Home Cleaning – Furnace Filter Cleaning Tips

Regular furnace maintenance is indispensable to keep your home’s cooling or heating system in top condition. We’ve learned that a clean filter will keep our furnace happy and efficient – and even cut some of our energy bills. And after hosing off all the layers of caked dirt and dust on our filter, we are pleased to report that our heater is blowing 100% better than before it broke down. Cleaning a furnace can be cumbersome to some homeowners but knowing that the build up of dust and debris in the system can create friction and a possible fire hazard, they should deem it important. There are lots of professional services offering furnace and duct cleaning using the right tool to fully reach down and target the dirt accumulated in your HVAC’s furnaces. However, there are simple tools that are easily accessible right in your nearest hardware store that can let you clean your own furnace and spare yourself from spending with labor.

Check out these simple furnace filter cleaning tips on how you can go about cleaning your own furnace filter.

1. Disconnect the power and fuel sources. You don’t want your first furnace filter maintenance job to be your last so keep it mind that you are working on an electrical appliance. Never work with the electrical wires unplugged. As an additional safety measure, in gas and oil furnaces, the pilot light and fuel supply needs to be shut off.


2. Locate your furnaces maintenance service panel. You can refer to the user manual to see if you might need any tool to accomplish this task. Some furnace doors open by hand, while others are screwed in or fastened so you may need a screwdriver or other simple tool to open it.

3. Locate the furnace filter. The furnace filter is that spongy like piece of object that sits between the furnace and the air duct. It has a width of 1 inch or slightly more than that.

4. Once you locate the filter, take it out from the furnace. If you have a reusable filter, you can just take it out and clean all the dirt from the filter with your garden hose. Let it dry before replacing it. If you have a disposable filter, you can just replace it with a new one.

5. Clean the areas where the filter sits. You can use an old toothbrush to get into the furnace’s blower and smaller spaces and thus effectively remove accumulated dust and debris.

6. Replace the filter and put back any safety cover that you have removed. Check to see if everything is in order, if yes, you can reconnect the furnace and turn it on. If you have an electrostatic air filter, simply take it out, wash it with a hose an place it back in the filter tracks.

7. Run the furnace for a few minutes and observe if there are unusual sounds or smell coming out. If you smell burning wires or are hearing crackling sounds for prolonged period of time, shut down the furnace and call in a furnace and duct cleaning professional.

A clean furnace filter is the number one thing to keep heating or cooling equipment running at its peak performance along with maintaining its life span. Checking your air filters for blockage at least once a month, especially if you use continuous heat throughout the winter season, can not only increase your furnaces’ efficiency but it can also cut down your bills and save your family from possible respiratory health issues as well.

Tags: cleaning tips, home cleaning

One Response to Home Cleaning – Furnace Filter Cleaning Tips

  1. Avatar for Sashka Sashka says:

    Dear Henry, Thank you for your post and your questions. There are some sepcial considerations to remember when dealing with the newer, higher SEER equipment. I assume that they are referring to the fact that most of the higher SEER pieces of equipment have a variable speed fan. Zoning can work fine with this application. You just need to make sure you set the maximum cfm (fan speed) back to as low as possible while still maintaining good airflow. We recommend the ideal setting to be at 400 cfm/ton. The lower setting will help with the fan wanting to ramp up while still allowing the equipment to ramp up slowly and idle back when all zones are satisfied. A barometric bypass damper will work just fine with most two-position zone dampers and panels. (3) or (4) zone systems work great as long as you install a bypass damper to help with the higher static pressure as zone dampers close. In fact, we sell a great, reliable zone panel that can do up to (6) zones right out of the box! We recommend a barometric bypass damper with two-position dampers. The modulating bypass dampers are too slow to react to the two-position or spring-return dampers. The modulating bypass dampers work best with modulating zone dampers. Please have your contractor contact us for help with their design. Thanks again for your interest and your questions. Please contact us with any further questions. Thanks, Kurt Wessling Jackson Systems, LLC

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