How to Clean Your Home’s Electric Furnace
Here in Loomis, CA, electric furnaces are quite popular among homeowners. One reason is that they don’t depend on fossil fuels, and they pair well with renewable energy to trim your carbon footprint. For another, they’re among the cheapest types of residential heating systems to purchase and install. That makes them an excellent fit for any area with mild winters as we have here. However, maintaining an electric furnace isn’t at all like maintaining a gas-powered one. In particular, there are some important differences in how you’d clean each. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your home’s electric furnace.
Start by Turning Off the Power
The first thing you must do before you can clean your electric furnace is to turn off its power. If your electric furnace has a power cord, you can unplug it to cut the power to the system. You can also do this by locating your electric furnace’s dedicated circuit breaker in your home’s electrical panel and switching it off. If your home’s circuit breakers aren’t clearly marked or you aren’t sure which breaker powers your furnace, don’t take chances. Call in an expert from Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air to handle the job for you.
Collect Your Cleaning Materials
If you want your electric furnace cleaning to proceed smoothly, you should gather all of the cleaning materials you’ll need before you get started. You will need the proper screwdriver to open your furnace. You will also need a vacuum with a hose attachment. Plus, you will want some clean towels, a soft-bristled brush, and a new air filter if your furnace’s filter isn’t washable. If you don’t have any of these items, don’t attempt to start cleaning without them. It will only force you to stop partway through the job or give your electric furnace a less-than-thorough cleaning.
Find Your Furnace’s Manual
Your electric furnace, like all of the other appliances in your home, should have come with a care and usage manual. Since each electric furnace will have slight design differences, you’ll need to find your manual to review its cleaning instructions before you begin. The manual will tell you how to access the parts of your furnace that need cleaning and tell you which parts to avoid so you don’t damage anything. If you can’t find your furnace’s manual and you’ve never had an HVAC expert instruct you on how to clean yours, you shouldn’t attempt the job. At the very least, have one of our HVAC professionals do it once for you so you can learn the process first.
Clean or Replace Your Air Filter
Once you’re ready to begin cleaning your electric furnace, you should start by cleaning or replacing its air filter. Most electric furnaces have an indicator light to tell you when their filter needs cleaning or replacement. If your furnace has a washable filter, you’ll need to remove it and clean it according to the manual’s instructions. It’s critical to make certain that the air filter dries completely before you reinstall it. If your furnace uses replaceable filters, you should instead remove and discard the existing filter and replace it with a brand-new one.
Clean Your Furnace’s Blower
Next, you’ll need to locate your electric furnace’s blower access door and remove it. Your manual should tell you how to do this. In most cases, the door will be easy to open since its purpose is to allow service access. If you have any trouble opening the access door, however, don’t force it. You don’t want to damage the door, or you might not be able to close it when you’re finished.
Once you have the blower door open, you’ll want to use the soft-bristled brush you’ve prepared to scrub each fan blade. This will loosen accumulated dirt and allow you to remove it. You can then use your vacuum’s hose attachment to clean the blower blades. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary to get all of the dirt out of the fan blades.
Wipe Down the Blower Motor
After you’ve finished cleaning the blower motor’s blades, you should use one of your clean towels to wipe down the blower motor itself. The object is to remove any dust or dirt that’s collected on the motor, to prevent it from working its way into the motor’s moving parts. You should never use any cleaning products or liquids to clean your blower motor. If you do, you could damage the motor and end up needing it replaced.
Inspect and Clean the Drive Belt
In most electric furnaces, the blower motor relies on a rubber belt to turn the fan’s blades. Just like the belts in your car, your furnace’s drive belt can get dirty, worn, or stretched out over time. So, you should examine the belt to see if it’s still snug and in good physical condition. If it is, you can wipe it down with another clean towel to get rid of any buildup of dirt on it. If the belt looks worn out, call Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air to have one of our HVAC technicians come out to replace it. That way, you won’t have to worry about the belt failing you on a chilly night.
Check to Make Sure Your Furnace Is Fully Dry
If you had to use any cleaning products on your blower’s fan blades or if you washed your electric furnace’s reusable filter, you must make sure every part of the furnace dries. Any moisture that made its way into your electric furnace could cause a short circuit that might damage it. Plus, it could pose an electrocution risk to you when you turn the power back on. So, if you used any liquids during the cleaning process, double-check that you’ve rid the system of all moisture. If you’re not sure, leave your furnace to dry for an extra hour or two before you replace the blower door and restore its power.
Restore the Power and Test
With your cleaning tasks done, the last thing you’ll need to do is turn your electric furnace’s power back on and make sure it’s working. After you plug the furnace back in or turn its circuit breaker back on, head over to your thermostat. Put it in heating mode and turn it up a few degrees to force the furnace to switch on. It should turn on without trouble and start producing heat. You shouldn’t detect any unusual smells or sounds as it does this. If you suspect a problem, you should turn your electric furnace off and cut its power again. Then, call Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air for help.
Your Local Electric Furnace Specialists
Of course, the easiest way to get your electric furnace cleaned is to let the experts from Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air do it for you. We’ve served the homeowners of Loomis, CA, and its surroundings for over 40 years. We offer complete HVAC services, including installation, repair, and maintenance, as well as comprehensive plumbing services, too. Plus, we offer indoor air quality services. Rely on us to take care of thermostats, ductless systems, heat pumps, and more. We even offer commercial services if you also own a business in the area.
So, next time you need your electric furnace cleaned in Loomis, CA, call Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air, and leave the rest to us!