You depend on your furnace to keep your home warm throughout the winter, but it often goes neglected. Being it is in the basement or in a utility closet of some kind, it’s easy to forget about it until something goes wrong.
Unfortunately, that neglect can cause significant problems. One of the easiest things you can do is keep your furnace clean. Let’s explore why this is important and how you can easily keep your unit clean.
Why Do You Need a Clean Furnace?
Most people know it’s important to keep their home clean, but they might not realize that the state of the home can affect that of the furnace. When it comes to your furnace, keeping both your unit and your home clean will help minimize repairs and improve efficiency.
A furnace works by circulating air. It draws air in through the intake vents. That air is then warmed and then pushed back out into the home.
If there’s a restriction to the airflow anywhere in that system, it reduces its ability to circulate warm air properly. Most restrictions are caused by clogs in the system from dirt, dust, and other airborne contaminants that build up over time. The better you clean things, the better your furnace will end up running.
Any restrictions in the system will cause extra strain on the entire system. You may first notice it because of less air coming through vents. This means that the circulating fan is working harder to move the air. Consequently, this means all of the electrical components are also experiencing more resistance, increasing the heat they create. That extra heat makes them wear out more quickly. All of this is because of an airflow restriction.
Here are the three easiest ways to keep your unit clean throughout the year.
1. Change Your Air Filters
Just inside the intake side of your furnace is your air filter. This helps reduce the number of contaminants entering the more sensitive areas of the furnace. This is the most common area to experience a clog and cause a restriction.
Air filters typically need to be replaced every 60 to 90 days. The kind of air filter you use and how clean you keep your home otherwise will determine how often you should actually change them.
As a matter of practice, plan to check your filters once a month. This ensures you know when they’re starting to get clogged and can get them replaced. When you do check them, consider gently vacuuming the intake side of the filter. This will help extend the life of your filter.
2. Vacuum All Accessible Areas
Next, vacuum all the accessible areas of the furnace. When you do, be sure you turn off the power to the furnace, so it doesn’t turn on while you’re cleaning it.
The easy areas to clean are right around the furnace itself. You probably don’t need to scrub this with any sort of cleaner. However, vacuuming or sweeping it thoroughly is a definite must.
Also, be sure to clean around all of your registers, especially around your intake vent. This will help your filters last longer and will also reduce the contaminants in your ducts. The fewer contaminants in your air ducts, the fewer issues you’ll run into with respiratory problems, so there’s an added bonus.
Finally, if there’s a faceplate on your furnace, remove that so you can see the circulating fan. You want to vacuum this fan off regularly. If you plan to do it when you replace your furnace filters, that should be sufficient. While in this area, vacuum any additional dust or dirt you see that’s collected.
3. Schedule a Fall Maintenance Visit
Fall maintenance visits are always a good way to keep your furnace clean as well. During these visits, a technician will clean some of the more sensitive areas, including the burners and the heat exchanger. In addition to cleaning, they’ll inspect and test your system to ensure there are no early signs of wear. If they do find that something needs to be replaced or needs more servicing, then it allows you to plan for it rather than deal with it in an emergency.
North Point Air Conditioning & Heating has been the trusted provider for heating and cooling in North Harris and Montgomery counties since 1978. Our team is expertly trained and experienced in all makes and models of air conditioners and heating systems. Whether you need repairs, a new system installed, or regular maintenance to keep your system working efficiently, call us to schedule your appointment with one of our expert technicians today.