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Furnace cleaning is essential if you want to minimize wear and tear on your HVAC system, which is sure to save you money on both repairs and energy costs throughout the year – especially during the winter months. You’ll find that with just a little leg work and some spare time, it is easy to clean up the furnace on your own to ensure optimal performance when you rely on its use the most. Here are four effective do-it-yourself projects to implement:

Clean or Replace the Filter

One of the most important furnace cleaning tasks involves the filter system. A furnace’s filter is responsible for trapping pathogens, pollens, and other contaminants that would otherwise be blown into the air of your home. Without regular cleaning it can quickly clog up, becoming ineffective at both circulating air and filtering it.

About once a month, locate your furnace filter right inside the blower door and slowly remove it. Using a damp cloth, gently wipe the filter clean of debris. If dirt is heavily built up, sink the filter into a bucket of soapy water and let it soak for a few minutes before wiping it down with a wet cloth. If you find any rips or holes once it’s clean, it’s a good idea to head to your local hardware store or call your HVAC provider to get a new once.

Clean out the Blower

Right behind the filter, you’ll find your furnace’s blower system which also needs to be cleaned up once in a while. Dust and debris can make its way past the filter and into the blower system, so take a close look at the blower itself as well as its surrounding pulleys and belts. Simply wipe any dust and dirt you find away with a clean, damp cloth and let the area dry before replacing the filter and cover of the furnace.

Clean the Furnace Ducts

It’s also a good idea to clean all of your air ducts out using a high-powered vacuum cleaner that’s been fitted with a hose and circular nozzle. The nozzle concentrates blowing power to ensure that no dust particles are left behind after cleaning. After implementing this furnace cleaning tip, it’s important to ensure that the duct covers are fastened securely to prevent air and moisture from leaking in. 

Clean all of the Vents

If you own a gas furnace, you’ll need to clean the vents it is connected to on a regular basis. The venting system keeps your furnace cool so it doesn’t have to work too hard while in use, and when blocked with dirt the system is virtually useless. To clean your furnace’s venting system, remove the cover from the main vent and vacuum the interior as deep as you can safely get. Then use a large scrub brush to get in between the vent screens and remove all the debris stuck within. Recover the vent system and you’re good to go!

In addition to these furnace cleaning tips and tricks, it’s a good idea to have a service professional inspect your furnace and HVAC system once a year. This will give you a chance to catch and correct any mechanical or electrical problems before they become too serious.