Many homeowner’s today looking to save money can start by learning how to clean a gas furnace. Many homes have a gas furnace, and keeping it clean improves its efficiency and life span. It is easy to learn, and with step by step guide it is even easier.
To clean a gas furnace, you must first safely shut it off. Find the main power switch, and turn it to the off position. If desired, for extra safety, you can shut off the gas valve serving the furnace. Please note: if you shut off the gas, you may need to relight the pilot light. Older style furnaces have a pilot light that stays lit all the time- called a “standing pilot”. Modern furnaces have electronic devices that light the pilot, or the burners automatically, and do not require manual re-lighting.
Once the furnace is shut off, remove the panels. Use a vacuum with extension tool to clean dust, dirt and cobwebs from surfaces. Being careful not to bump or damage control parts and wiring. Locate the furnace filter and see if it has signs of excessive dirt. Most filters are white or bluish in color. If the filter looks gray, brownish, or is full of pet fur (if you have pets), purchase a new filter from a local hardware store and replace it. Be sure to get the same size, and note the direction of airflow. The arrow on the filter should point towards the furnace fan.
Also note: some furnace have washable filters. They usually are made of a plastic or sometime aluminum frame. Wash the dirt off, by spraying water through the filter. Spray through the filter opposite of the airflow. Look inside burner area, and down burner tubes. Check for excessive rust, soot (ash) or corrosion. If you see any, have furnace inspected by qualified professional to ensure the furnace has no blockage or holes in the heat exchanger that could result in carbon monoxide leaks.
Put panels back on, turn furnace back on. Set thermostat to call for heat, and verify furnace is still operating properly. Set thermostat back.