January 18, 2022
Step-by-Step Furnace and Heat Pump Cleaning
Did you know that you should clean your furnace at the start of each heating season? The fact is that repeating it sometime mid-year will also help with keeping your furnace operating at peak efficiency while also helping you to prevent any future problems. In addition, to keep it running efficiently, annual servicing by an HVAC professional is recommended.
On the other hand, if your home has a heat pump, you should be cleaning your supply and return registers annually as well as straightening their fins if they get bent. You should also call in a professional service provider, like Scott-Lee Heating Company, at least once a year to inspect your blower, ducts, filters, and indoor coil for any dirt or other obstructions.
Check Your Warranty First
Before doing any repair or maintenance work on your own on any HVAC unit, read your warranty carefully. Many units require that maintenance is regularly done by a professional (and not by you) in order to stay valid. Others will state that, if you work on your own furnace without the right credentials, your warranty is also voided. These requirements vary by brand, age and type of service performed.
Routine Heat Pump Cleaning
Simply put, heat pump cleaning can be done by most homeowners. It is a part of heat pump maintenance. Other maintenance steps include:
- Checking your air filters every month
- Keeping your outdoor unit clear of debris, snow, and ice
- Keeping your shrubs pruned around the sides of your heat pump for proper airflow
- Flushing your indoor condensate drain and pan in the spring prior to using your AC (This step should be performed by a trained service technician.)
- Oiling your fan motor annually (unless permanently sealed)
- Having a trained service technician perform a heat pump inspection annually
How to Clean Your Heat Pump Fan
Just a couple of hours of cleaning each year will help keep your investment in top shape while keeping you and your family comfortable and cozy during the cold winter months. A clean heat pump fan and a new filter will also help freshen the air in your rooms. So, during the heating season, clean or replace the filter every one to three months, and clean the fan twice a year.
After turning off power to your heat pump, open the top panel to access the blower area and fan blade. Then, using a brush with plastic bristles (or a vacuum brush extension), scrub the fan blades. Next, clean any residue on the base and blower of the unit with a vacuum.
How to Clean Your Heat Pump Coil
Start with all of the necessary electrical disconnections, and then, remove your condensing unit cover. Some may simply slide out of your way, but others could be held in place with screws, so you’ll need a screwdriver to get the cover off. Once the cover is removed, apply a solution of mild soap and warm water to your coils using a spray bottle or a sponge, and then, let it sit for about five or 10 minutes.
The next step is to use a hose with an adjustable nozzle for rinsing. Start the process by adjusting your nozzle to a low or moderate setting, vigorously rinsing off the soapy coils. Make sure your water pressure isn’t too high or it could bend the heat-exchange fins that are located close to your heat pump coils. Put on protective gloves for manually removing any pieces of debris and then give the coils a final rinsing with the hose. When they’re completely dry, reattach the cover and then finish by restoring the power to your heat pump.
How to Clean Your Heat Pump Filter
You should be cleaning your heat pump filter every month to three months. How often actually depends on how much you’re using your heat pump. Checking your filters to see if there’s excessive dirt and dust present is pretty simple, and cleaning them is an easy job. Just open the front panel of your indoor unit, removing the filter (or filters if it has more than one). Filters should slide out, and then, you can take them outside to spray wash them with your garden hose. On the other hand, you can just lightly vacuum your filter(s). Once washed or vacuumed, shake dry before reinserting into your heat pump unit and closing the front panel.
How to Clean Your Furnace
Although furnace cleaning isn’t overly complicated, it offers numerous benefits when it comes to the overall efficiency, reliability, and long-term health of your system. The first step that most homeowners start with is to keep their air filter cleaned or replaced, if necessary, according to manufacturer recommendations. And, although parts of the basic cleaning of your furnace can be fairly easily performed by practically anyone, proper cleaning of some of your furnace’s internal components will require more expertise.
The service life of a new furnace is usually 15-20 years, but these forecasts include the assumption of regular cleaning. Without annual cleaning and inspection, your furnace may wear out quickly, pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home, or simply stop working.
How to Clean Your Furnace Coil
Your furnace coil is attached to the furnace cabinet. When you keep it nice and clean, you’re helping to maintain better energy efficiency as well as improve heating and cooling performance. So, to clean the coil, turn the system off first. Then, removing the access panel from your coil cabinet, simply apply what is called “rinseless coil cleaner spray,” following up with a soft brush for removing any debris.
How to Clean Your Furnace Blower
Prior to cleaning any part of your furnace, it’s best to shut off all power and gas to the unit. This makes it safe to remove your cabinet doors and start some light cleaning, removing dust and dirt with compressed air, a damp cloth, a small brush, or a vacuum. To do a thorough job, start by removing the blower assembly for better access. Using a toothbrush, clean each individual fan blade as well as the spaces between them. Then, use your vacuum cleaner hose for removing all of the dirt and debris that the brushing loosened up. Vacuum your pulleys and belts before wiping down your motor housing for effective prevention of heat buildup in the motor. Keeping your blower assembly clean helps by improving motor efficiency and airflow while reducing early motor failure. It can also lead to better indoor air quality.
Contact Us Today
While you already know how important it is to repair your furnace or heat pump when it malfunctions, you may not realize that regular cleaning and maintenance are just as important to the long-term performance of any heating and cooling system. Although the basics of both furnace and heat pump cleaning are fairly simple, when it comes to maintenance, we recommend contacting a professional. We are your local expert for local heating and cooling repair, installation and maintenance services. Contact us today at Scott-Lee Heating Company for more information or to schedule an appointment in the St. Louis, MO, area.