How To Clean A Furnace In 8 Easy Steps (Guide)

Your home’s furnace system plays a crucial role in keeping you warm and comfortable during the cold months. However, it’s easy to take this essential appliance for granted and forget about its maintenance.

Regular cleaning of your furnace system is essential not only for its efficient operation but also for your family’s safety. In this detailed guide, we will explore:

  • The signs that indicate your furnace needs cleaning
  • The steps involved in the cleaning process
  • The dangers of neglecting furnace maintenance
  • The benefits of leaving this task to a professional

Keep reading to learn all about cleaning furnace systems!

Signs That You Need to Clean Your Furnace

clean vs. dirty furnace filter

We don’t think about our furnace on a daily basis. So how do you know that it’s time for furnace cleaning? Here are a few of the signs.

  • Reduced Efficiency: One of the most noticeable signs that your furnace needs cleaning is reduced efficiency. If you notice that your home is not heating as effectively as it used to or that your energy bills have been steadily increasing, your furnace may be struggling due to dirt and debris buildup.
  • Strange Noises: Unusual noises coming from your furnace can be indicative of a problem. If you hear rattling, banging, or whistling sounds, it could be a sign that there is dirt or debris interfering with the system’s operation.
  • Uneven Heating: If some rooms in your home are consistently colder than others, it could be due to a clogged furnace filter or ductwork. Uneven heating is a clear sign that airflow is compromised, and cleaning your furnace may help resolve this issue.
  • Frequent Cycling: Furnaces that turn on and off frequently, a phenomenon known as short cycling, are less efficient and can lead to increased wear and tear on the system. Cleaning the furnace can help maintain consistent and longer heating cycles.
  • Visible Dust and Dirt: Inspect your furnace’s components and the area around it for visible dust and dirt accumulation. If you notice a buildup of grime on the furnace, vents, or ductwork, it’s a clear indicator that cleaning is overdue.
  • Increased Allergy Symptoms: Dirty furnace systems can circulate allergens and pollutants throughout your home, exacerbating allergy symptoms for family members. If you notice an increase in sneezing, coughing, or respiratory issues, it may be time to clean your furnace.

8 Steps in the Furnace Cleaning Process

Want to increase furnace efficiency and gain peace of mind? When you clean your furnace you can have both. Here are the steps you should take before heating season begins.

1) Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you begin cleaning your furnace, gather the necessary tools and materials. You will need a screwdriver, a vacuum cleaner with a long hose attachment, a soft brush or cloth, a new furnace filter, and safety gear such as gloves and safety glasses.

2) Turn Off the Power

Safety should always come first when working with a furnace system. Turn off the power supply to the furnace to ensure there are no electrical accidents while cleaning.

3) Remove the Furnace Cover

Using your screwdriver, carefully remove the furnace cover. Be cautious as you might encounter sharp edges or components that can cause injury.

4) Replace the Furnace Filter

If your furnace has a replaceable filter, this is the perfect time to install a new one. A clean filter helps maintain good airflow and reduces the strain on your system.

5) Clean the Furnace Components

Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove dust and debris from the furnace components, including the blower, burners, and heat exchanger. Be thorough but gentle to avoid damaging any parts.

6) Vacuum the Ductwork

With the long hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner, carefully clean the ductwork and vents. This will help eliminate dust, dirt, and allergens from your home’s air distribution system.

7) Check for Loose Connections

While you have the furnace cover off, inspect the connections, wires, and belts for any signs of wear or damage. Tighten any loose connections and replace any damaged components as needed.

8) Reassemble and Power Up

Once you’ve completed the cleaning process, reassemble the furnace components and turn the power supply back on. Monitor the system for any unusual noises or issues to ensure that it is running smoothly.

The Dangers of Not Cleaning Your Furnace

A clean furnace might not seem all that important, but the truth is that neglecting cleaning can lead to all sorts of problems, including:

  • Fire Hazard: A dirty furnace can pose a significant fire hazard. Accumulated dust and debris near the burner or heat exchanger can ignite, leading to a potentially dangerous situation in your home.
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: A poorly maintained furnace can produce carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that is deadly in high concentrations. A clean and properly functioning furnace is less likely to produce dangerous levels of CO.
  • Reduced Efficiency and Increased Costs: Neglecting furnace maintenance leads to reduced efficiency and higher energy bills. When your furnace has to work harder to heat your home due to clogs and dirt buildup, it consumes more energy.
  • Health Risks: Dirty furnace systems can circulate allergens, mold spores, and other contaminants throughout your home, exacerbating respiratory problems and allergies. Poor indoor air quality can have long-term health consequences for your family.
  • Costly Repairs and Shortened Lifespan: Failing to clean your furnace regularly can result in costly repairs and a shorter overall lifespan for the system. The buildup of dirt and debris can cause components to wear out faster, leading to expensive repairs or replacements.

