How to Clean a Furnace? | Tools and Materials for Cleaning a Furnace

Are you looking for an informative guide that can help with cleaning and maintaining a furnace? If yes, then this blog is perfect for you! Known as the powerhouse of the HVAC system, furnace care, and maintenance is essential to extend their functionality and overall health in the long run. Hiring trained HVAC specialists can help with annual servicing to maintain your furnace’s running efficiency.

Make sure it is well-cleaned and free of obstruction at the start of each chilly season. But cleaning semi-annually will help prevent future problems and keep your furnace in working condition. Regular cleaning is advisable in almost every furnace usage. With a step-by-step guide, furnace cleaning will be easily possible.

Before you begin reading about furnace maintenance and care, you should know your furnace’s three essential components. This can be affected by the availability of dirt, and these parts are the blower, filter, and heat exchanger. Individual cleaning of each part helps the furnace to last longer and operate smoothly without any hindrance.

How Often Should You Clean Your Furnace?

It is recommended that furnaces be cleaned and inspected at least once a year. Ideally, this should be done in the fall, before the heating season begins. Regular furnace maintenance can help improve the efficiency of the system, prevent breakdowns, and extend the lifespan of the equipment.

It is important to have a qualified HVAC technician perform the cleaning and inspection to ensure that the job is done properly and safely.

What Are The Tools and Materials Required For Furnace Cleaning?

Here is the list of tools you will require to effectively clean your furnace at home.

• Toothpicks
• Scrub brushes
• Toothbrush
• Vacuum
• Replacement filters for disposable filters
• Rags
• Damp cloth
• Screwdriver
• Strap wrench

Other specific equipment and material may be needed based on the design of the furnace. Using the right tool makes cleaning tasks more comfortable and better. That’s it for this Section; now let’s see the important thing: how to clean a furnace? Keep reading.

Step-by-Step Guide on How To Clean a Furnace:

As said earlier, there are three major parts of the furnace, and cleaning each of them is a must. Each part has particular and different maintenance and cleaning steps.

Therefore, you must know how to effectively clean each of these components if you are eager to prevent costly repairs and extend the life of your appliance.

Step 1- Disconnect the furnace’s power supply

First of all, you need to disconnect the power source to the equipment in order to perform the cleaning process. Turning off is crucial to avoid electric shocks or any other unwanted danger. To disconnect the electric supply, you have two different ways.

All you need to turn off the switch typically found near or on the equipment. You simply flip the power button to the off position.

Or, you’ll need to find the circuit breaker that operates the furnace. In most scenarios, the circuit breaker is located on the circuit breaker box. To disconnect it, just flip the switch off.

Safety tip: Confirm that the power supply is disconnected by starting the furnace. If it does not start, it means that the power supply is off properly.

Step 2- Take off the furnace Cover

Step 3- Gently lift out the fan unit

Step 4- Clean the internal compartment of the Furnace

Step 5- Wash Fan Blades and Wipe off the blow motor

If required, you can take off the fan blades and blower motor for overall cleaning. To do this, you need to inspect the screws and clips that keep on holding these parts in place.

Step 6- Replace or Clean the Furnace Filter

The furnace’s filter can collect debris, loose dust, or other particles. If not cleaned for a long time, the filter can become clogged or dirty, slowing down the furnace’s efficiency and reducing airflow.
In most furnaces, the filter will come out easily. To do so, you need to remove the filters from the tracks. Avoid forcefully removing as it can damage the filter and tracks. If the removal is hassle-free, straight away it takes to cleaning. But you should ensure that the filter is damaged or not. If you find damage, replacing is the best option instead of cleaning. To clean the filter, follow the steps below:

Important Note: You are advised to replace or clean the furnace filter at least once every three months. The replacement or cleaning period will be shorter if you live in a dirty environment or have pets.

Step 7- Inspect Air ducts for clogs and dirt

The air duct of the furnace plays a crucial role in spreading warm air over your home all around. With prolonged use, these ducts can become clogged or blocked with dust or debris, thus affecting the overall efficiency of the furnace.

An HVAC specialist is trained to perform a thorough cleaning to eliminate obstructions. Additionally, they are able to improve the efficiency of the airflow of the furnace. As a suggestion, you need to inspect and clean air ducts for at least three to five years. Doing so will help improve the air quality of your property and ensure proper airflow.

Other cleaning and maintenance tips:

Clean the burners

If you find rust and grime on the burner, you’ll need a stiff-bristled brush to clean it thoroughly. After this, blow the burner vestibule area with the help of pressurized or nitrogen gas.

Inspect the flame sensor

Residue can often build up on the surface of the flame sensor, preventing your appliance from lighting up. In this case, you need to put the flame sensor out of its position. After this, gently clean its surface with a clean cloth. Position it back, and you’re good to go.

Lubricate the motor bearings

To do so, use a clean cloth or tissue to clean the caps on the bearings. Take it off and add some drops of equipment oil. Avoid pouring excessive oil. Put the lids back in their position when you’re done. Also, don’t forget to Inspect for gas leakages.

Final Words:

In a nutshell, the cleaning procedure takes minimal effort, and a few minutes will make the furnace as new as before. In addition, it will keep your furnace working at its maximum level. Always keep in mind that the DIY furnace cleaning process can save you thousands of bucks and time by cutting costs on energy bills, increasing the maximum efficiency of the equipment, and eliminating the possibility of facing costly repairs.

Video On How To Clean A Furnace


Can I clean my furnace myself, or do I need a professional?

It is recommended to have a professional HVAC technician clean your furnace. They have the experience and equipment necessary to perform a thorough cleaning and inspection, and can also identify any potential problems with the system.

What does a furnace cleaning involve?

A furnace cleaning typically involves cleaning the blower motor, fan blades, and air filter, as well as inspecting the heat exchanger, burners, and other components. The technician may also perform a carbon monoxide test to ensure that the furnace is operating safely.

How often should I have my furnace cleaned?

It is recommended to have your furnace cleaned and inspected at least once a year, preferably before the heating season begins.

Can I clean the air filter myself?

Yes, you can clean the air filter yourself. Simply remove the filter and gently clean it with a soft brush or vacuum cleaner. However, if the filter is very dirty or damaged, it may need to be replaced.

What can I do to keep my furnace clean between professional cleanings?

To keep your furnace clean between professional cleanings, make sure to regularly replace the air filter and keep the area around the furnace clean and free of debris. You can also schedule regular maintenance with a professional HVAC technician to ensure that your furnace stays clean and efficient.