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Ideally, once a year you have to perform a planned check-up and carefully inspect your furnace. That will help you notice any issues long before it actually breaks and can save you a buck or two. However, due to the fact that the procedure is a little bit more complicated than it seems, many people “delay” the inspection.
That inspection doesn’t require any specific items and devices, you will need a cloth, a small brush (toothbrush is fine), a screwdriver, a vacuum cleaner, protective dust mask and/or goggles and furnace filters. When you’re ready, you can start.
- Turn it off.
Before you start doing anything, turn off your furnace. Also, make sure you turn off the gas. If you see that you don’t understand how to do this, contact a technician, or read a manual.
- Open up your furnace’s panels.
You have to provide some space to clean your furnace. Make sure you take off all the panels.
- Use the vacuum cleaner.
Inside, you should see plenty of dust and dirt, especially if you clean your device once a year. Use a vacuum cleaner to make it look better. Don’t worry if you can’t clean all the parts at once. If you can’t reach some places, use a crevice tool or a brush.
- Don’t touch the wires.
It’s quite easy to mess everything up at this point. If you feel that you can’t clean up without touching the wires, try to label them. A piece of bright duct tape will do just fine. If you color code your wires, remember how to read the code.
- Use cloth.
It has to be just slightly damp, carefully clean the mess left and the dust.
- Use a screwdriver.
Check your screws and wires. Make sure everything looks good. At this point, if you see anything coming lose (even if just slightly), tighten everything.
- Inspect the fan.
Make sure it’s all clean with a toothbrush. Also, don’t forget to oil your fan properly. You can’t use machine oil or household oil here, but special electric motor oil will serve the shaft and motor just fine.
- Check the belt.
If you see that the belt is coming lose, you have to tighten it up carefully. If there are any cracks, it will need a replacement.
- Check a thermocouple.
Carefully brush it and then use compressed air (follow safety instructions and wear a mask) to clean it properly.
- Clean the filters.
If they are broken, replace them. It’s always better to invest in good high-quality filters. It’s necessary to check those once in 3 months. If needed, wash them or clean them as required.
- Vacuum the ducts.
Actually, this part has to be done regularly, especially with a forced-air system. Vacuum thoroughly with a filter.
- Check the ductwork.
Make sure there are no leakages that will lead to huge bills. Replace the ductwork or add more duct tape.
It’s fairly easy to perform a cleaning yourself. However, if you feel lost or unsure, you should call a technician who can help you out. Remember that delaying the cleaning is not an option, as it will be mirrored in your bills. Plus, an inspected furnace will work better and longer.