The Benefits of Leaving it to a Professional

changing a furnace filter

Sometimes a DIY cleaning just won’t cut it! Here are some of the reasons we recommend leaving cleaning your heating system to a pro:

Expertise and Experience

Professional HVAC technicians have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to thoroughly clean and maintain your furnace system. They can identify potential issues and perform necessary repairs to ensure your furnace operates at its best.

Safety First

Cleaning a furnace involves working with potentially hazardous components and electricity. HVAC professionals are trained to safely handle these tasks, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Efficiency and Performance

When you hire a professional to clean your furnace, you can trust that your system will be cleaned thoroughly and efficiently. This ensures optimal performance, lower energy bills, and a longer lifespan for your furnace.

Comprehensive Inspection

In addition to cleaning, HVAC professionals will perform a comprehensive inspection of your furnace. They can identify and address issues before they become major problems, potentially saving you money on repairs.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that your furnace has been professionally cleaned and inspected gives you peace of mind. You can rest assured that your family’s safety and comfort are a top priority.

Professional Furnace Cleaning For Your Home!

Cleaning your furnace system is a crucial part of maintaining a safe and efficient home. Signs such as reduced efficiency, strange noises, and visible dirt should prompt you to take action. The cleaning process involves a few simple steps, but it’s essential to prioritize safety and turn to professionals if needed.

Regular furnace cleaning and maintenance are investments in your home’s safety, comfort, and longevity. Don’t wait until problems arise – take action now to ensure your furnace system works at its best, keeping your family warm and safe throughout the winter months.

Contact Aquarius Home Services today to set up your cleaning appointment!

