Furnaces require regular maintenance to keep them working at optimal efficiency. Cleaning is a crucial part of furnace maintenance because dust and dirt buildup can inhibit the performance of your furnace and makes potentially dangerous overheating more likely. Discover four parts of your furnace that need regular cleaning and maintenance.
1. Furnace Filter
The air filter is your furnace’s first line of defense against dust, dirt, hair, pet dander, and other airborne contaminants. Running your HVAC system with a dirty filter increases the strain on your furnace and can shorten its life.
Cleaning the furnace filter is one simple HVAC maintenance task that any homeowner can accomplish. Clean or replace your furnace filter at least once per month, depending on the type you have.
While a standard disposable filter does a good job at protecting your furnace from dust, an advanced air filter with a higher MERV rating can provide even greater results and may reduce asthma and allergy symptoms. Your options include polyester filters, pleated filters, and washable electrostatic filters that use statically charged particles to draw pollutants out of the air.
2. Flue Pipe
Just as you shouldn’t neglect regular chimney sweeping for your fireplace, you should commit to annual flue pipe cleaning to keep your furnace running safely. Neglecting to clean the flue pipe allows combustion byproducts like scale and soot to collect on the inner walls of the pipe until a clog forms.
Obstructions in the flue pipe can cause harmful gases from your furnace to backdraft into your home. In addition to clogs forming inside the pipe, other problems can occasionally arise such as a stuck flue cap. Birds and other small animals will sometimes attempt to build nests in the opening of the pipe. A professional furnace flue cleaning ensures that your furnace has the ventilation it needs to operate safely.
Soot and grime from combustion also gather up directly on the furnace burners over time. This is to be expected since the burners are where the gas and air mixture ignites inside your furnace. Clogs in the burners can prevent the gas from igniting, which means your home won’t receive any heat from the furnace until the burners are clean.
Since furnace burners are usually cleaned with every furnace tune-up, they usually have a removable metal bracket so that your HVAC technician can service them easily. After turning off the power and gas to your furnace, your technician may remove the burners and clean them with compressed air or by wiping them down with a damp rag.
4. Blower Assembly
If the burners are the heart of your furnace, the blower motor is the lungs. The blower motor and fan are in a large assembly inside your furnace, and these powerful components are responsible for pushing air throughout your entire home. An HVAC technician can remove the blower assembly for cleaning by disconnecting it from the flue pipe connector and furnace circuit board and removing the bolts that hold it in place.
Seemingly small amounts of dust on the blower fan blades can cause a marked reduction in the total volume of air that the fan can move. Cleaning the blower can greatly improve the energy efficiency of your furnace and prevent overheating in the blower motor.
Furnace cleaning and maintenance is an invaluable service for the homeowner who wants to get the longest life and highest performance from their furnace. This may seem like a daunting task when you break it down, but fortunately, you can leave it to the pros. Call us today at Steele Brothers Heating, Inc., so we can keep your furnace running at its full potential.