Cleaning your furnace and heat pump annually isn’t just a good idea. It is a must if you want your unit to function properly and last a long time. The last thing you want is for your furnace or HVAC system to shut down on you in the middle of the coldest part of winter.
Your heat pump or furnace works hard to distribute heat through your home. With time, debris, dust, and dirt can clog up the filters. This debris can get into your furnace and accumulate on the burners, fans, and sensors. This is going to impact your system negatively.
During the professional annual cleaning, Summit Heating & AC technicians can inspect and adjust parts in your furnace and identify issues, like clogged ducts, cracked heat exchangers, and other things that could impact the efficiency of your furnace or lead to carbon monoxide entering your home.
The following are some things that you can do to keep your furnace and heat pump functional. Let’s start by talking about your furnace.
How Frequently Should Your Furnace Be Cleaned?
At a minimum, your gas furnace should be cleaned every year. The best time to clean it is right before winter starts. However, if your schedule does not allow you to have your furnace cleaned before winter starts, it is never too late to get rid of the dust and grime that has been collected in the system.
During the winter months, your furnace is going to get dirtier faster. This is because you and your family are going to spend more time in your home. The air in your home is constantly recirculating.
One sign that your furnace may need to be cleaned is seeing excess dust in your home. If your family has breathing problems, such as increased allergies, asthma, or respiratory issues, this could be an indication that your furnace is dirty, which will expose your family to more respiratory triggers.
Your furnace is designed to produce some noise as it operates. However, excessive noise, like banging, especially when the furnace starts up, could indicate that the burners are dirty. This leads to delayed combustion.
Finally, you can trust your eyes. If you see a collection of dust and other debris in your furnace, it is dirty and needs to be cleaned. The following are some steps you can follow for cleaning a fuel-based furnace.
Steps to Follow When Cleaning a Gas Furnace
The easiest way for you to have your gas furnace cleaned every year is to reach out to the HVAC professionals at Summit Heating & AC. We will have your furnace clean and operating well in no time.
However, if you notice that your system is constantly getting dirty and you are the type of proactive homeowner who loves to do maintenance, you can do some simple cleaning projects on your own. If anywhere along the process you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
First, cut the power. You don’t want to try to clean a furnace that is connected to gas or electricity. Power down the electrical supply to the furnace by finding the breaker that corresponds to your furnace’s electrical box. Once the system is powered down, there should not be any working lights within the unit. Find the gas valve for your furnace. Turn it so that it is perpendicular to the pipe. This should stop the flow of gas to your system.
Next, change your furnace filter. The filter should be one of the first things you see when you open the compartment to your furnace. Examine the condition of the filter. If it is dirty or you can’t see through it when you hold it up to the light, it’s time to clean or change it.
Attack the blower unit. The blower unit is what pushes the air into your home. You may need to remove the metal access panel to access the blower chamber. Use a soft brush to remove any dirt from the fan blades and clean the blower. You can use a soft-bristled paintbrush to clean the blower motor. Use your vacuum to clean up any dislodged debris or dirt. Once the cleaning is done, replace the blower components in the reverse order that you disassembled them.
Finally, you can clean the combustion compartment. With time, soot can form in this area, corroding components inside your furnace. That is why the combustion chamber needs to be carefully cleaned. You can use a bristled paintbrush to clean the combustion chamber. Once you have dusted off the components, including the flame sensor, surface igniter, and pilot light, vacuum out the combustion chamber to get rid of any leftover dirt and soot. Replace the access panel to the combustion chamber. Turn on the gas flow and the power.
As you can see, some of these steps require you to disassemble your furnace to access its interior parts. If you’re not comfortable with this, it’s best to leave the work to HVAC professionals.
Clean Your Heat Pump
In the same way that cleaning your furnace improves efficiency, cleaning your heat pump makes it work more efficiently. The first step is to shut off the power to both the inside and outside units. This is done by flipping the shut-off switch in the breaker panel.
Use gloves, goggles, and a safety mask. Remove the cover and filter. There are usually small screws or a pullout tab to access these accessories.
It can be a little tricky to get the filter out because each model comes apart differently. If your unit is a few years old, the clips and covers might be brittle. Be careful so that you don’t break them.
Any exposed electric circuits should be covered with tape or plastic wrap. You can use a multimeter or current tester to ensure that there is no power to the machine.
Place a drop sheet down to protect the walls and floors from getting wet. Use an antibacterial non-ascetic cleaner to spray the coils. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and then gently power wash the coils.
Use a flashlight to inspect the blower wheel. If you see dirt buildup or mold, use the sprayer to clean it. If you have the technical know-how, remove the blower fan and clean it before reattaching it.
Wash screens, filters, covers, and louvers by hand. Let all of the washed pieces dry before reassembling the unit. Turn on the power. Test the unit to ensure that it is functioning properly.
We Would Be Honored to Serve You
As you can see, cleaning your heat pump and HVAC unit is time-consuming and can be complicated. That is why we recommend having our HVAC professionals do the cleaning for you. That way, you will know your unit is clean, and nothing will be damaged during the cleaning process.
For more than two decades, Summit Heating & AC has served as dependable plumbing, air conditioning, and heating specialists in Denver. Whether you need leak detection, pipe repair, heating and AC services, or even plumbing services, contact Summit Heating & AC today. We look forward to serving you.