The best way to keep your gas furnace running efficiently is to have it serviced annually by trained HVAC professionals. You want to have it cleaned at the start of each heating session. An additional cleaning halfway through the year will keep your furnace working at peak levels and prevent problems.
Cleaning the furnace is not complicated. It provides benefits related to the reliability and long-term efficiency of your unit. You can take the first step by periodically replacing your air filter per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Homeowners can perform some basic external cleaning and minor internal cleaning. However, more detailed cleaning, such as cleaning the blower and flame sensor, requires a professional to do the job.
Cleaning Your Furnace
Having a basic understanding of how to clean your furnace is important because you want to keep the inside of your furnace free of debris as you try to enhance its performance. For example, if dirt builds up on the heat exchanger or the burners, this will minimize your furnace’s ability to heat your home correctly.
A dirty blower will increase your furnace’s load. This will cause greater wear and tear on different components. All these things can force your furnace to work harder, reduce its expected longevity and cost a lot of money to fix.
Before attempting to clean your furnace, it is good to turn off the unit’s power and disconnect the gas. Once this is done, you can remove cabinet doors and start some light cleaning like dust removal using a damp cloth, vacuum or small brush.
Cleaning the Furnace Blower
If you clean the blower, you will improve heat performance and the performance of your air conditioning system. Both your AC and your furnace use the same blower to circulate air through your home.
Our HVAC professionals at Galbreath & Sons, Inc. may start by disassembling the blower to get better access to clean and inspect the unit. Cleaning the blower assembly improves airflow and the efficiency of the motor while reducing the risk of your motor failing prematurely. Replacing the motor is expensive. It’s best to keep it clean so that it will work as long as it can.
Cleaning the Furnace Flame Sensor
The furnace flame sensor is vital for the safe operation of your furnace. It is connected to the burner assembly and looks like a small metal rod. The flame sensor’s job is to identify the presence of the flame when the gas is on. If no flame is detected, it will shut the gas off.
A dirty flame sensor can impact the operation of your furnace. An HVAC technician will know how to clean the flame sensor, boosting the furnace’s safety and reliability. An HVAC professional will turn off the furnace during the cleaning process and then disconnect the sensor from the burner assembly.
The flame sensor is constantly exposed to heat, so it will have a gritty buildup. This will need to be sanded and wiped off.
Cleaning the Heat Pump
Cleaning the heat pump should be part of regular maintenance. The outdoor condenser unit should be cleaned two times a year. Spring is a great time to do so.
Before cleaning the heat pump, turn off the power to it. If there is no shut-off box, flip the switch at the breaker box. Try turning on the unit to ensure that it is truly off.
With the power off, clean around the condenser unit. Remove shrubbery debris, creating a minimum clearance of between two and three feet. If there are any shrubs or bushes that are impacting your heat pump’s breathing space, cut those away as well.
Next, remove the outer piece from the condenser unit. Use a soft-bristle vacuum attachment to clean the metal fins of the protective covering for the condenser unit.
Use your garden hose to gently remove any dirt buildup. You want to clean the condenser coil. You may use a condenser cleaning solution that you can purchase from your home improvement store. Be careful not to spray it directly at the fan. Once you have cleaned the condenser coils, replace the outer grill and turn the unit back on.
We recommend talking to our HVAC technicians for the best, safest cleaning job. We can clean and maintain your heat pump, guaranteeing that it will keep you cool during the summer and warm during the winter.
At Galbreath & Sons, Inc., we specialize in cooling, heating and indoor air quality services in Richmond Hill, GA. Whether you need installation, maintenance, repair or duct sealing for your residential or commercial HVAC, call Galbreath & Sons, Inc. today. We look forward to helping.