaporator Coils

When cleaning the evaporator coils, the power and gas supply to the furnace must first be shut off. Remove the access cover to the coils and use the brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner to gently remove dust and dirt from the coils. Use a furnace cleaning spray to clean the coils. Let the spray sit on the coils for 5 to 10 minutes before gently wiping the coils clean. Replace the furnace access cover and restore power and gas to the furnace.

How Often Should You Clean Your Furnace?

Cleaning the furnace evaporator coils and burners should be done once a year. Other furnace maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter should be done every 30 days while the furnace is in use for the season. The furnace should also get an annual tune-up. The professional tune-up service will include a complete inspection of the furnace and ventilation system as well as cleaning and lubrication of the motors and other essential components. Cleaning your furnace yourself is not a substitute for regular professional furnace maintenance.

Regular furnace cleanings and maintenance could boost the energy efficiency of the heating system by 5 to 15 percent or even more, shaving hundreds or even thousands of dollars off your annual heating bills. Keeping the interior of the furnace clean could also reduce the risk of furnace breakdowns and extend the lifespan of the furnace. To learn more about cleaning your furnace or to schedule a tune-up service with our experienced HVAC professionals at Goose Creek Heating & Air, call us at any time.