9 Steps to Follow When Cleaning a Furnace or Heat Pump

Furnace Cleaning in San Antonio, TX

Cleaning the furnace is a significant component of a home maintenance project. A dirty furnace or heat pump is less effective and consumes a lot of energy. Cleaning it well lengthens its lifespan, prevents regular costly repairs, and lowers the utility bill. Here are the steps to follow when cleaning the heating and cooling system of a residential or commercial property.

1. Shut Down the Heating and Cooling System

Always ensure that the fuel system and electrical power are off before you start cleaning your furnace. Failure to turn them off can lead to electrocution and serious injuries. You can find the red power switchplate near the burner or on the cellar stairs. The fuel shutoff valve is near the incoming gas pipe or oil tank.

2. Clean the Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber is likely to accumulate a lot of dirt because it provides a space for the fuel to mix with adequate air and ignite to generate heat. This process also leads to the excretion of carbon dioxide, soot, and water vapor that can corrode the chamber walls if they build up. Use a small wire brush to scrape the dirt or an industrial shop vacuum to remove the loose material.

3. Inspect the Flue Pipe

The next step when cleaning the furnace is to check whether the flue pipe is in excellent condition. Carbon monoxide can leak into the house if this pipe has holes, particularly where it meets the furnace. Patch small holes with foil tape and replace corroded flues. You should also consider adjusting the pipe’s barometer damper to control the chimney draw.

4. Replace the Oil Filter

The oil filter’s role is to prevent impurities from blocking the oil-burner nozzle. The entire system can shut down if such clogging occurs. Start by closing the oil valve and removing the old dirty filter. Replace it with a clean one.

5. Clean the Blower or Fan Unit

Fans are usually connected to the system with a track of wires. Slide it out carefully and ensure that you check the exact position of each wire to make it easier to reassemble it after cleaning. Use a soft and wet cloth and mild soap to clean the fan blades. Additionally, clean the space between these blades. Alternatively, you can use a toothbrush.

6. Change the Air Filter

All of the air entering the house or commercial building during winter passes through the furnace’s air filter. Homeowners should consider changing it at least once a year. The HVAC technician should check whether the blower belt has the right tension to move heated air to the room vents. If it is loose, you can tighten it by sliding the electric motor slightly backward.

7. Adjust the Burner and Assess Its Efficiency

The burner allows air and fuel to combust before going up the chimney. A furnace cannot function effectively if the proportion of fuel to air isn’t correct. Most technicians use a combustion analyzer to calculate the efficiency of this system. If the burner is ineffective, they switch the oil nozzle to ensure stable combustion. If you are using a gas system, you can vacuum clean the burner tubes.

8. Clean the Evaporator Coil

This coil is a significant component of the heat pump or the air conditioning system in your house. For example, it maintains efficient heating and cooling and ensures energy efficiency in the property. Remove the access panel from the furnace coil cabinet and use a wet cloth to wipe off any dirt or buildup. Alternatively, you can apply a coil cleaner spray and gently brush off the debris.

9. Clean the Floor Vents

When cleaning the furnace, always ensure that you remove the floor registers and clean all the ducts using a vacuum cleaner. These vents sometimes attract dust, food scraps, and pet hair. These materials reduce the efficiency of the entire HVAC system, deteriorate the air quality, and increase the heat in the house.

Cleaning the furnace or heat pump increases the reliability and efficiency of the comfort system in your home or commercial property. This process is not complicated. However, hiring experienced professional services prevents potential damage, especially on the internal components of the appliance. Our trained HVAC professionals at Rosenberg Plumbing & Air offer exceptional, reliable, and high-quality air conditioning services that meet our customer’s needs. We serve San Antonio and its surrounding areas. Contact us today and get the job done.