How Do I Clean My Furnace Myself?

When it comes to furnace cleaning, it’s recommended you hire furnace service providers to do the cleaning. While this is good as the service providers inspect the rest of the furnace and fix any underlying issues, does it mean you are doomed if you can’t afford to hire the service providers? Absolutely not, as you can always do the cleaning yourself.

How do I clean my furnace myself? Here is how to go about it:

Shut down the system

You don’t want to get electrocuted as you are cleaning the furnace, do you? Begin with shutting down the system. Access the electrical and fuel supply and turn it off. You can find the distinctive red power switchplate at the cellar stairs or near the burner itself. The fuel shutoff valve will be near the oil tank or on the incoming gas pipe.

Clean the combustion chamber

It’s in the combustion chamber where the fuel mixes with air and gets ignited, generating heat and water vapor, carbon dioxide, carbon soot, and other materials.

A buildup of soot can cause the chamber walls to corrode, significantly reducing the furnace’s lifespan. Scrape out the built-up carbon using a small wire brush, then remove the loose materials using an industrial shop vacuum. You also should inspect the chamber for holes or corrosion before replacing the cover.

Clean or replace the air filter

Due to its work, it’s common for dirt and other materials to adhere to the filter surfaces. The quality of air in the house and the furnace’s effectiveness are highly dependent on the cleanliness of the air filter, so you should ensure that the filter is dirt-free.

If the filter is too dirty or old, consider replacing it.

While at it, check the blower belt for wear and tension. A loose belt will slow the blower, and the furnace won’t heat the house as well as it should. If the belt deflects more than ¾ inch when you press it firmly, adjust it by sliding the motor slightly backward.

Take a look at the flue pipe.

It’s not all about cleaning—you also need to inspect the other furnace areas and fix them. One of the critical areas to pay attention to is the area where the pipe meets the furnace. If there are holes here, patch them with foil tape. If the flues are corroded, replace them.

While at it, adjust the flue pipe’s barometric damper that moderates the chimney draw so that it doesn’t draw in too much air and compromise the furnace’s efficiency.

Replace the oil filter

Do you have an oil-powered system? You need to take a look at the oil filter and replace it if necessary. The oil filter prevents small impurities from clogging the oil-burner nozzle, resulting in misfiring that shuts down the system.

Begin with closing the oil valve, then remove the old filer and replace it. To conserve the environment, ensure that you dispose of the filter according to the local hazardous waste regulations.

Clean the floor vents

This calls for you to remove the floor registers and vacuum out the ducts, which tend to hold a lot of dust, pet hair, food scraps, and small toys.

By removing these items, the furnace will function more efficiently, so heat up the house better. You also will breathe easier and better without any debris in the air.

Adjust the burner air gates

You need to adjust the burner air gates for proper fuel to air ratio. For a properly functioning furnace, the fuel should be brought to the burner before it goes up the chimney.

While at it, replace the oil nozzle that atomizes the fuel before it ignites. Also, check the flame color and the shape of the igniter. If you have a gas system, this is an opportune time to vacuum the burner tubes.

Hire a cleaning professional

While cleaning the furnace by yourself saves you money, it’s quite hectic. If you find it too complex to do the cleaning, simply hire furnace repair service Long Island providers to help you out. For the best outcome, ensure that the professional you hire is certified and experienced in cleaning furnaces similar to yours.

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