Cleaning Is A Vital Part of Furnace MaintenanceDuring the cold winter months in northwest Arkansas, it’s especially important for your furnace to operate reliably, effectively and safely. Unfortunately, a furnace’s high heat output isn’t enough to burn away all the obstructive particles that can accumulate on parts. It’s vital that regular cleaning be part of your furnace maintenance; otherwise heating output is reduced and fuel wasted.

There are three main components to clean in a standard furnace:

The air filter – When your furnace is being used continuously, its air filter should be inspected every month and then replaced or cleaned when it looks dirty. When the furnace isn’t operating, remove the service panel and examine the air filter. Hold it up to a light and if you can’t see the shining light clearly through the filter, it likely needs to be changed or cleaned. Some filters are reusable, but make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning information.

The blower – Cleaning the blower is often done by professionals, because it sometimes requires complicated and potentially dangerous adjustments to electrical wiring and furnace assembly. If you intend to have your blower regularly cleaned, a planned furnace maintenance plan can save time and money.

It’s especially important the blower be regularly cleaned if surrounded by a cage, as this housing tends to trap dirt and other debris.

Each blade of the blower should be wiped clean, along with the space between blades, and the housing. Vacuums are recommended for cleaning the blower and are regularly used in professional maintenance.

The furnace motor – Different motors have different requirements for cleaning. For example, oil ports are in some but not all motors; these ports require lubrication at least once a year with special oil. Thus, as with the blower, many homeowners rely on specialists to examine the furnace motor and determine proper maintenance steps. If you do attempt to clean the blower motor yourself, a tooth or paint brush is usually the right size to get dust out from hard-to-reach spaces.

For professional assistance cleaning your furnace, please contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal, serving northwest Arkansas for more than 45 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about furnace maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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