So how do you clean a gas furnace?
If you want to keep your system running efficiently, you can use these gas furnace cleaning tips.
Step #1: Gather up your tools
To do the job, you’ll need some essential tools including:
- Ratchet & socket set
- Vacuum preferable a shop vac, but can be any vacuum with an upholstery brush attachment
- Small, stiff-bristled brush
- New furnace filter
- Emery cloth
- Drinking straw
- Lightweight machine oil
Get them all together so you don’t have to keep stopping your work to find the right tools.
Step #2: Turn off the furnace power and gas
This is important to reduce the risk of shocks or gas leaks. First, turn off the furnace power source found in your circuit breaker box. Next, switch the furnace’s electrical power to off. Then, shut off the gas valve with a ¼ turn.
Step #3: Clean the surfaces
Start with the exterior surfaces, wiping them down with a clean damp rag. Next, remove the furnace access door, which usually comes off if you lift it up and out. If you have a burner cover, you’ll have to loosen the screws to remove it. Use a vacuum to clear away dust from the burners and furnace base. Try to get every surface, including the compartment behind the blower door. Just lift it and reach in with the vacuum nozzle. If you notice any soot, or dark dust build-up, stop the job, and give your local gas furnace expert a call. This means there’s something wrong with combustion.
Step #4: Remove and clean the blower
You’ll probably have to unscrew the control panel as it most likely is blocking the blower. Use a socket and ratchet to remove the bolts holding the blower in place. Take the blower out carefully and avoid touching the wiring and counterweights on the fan blades. Gently use the vacuum to remove dust, and if necessary, use a small brush to wipe off anything that the vacuum doesn’t remove. Although you can do this yourself, a professional will make sure that the cleaning removes all the dirt or else the system can be thrown off balance.
Step #5: Clean the pilot or hot surface igniter
Use the straw to gently blow dust off the pilot light to make sure your readings are accurate. If your furnace is a newer model, it might have a hot surface igniter instead. If so, don’t touch it. You can still use the straw to blow off dust.
Step #6: Clean the flame sensor
The flame sensor is in a bracket. Pull it out and use your emery cloth to clean it to help ensure your furnace lights properly. Slide it back into place.
Step #6: Inspect the drive belt
Look for signs of cracking or fraying on the drive belt. If it seems damaged, you can purchase a new one and replace it. When you make a replacement it should be tensioned to deflect ½-3/4-inch.
Step #7: Lightly lubricate
Remove the oil caps and clean them and then use no more than 2 to 3 drops of lubricating oil on the two blower motor and shaft bearings.
Step #8: Replace the air filter
Remove the oil furnace filter and replace it. This should actually be done every three months. Always choose a filter based on manufacturer recommendations or else you might strain the blower motor.
Step #9: Activate the burners
Once complete you can turn everything back on. To activate the burners turn up your thermostat and then make sure the burner flames are even and blue. If the flames are yellow, you have dirty burners. This is a problem and needs a professional maintenance person to come in and clean and adjust them.
Step #10: Adjust the dampers
Last but not least, if you have a heating and cooling system, you have to adjust the dampers for seasonal settings.
Find Long-Term Solutions
If this seems like a lot of work, it might make more sense to schedule a gas furnace maintenance call. This is where we come in. As your Dracut gas furnace experts, the team at Dracut can provide gas furnace maintenance, repairs, and replacement so you stay toasty warm all winter long! Give us a call today!
I am proud of the skills and knowledge I have gained during my 15 years working Plumbing and HVAC. I started as an apprentice, assigned to do basic tasks like carrying tools and materials, drilling holes and digging trenches. I was hungry to learn and expand my career opportunities, so I enrolled in an after-school training program for both my HVAC training and Journeyman license. I loved learning about both trades and felt like I was finally on the right track. When I passed my Journeyman Plumbing exam, I started to do side jobs which allowed me to experience the business owner side of things. This completely changed my perspective on my career and drove me to continue to pursue owning my own Plumbing & HVAC business. I continued my training and earned my Master’s license. With the support of my amazing wife, I started my own business SDP Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in 2016. Three years later, we rebranded the company as New Era Plumbing & HVAC. I could not be more proud of my career path and my company. Our core values are: Faith, Family, Empathy, Giving, Service and Quality. I train our team on adhering to these every day. We love taking care of our customers and are proud to serve our community.