Your heating and air conditioning system can lose efficiency over the years if you don't properly maintain it. Not only do you need to have regular professional servicing, you should also do your part to maintain certain components. Some basic DIY maintenance can help ensure that your system is efficient. One of the best things that you can do on your own, without any preparation or special tools is to clean your furnace cabinet. This article explains how to access and clean the inside of your furnace cabinet.
Safely Shut Down Your Furnace
It is very important that you properly shut down your furnace before working on it. The first step is to turn your thermostat to the off position. You don't want your air conditioner or heater turn it on while you were working on the furnace. Once the thermostat is off, you can remove the access panel to the furnace. You usually don't need any tools to remove this panel. Look inside your furnace cabinet and try to identify the gas control knob. This knob should be clearly marked. Twist it until it reaches the off position. Now that the gas is off, you need to cut the actual power to your furnace for extra security. Some furnaces will have an actual power switch on the outside, but you will probably need to find the breaker switch for the unit.
Clean Your Furnace
At this point, it is safe to work on your furnace. All you need to thoroughly clean out the interior of your furnace cabinet is a moist rag and a hose vacuum. Start off by sucking up all the loose dust and dirt with the vacuum. The furnace pump is probably the most important thing the vacuum off. It is a small plastic box with vents on the side. Within these events is a fan. By using the vacuum, you'll be able to suck the dirt out of the vents instead of pushing it into the fan. There can often be moisture and condensation inside the furnace causing the dust to stick stubbornly to certain components. This is where the wet rag will come in handy.
While you have access to the inside of your furnace cabinet, you should also check the fitting where the ducts lead in and out of the unit. These critical junctures can often get knocked loose from the outside. Check them and give them a little wiggle. If you notice there is a problem, you can reinforce the seal with duct tape. Taping from the inside, as well as the outside helps to secure the connection and prevents it from getting knocked loose again.
This simple furnace maintenance will only take you a few minutes. If you do it every year, you can probably prevent more serious problems from popping up. For more information or assistance, contact an HVAC installation service.