Andrea Rivera
Andrea Rivera
1716425284
Very professional and polite. I never felt in the dark, Nick explained everything so I could understand. I will, for sure, make Aquarius my first call for all my home services.
James Lecuyer
James Lecuyer
1716415402
James Warner
James Warner
1716399596
As always, Aquarius technicians are excellent and professional. They explain things in understandable terms and willing to answer questions. Today Alec was excellent in doing a check of our A/C system.
PJ Jewelle
PJ Jewelle
1716394162
Mike did an EXCELLENT job! I have a very old AC unit and I can’t afford to replace it. I was concerned I had caused the AC to not work when I cleaned it off with a garden hose. He assured me that I didn’t cause it; it was just time for the parts to be replaced. He showed me what he replaced and explained where/how each part failed. I have called on Aquarius Home Service for many things in the last three years and will continue to be a loyal customer. I have referred them to others, as well. I highly recommend!
Mary Marette
Mary Marette
1716341978
Very knowledge, he showed me all that would would need to be done during installation of my heat pump/furnace, etc. answered all my questions. When the electrician was here they were very quiet, showed me the work that is being done. Very respective of my home
Susan Klang
Susan Klang
1716330622
JAMES BOWER
JAMES BOWER
1716326737
Excellent service
Eric Hynnek
Eric Hynnek
1716324973
Nick with Aquarius was great. If possible I wish he serviced our home each and every time.
Connie Dageford
Connie Dageford
1716311934
Nick was extremely professional and thorough. We appreciate the service he provided!
Ryan Lill
Ryan Lill
1716306904
Matt Mellenthin
Matt Mellenthin
1716304530
Robert Partyka
Robert Partyka
1716267917
The technician was excellent
Robert Martin
Robert Martin
1716245744
Aquarious is my go-to when I’ve got issues in the house. Brandon was fantastic, thorough and informative. Solved an air flow problem with adjustments I didn’t even know I could do.
mary bond
mary bond
1716234670
Our water heater went out on Fri evening. We called Aquarius early Sat morning and they said earliest they could get out was Mon. On Sun I received a text confirming our Mon appointment but on Mon morning they called and said the earliest they could get to us was the following week !We should be without hot water till then ? We are not a new customer…. 5 months previously we had a new furnace and air conditioner installed at quite an expense. I am appalled at their service or rather lack there of ! As an established customer they felt waiting approximately 10days without water was acceptable Bad, Bad, Bad !
Karen Harshbarger
Karen Harshbarger
1716223680
2022 and 2023 Annual furnace and air tune-ups performed by Brandon and Nicholas, as well as our 2024 annual air conditioner tuneup by Ethan EXCEEDED our expectations - very professional, accommodating and thorough, always take time to debrief, go the extra mile and provide maintenance tips. THANK YOU for taking care of our home.
Andrea Chung
Andrea Chung
1716220631
Nick was very patient and helpful while he was doing a maintenance routine tune-up for the furnace and A/C!
Mark Blomgren
Mark Blomgren
1716219435
Explained everything well
gino hebzynski
gino hebzynski
1716164964
The service rep, Alec was excellant, very efficient, courteous and informative.
D Ringler
D Ringler
1716145650
We have had Aquarius out for several jobs and they have done an outstanding job. This was with Paul and AJ for some exterior electrical work. Installed a fan on our covered porch and two additional outlets. Paul thought of going through the attic to install the fan so we did not need to have any exterior conduit showing. We will definitely have them out as our service needs dictate.
Haley Lasché
Haley Lasché
1716002159
We had an excellent experience with Aquarius. Our plumber, Erik, was efficient and thorough. He made a complete assessment and gave me different options for the repairs I could make. He also prepared me for the costs of the repairs we knew we needed to make now as well as the repairs we will likely need to make in the future. I felt like I was able to make a good choice about what needed to be done today, and I’m ready for what to expect in the coming years as we care for and repair the 75-year-old house we love so much. I will absolutely use them again.
James Pike
James Pike
1715985966
Brad and his crew did an outstanding job and were very informative walking through the system. You should be proud to have those 4 men working for you.
Ronald Peterson
Ronald Peterson
1715970709
Problem solved. Simple error on our part with the power switch turned off by mistake. Quick effective service.
Donn Satrom
Donn Satrom
1715916044
Wanda Bester
Wanda Bester
1715915730
Excellent!!
Jon Roloff
Jon Roloff
1715893001
Christopher Eggert
Christopher Eggert
1715885010
Had a very good experience with our plumbing needs as our service technician Gordy was very knowledgeable and provided solutions for our plumbing issue. Gordy also identified a couple of potential future issues and provided options and bids for those as well.I would recommend Aquarius Home Services to others based on my personal experience
vivek javangula
vivek javangula
1715805530
Nick visited my home today for an AC tuneup, he certainly did a great job beyond expectations and explained how to take better care of my furnace unit and AC unit. Hands down the best
M Engelen
M Engelen
1715798674
Kay Milbrath
Kay Milbrath
1715789778
Alec was great at explaining the features of our air conditioning and the work he performed.
Jerrold Wood
Jerrold Wood
1715739574
Part of Aquarius Home ServiceKnows his business re HVACAppreciates customer position
Jason Anderson
Jason Anderson
1715725775
John has a great guy. Great help deserves a fat raise.
betty cornwell
betty cornwell
1715721398
Nick is polite, on time, and does a great job!
Vincent Ruane
Vincent Ruane
1715716313
Very positive HVAC service call by technician Riley.Riley is professional, competent, respectful and very thorough.He explains his findings and recommendations very effectively. He is clearly driven to providing a outstanding result.
mark stevenson
mark stevenson
1715708324
Paul was very professional, very knowledgeable and got things done quickly....thanks
Danielle F
Danielle F
1715706224
Nick was very personable and professional at the same time. Staff was easy to work with in getting services scheduled. The reminders of the appointment were nice to have, the phone call when they were on their way is also nice. (Instead of waiting a 6 hour block and not knowing when they will arrive.)
Kyle McKeever
Kyle McKeever
1715701178
David Schaeffer was great!
Gary Long
Gary Long
1715653431
Technician Brent was informative and thorough during my AC tune up. Thanks again Aquarius!
Aliciea Her
Aliciea Her
1715642256
Nicholas did a wonderful job with our AC and furnace tune up. His attention to detail, friendly demeanor and focus on education the customer is unmatched.
Derrick Chamley
Derrick Chamley
1715626310
Professional and informative. Mike C was great!
C. C.
C. C.
1715625592
Nick was great! Easy to communicate with & explained things in layman terms!
Daniel Bakken
Daniel Bakken
1715615714
John Jansen
John Jansen
1715554236
Tech arrived and completed the service as requested. Very knowledgeable and answered any questions that I had.
bruce armstrong
bruce armstrong
1715453376
Aquarius service tech Matt did an excellent job as usual.Very helpful and thorough.
Gary Winkel
Gary Winkel
1715432198
Dale Ebben
Dale Ebben
1715372986
Aquarius Home Services recently replaced our furnace and matching Air Conditioner in a one day job. Scheduling kept us informed on the arrival of each service person in the various trades and the project went smoothly and on schedule. All tradesmen were knowledgable, personable and considerate from the original sales person to the final walk through technician. I readily give them my highest recommendation.
Thomas Gruetzmacher
Thomas Gruetzmacher
1715369765
Paul was great! He went above and beyond installing our new water heater! He was so polite and explained everything to me clearly. Thank you for doing a great job!
Eric Meyer
Eric Meyer
1715364134
A big thank you to Nick S. With Aquarius service. My heat pump was not working for cooling. Nick diagnosed that a power cord had gotten wrapped around the fan blade and wasn’t allowing it to spin. After removing the blade, disentangling the cord and re-threading it, he put it back together again. We fired it up and it works great now! I’ve worked with several people on the Aquarius team and they are all knowledgeable, friendly, and great to work with—Nick is no exception. Prompt, same day service, plus no charge for warranty work.
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