The Biggest Problem With Furnace Cleaning and How You Can Fix it!

The Biggest Problem With Furnace Cleaning and How You Can Fix it!
  • Opening Intro -

    Neglecting your furnace is one of the worst things you can do.

    And while you might not be a furnace expert, you can take proactive measures to tackle the biggest problems with furnace cleaning. 


Keep your furnace running smoothly and avoid an expensive furnace cleaning and service bill down the road by keeping it clean.  A dirty furnace will result in poor air quality, fluctuations in temperature, unexpected breakdowns, and could possibly lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the American Thoracic Society (ATS), “Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning accounts for hundreds of deaths and thousands of emergency department visits in the United States annually.

It may feel very intimidating to actually open up your furnace and clean it. The good news is that it is much easier than you think!

However, an annual furnace inspection is an excellent idea to keep your family warm and safe.

The three biggest furnace cleaning problems, and how to clean them, are:

1. Heat Exchanger Block

It’s the most important part of your furnace. The heat exchanger is the part that generates heat through electricity or by burning fuel, depending on what type of furnace you have.

If it’s dirty, it won’t heat properly and can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide. Cleaning it requires very little effort and will ensure that it runs safely for a long time to come.

To Clean:

  1. With the stick attachment on your vacuum cleaner, vacuum out the visible dust on the exterior of the block and around the coils.
  2. With a damp cloth, wipe the exterior clean.


  1. Unplug your furnace before opening it. If it is a gas furnace, make sure to turn the gas off before proceeding. To open it, find the access panel which is situated near the duct. Unscrew the front panel and remove it from the hooks.
  2. If the heat exchanger block is extremely dirty, consider having it cleaned professionally to ensure that it is in optimal condition before use.

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2. Blower Assembly

The blower assembly takes the heated air from the heat exchanger and circulates it throughout your home.  Once the desired temperature on your thermostat is reached, the motor rests until it has to kick in to maintain the heat level.

When your blower assembly is dirty, the motor will continue to run nonstop while your house remains cold. Keeping it clean is the best way to ensure a warm home and a lower energy bill.

To Clean:

  1. Gently slide the motor out. If it is connected with wires, label each one so that you can put them back once you’re done cleaning.
  2. If there is a bolt or a screw holding it in place, remove it with a screwdriver and save it for later. Put the motor aside.
  3. Remove the blower assembly and vacuum visible dust from in between the blades using the brush attachment.
  4. Wash it with warm soapy water and allow it to dry completely.
  5. Reinsert it into the furnace, put the motor back in, and reattach the wires. Be sure to secure it with the bolt or screw you previously removed.  


  1. Use a small toothbrush to clean between the fan blades.

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3. Air Filter

The air filter catches small particles and allergens to keep the air inside your home as clean as possible. By doing so, it also protects the blower and the blower motor which increases the lifespan of your unit. There are a variety of filters to choose from based on your budget and needs.

Disposable Filters – (must be changed every 3 months)

  1. Fiberglass
  2. Cotton Pleated
  3. Electrostatic Paper

Washable Filters – (must be washed regularly)

  1.  Electrostatic Permanent 
  2.  Electronic

To Change A Disposable Filter:

  1. Remove the filter gently without forcing it out.
  2. Wipe up any debris left inside the unit.
  3. Reinsert the new filter, taking care to put it back according to the directional arrows on the exterior.

To Clean A Washable Filter:

  1. Remove the filter gently without forcing it out.
  2. Wipe up any debris left inside the unit.
  3. Using the brush attachment, vacuum to remove loose particles.
  4. Use mild soap and warm water to wash it thoroughly. Allow to air dry.
  5. Reinsert it into your furnace according to the directional arrows.
other valuable tips:

Author Bio
With over 14 years of experience as a content creator and marketer, Heather Meehan has worked with countless start-ups and small business owners from all over the world to create optimized content. Her favorite topics include entrepreneurship, self-help, and DIY. Many of her articles have been published on eHow as well as in print publications.

Based in North Carolina along with her kids, Heather works hard to ensure that her home is a safe haven for her loved ones. While she isn’t a massive social media user, you can find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Image credit: furnace cleaning by Pixabay

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