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5 Tips on How to Clean Your Furnace

5 Tips on How to Clean Your Furnace

Published by Programme B

The quality of the air in your home is not just a function of your furnace air filter. Cleaning the air ducts and the furnace is an integral part of any home maintenance and, in some cases, should be done as soon as possible. Some maintenance tasks however should be performed by professionals only. For instance, dosing pots are used for chemical dosing of sealed heating and chilled water systems with chemical additives to avoid corrosion of pipes and components. This is carried out by HVAC and mechanical services.

here are a few reasons why after a furnace installation, its repair and maintenance are important:


Home Improvements

Home renovations, big or small, inevitably bring their share of dust and debris. Supply and return air vents should be sealed before renovations begin, and the heating and air conditioning system turned off. However, this is not always feasible, especially if you live in your home while construction is progressing. However, if dust and debris enter the vents, they can continue to circulate through the air and settle on surfaces all over your home. In turn, this can damage your HVAC equipment and affect indoor air quality.


Excessive dust

If excessive dust or debris collects near or even comes out of vents in your home, you should have your ductwork cleaned. There is certainly more of it in your ductwork and HVAC equipment. This one of the most common reason for furnace breakdowns. If you want to avoid repairing the furnace, change filters every 3 months.



If you’ve been having trouble with insect or vermin infestation in your home, chances are they’ve left traces of their presence in your ducts. It is recommended that you have your air ducts and furnace cleaned once this infestation has been successfully controlled.



If you have experienced excessive moisture issues or flooding in your home, our installers can look for signs of decay in your ductwork. Thorough cleaning of the air ducts and the furnace may include a disinfectant treatment to eliminate individual molds if necessary. However, it can mean a much bigger problem that will need to be addressed by a mold removal specialist. If you or a family member have allergies to mold, cleaning your furnace will positively improve your health.


Here is what you have to know about furnace cleaning:



First, there are different types of filters for residential applications: disposable, washable, and electronic. In terms of disposable filters, several choices are also offered.

Heaters require filters that must be installed on the outside of the appliance enclosure. Do NOT attempt to install filters inside the furnace box.

In some installations, the air filter is in a bracket attached to the heater casing or housed in the return air duct. If the filter’s location or the replacement process is not apparent, contact your installer or service technician for assistance. Replace the disposable filters with new filters of the same size. You can now use washable filters as a replacement for disposable filters.

The following items should be visually inspected each time the filters are changed:

Check that the ventilation and combustion air pipes are not blocked and do not show any leaks.

Check that all components are in good condition and that they show no apparent signs of deterioration.

Check the drain lines for cracks or leaks.

Check for dirt, dust, and lint on all surfaces and components. Don’t try to clean them. A qualified service technician should perform the cleaning of the heater and its members.

During the inspection of your furnace, if you observe any of the following:

An excessive amount of dirt, dust, and lint on the components.

Damaged or deteriorated surfaces or components.

Leaks or obstructions in the air passages in the ventilation pipe.

Any wet surface inside or outside the heater.

Do not operate the heater. Contact an authorized dealer or maintenance contractor to inspect or clean the unit, or for more information to answer your questions regarding the operation of your heater.

If all components appear to be in good working order, replace the front panels. Restore the gas and power supplies to the furnace, and set the thermostat to the desired temperature.



It is essential to shut down your system before doing any maintenance or replacing filters.

Disposable filters should be replaced as needed depending on your use of your ventilation system. Replace the disposable filters with new filters of the same size. You can now use washable filters as a replacement for disposable filters. High velocity (washable) filters can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or rinsed with a water jet. Be sure to shake the filters to remove excess water and dry thoroughly before putting them back in place. If you own a system with an electronic filter, refer to the owner’s manual to perform the required maintenance.



Even if the correct filters are used and installed correctly, the impellers and fan motors will become charged with dust after several months of operation. The entire fan assembly should be inspected annually.

NOTE: If the blower fan panel is removed, the power to the heater will be automatically cut off by the spring-loaded safety switch (in some cases), installed below the lower level. As a safety measure, turn off all electrical and gas supply to the heater before servicing.


The motors of new heaters are permanently lubricated and do not require periodic lubrication.


If your furnace is not functioning correctly, the following should be visually checked before contacting your contractor, or retailer:

  • Check that the power supply to the device is turned on.
  • Make sure the manual shutoff valves on the gas supply line are open.
  • Make sure the gas valve on / off switch is in the on position.
  • Make sure that the generator fan access panel/door is positioned correctly. The power supply will be cut off if the panel/door is removed (in some cases).
  • Check if the circuit breaker or fuse is in working order in the electrical panel.



Once a year or at the start of each heating season, the heater should be cleaned and adjusted to be performed by an authorized dealer or qualified service contractor. The following items should be cleaned and maintained, or replaced if they show signs of deterioration.

  1. The termination of the vent.
  2. The ventilation air and combustion air intake passages of the heater. In the event that it becomes necessary to service these air intake systems, the manufacturer recommends that this service be performed by a qualified service center. Operation of this device requires reassembly of the air intake systems and new gaskets.
  3. The burners, igniter and flame detector of the heater.
  4. Condensate collection and drain systems. If it is necessary to disassemble components containing exhaust or vent gases, maintenance should be performed by a qualified service center.
  5. Assembly of the exchanger.
  6. Air induction motor assembly.

Keep in mind that it is always best to contact an HVAC company to maintain your furnace and keep it working perfectly for many years.

Photo by Matilda Wormwood from Pexels