Cleaning your furnace may be one of the chores you look least forward to and willing to pay the hefty bill to keep it spick-and-span. This need not be the case with these simple, easy-to-follow guide. A dirty furnace eats up more electricity or fuel and performs less effectively than a clean one. It is very important to keep your furnace fan clean in order to avoid damage and racking up repair costs.
Direct Drive vs. Belt Driven
Most furnaces today run on the direct drive where the fan motor is connected directly to the fan shaft or axle. On the other hand, a belt driven furnace has an independent motor which is connected to the fan parts by one or more belts extending from pulleys on both ends.
The next steps will guide you on how to correctly take out the blower assembly, clean and re-install it just as it was with the use of simple tools you can find in your toolbox.
Furnace Structure and Safety
Before you dive right into maintenance, you need a little more information about furnace structure and precautionary steps. A furnace is generally separated into two parts. The upper section consists of the burner compartment and the lower section of the blower compartment. It’s your blower compartment that you need to tackle which has the control board and the blower assembly containing the fan, squirrel cage, and motor.
You must always use caution when handling electric appliances to ensure safety to yourself and to the device. There are 3 major precautions to keep in mind when dissembling the blower:
- Always make sure the switch to the power of the unit is off.
- Avoid contact with the rotating fan when you remove the blower to save your hands from injury.
- Take extra care when working around the wires and attached parts as reckless handling can damage these parts and the wiring insulation.
Steps to Remove the Furnace Fan
- Check to make sure the power to the unit is switched off.
- Take the doors off to get inside the unit.
- Remove the door switch by taking out screws securing it. Make sure not to disconnect any wires when pulling out the blower.
- Uninstall the control board again by removing the screws bolting it place.
- Finally, remove the blower by taking out the 2 screws holding it. Now, the blower should slide out freely. In this step, you need to take precaution not to damage the wiring or hurt your fingers.
Tools for Cleaning a Blower Wheel and Motor
Now that the blower is out, you can move on the cleaning part. These simple tools should suffice to give it a thorough scrub:
- Vacuum: Now that you have opened it up, you might as well vacuum the inside of the blower cabinet.
- Toothbrush: This will serve to clean the dust settling between the blades of the fan.
- Paintbrush: It will be easy to clean the motor housing, squirrel cage, and other parts of the furnace with a paintbrush.
That’s it! Your furnace is finally clean! You can go the extra mile by checking and cleaning your furnace regularly to remove dust, mold, burnt parts, and dead animals to eliminate bad odors. Since you squeezed in some time from you schedule, you can now breathe clean and fresh air and grow your savings!