Your furnace lasts longer and needs fewer repairs when it's cleaned out regularly. Having the furnace cleaned before the heating season begins is the best option, but it can be done at any time. The furnace has to be shut off during the process, so cleaning and servicing it when the weather isn't too cold is probably a good idea. However, if a dirty furnace is not functioning properly, then it's better to call a technician for service right away rather than wait for warmer weather. Here are some parts of the furnace that need to be kept clean so it operates efficiently.
The Outside and Surrounding Area
The area around the furnace should be kept clean and free of dust. You can do this maintenance yourself with regular dusting and cleaning of the floor. This helps keep dust out of the furnace, which is important since dust and dirt can cause the furnace to malfunction. You can dust off the furnace itself and even use the wand of a vacuum to keep it clean, but you shouldn't remove the inner panel of the furnace for safety reasons. A trained technician will take the panel off and clean the inside of your furnace so your warranty isn't voided.
The Blower Parts
Air passes through the blower and deposits dust and grit on the blower parts such as the blades and belt. The blower will probably need to be removed from the furnace so it can be cleaned properly. This might entail cleaning grime off of the blades and brushing dust off the cage and belt. This area can also be cleaned with a vacuum to remove dust and debris that is knocked loose by brushing. Keeping the blower motor and fan clean is important; otherwise, your furnace may struggle to operate, overheat, and then malfunction. This problem causes your home to be chilly even though the furnace runs frequently.
The Ignition and Combustion Area
If you have a gas furnace, the combustion chamber may need to be brushed out to remove soot. Brushing and vacuuming get rid of soot and grime in this area, but when it comes to dusting the ignition system, it's better to blow off the dust rather than wipe it off. The burners are located here too, and these should be cleaned and checked for proper operation so you know the ignition and combustion systems are ready for efficient operation during a long, cold stretch of weather.
Another important part of furnace cleaning is to replace the filter. This is a job you can do yourself. The filter is the first defense against dust, so it should always be clean and operating efficiently. When you call in a technician to clean your furnace, many of the internal parts can be checked at the same time, since the furnace is taken apart to be cleaned. This is the perfect time to replace worn parts and add lubrication to ensure your furnace is in good shape and has a long life.
Call a residential furnace cleaning service for more information.