Cleaning a Furnace: A Step-by Step Guide

Like with any machine that exists in this world, a furnace needs to be cleaned and maintained. If it’s not cleaned, it leaves itself open to a number of issues, from malfunctions, to safety hazards, and more.

But how exactly do you clean a furnace? 

While it’s ideal to call in a professional, you can conceivably get the job done on your own. If you’re interested in cleaning your own furnace, this guide will show you the way.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be cleaning a furnace the right way.

  1. Make Sure the Furnace is Off

It’s vital that, before you try to do any cleaning, you turn your furnace off entirely. Trying to clean a furnace which is still running can not only be detrimental to the furnace itself, but to your health as well.

Those with an electric furnace can typically turn it off by just flipping a switch on the outside of the furnace.

If you’ve got a gas furnace, you’ll have to cut off the gas flow into the furnace. This can typically be done by twisting a few valve knobs.  

  1. Clear Out Internal Residue

Over time, the inside of a furnace will become inundated with dust and other residue. In order for the furnace to work at its optimal level, this residue must be neutralized.

In most furnaces, you can access the interior by unscrewing a panel on its exterior.

Once this panel has been removed, you can use a vacuum to literally suck out existing dust and grime. Try your best to reach every nook and cranny of the interior. The more dust you remove, the smoother it will run.

  1. Clean the Ducts

In addition to cleaning the internal components of your furnace, you also need to clear out the ducts which connect your furnace to your HVAC system.

This is a process which requires a decent amount of unscrewing and maneuvering. The goal is to loosen up dust and let the air of the HVAC system blow it out of the ducts. A detailed list of instructions can be found here.

  1. Change the Filter

After you’ve cleaned your ducts, you can get the easy part out of the way: changing the filter in your furnace. In most furnaces, you can remove your filter simply by grabbing its end and pulling it directly out of its designed slot.

At the very most, you’ll have to loosen a few screws and attachments. It’s a very simple process which, in and of itself, can do a lot to clean up your furnace.

Though you can sometimes clean up your existing filter and reuse it, you’re usually better off replacing it with a new filter.

  1. Make Sure it’s Running Properly

Replacing the filter is the last step of cleaning a furnace. Once this has been done, you can fire the furnace up and make sure that it’s running the way it’s supposed to.

After the furnace is turned on, listen closely for scraping and bumping sounds. These sounds could be indicative of loose components which could cause some damage if left unattended.

If there are no noises present, you’ve successfully cleaned your furnace.

Need Help Cleaning a Furnace?

Do you need help cleaning a furnace in your Chicago home or office? Would you rather put the task in the hands of professionals? If so, we here at Lakeview Cooling are the people to call.

We have years of experience in the process of cleaning and maintaining furnaces and can ensure a quick and professional job.

Contact us with any questions!