A home furnace must be maintained or it will not perform its best. While many people pay a professional to clean their furnace, this task is something they can do themselves with a few tools. A furnace should be cleaned twice per year to prevent dust and debris buildup and provide years of use.
You will need:
Step 1: Turn off the circuit breaker that provides the furnace with power. Locate the safety panel on the front of your furnace and remove it. If the furnace is powered by gas or oil, shut off the pilot light or fuel supply as an extra safety measure.
Step 2: Remove the front panel and vacuum the interior of the furnace, using the hose attachment on the vacuum cleaner. While vacuuming, take care to leave wiring undisturbed. Use the toothbrush to remove grime or dust buildup and give the area another vacuuming.
Step 3: Use the manufacturer guide to identify the blower assembly. Clean this area with the toothbrush, cotton swabs, and toothpicks. When removing surface buildup, do not forget the blower fins. Some furnace s have a cover on the blower. You must remove this to access the fan and fins. Clean up loose debris with the vacuum.
Step 4: Use a dry scrub brush to clean all vents.
Step 5: Remove the filter and replace it, if necessary. If the filter is permanent, remove it, vacuum it, and use a scrub brush to remove buildup. Blow the dust with an air compressor or vacuum the filter again. Replace a disposable filter at least annually.
Step 6: Reassemble your furnace by replacing the filter and safety cover but leaving off the front panel. Inspect this area to identify any worn or melted wiring, corrosion, and loose connections. If the area looks ok, replace the front panel, reconnect the fuel and power supplies, and turn the unit on.
Step 7: Let your furnace run for several minutes and identify any unusual sounds or smells. Dust disturbed during cleaning will make a crackling sound, which should be temporary. If you smell burning electrical wiring, oil, or gas, shut off your furnace immediately, turn off its fuel supply, and call a professional.