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Can I clean my own furnace?

Checking furnace

Is a DIY furnace cleaning on your ever-growing to-do list? Before you delve into this home improvement task, it is critical that you recognize the technicalities of taking care of your home's heating system.

In this blog, the team at Francis Home Environment is going over the dos and don'ts of maintaining your furnace by yourself. Remember, your furnace is an essential component of your interior comfort throughout the winter, so keeping it in good working order is an absolute must.

So, can you clean your own furnace? Keep reading to find out more!

Time To Clean Your Furnace? 

As a general rule of thumb, homeowners should seek to have their furnaces cleaned at least once a year. Here is a closer look at some signs that could indicate you're overdue for this type of servicing:

  • Reduced airflow coming from your furnace.
  • An increase in your monthly energy costs.
  • Uneven and inconsistent heating throughout your home.
  • Persisting allergies that won’t go away.
  • Your furnace turns on and off frequently, also known as short cycling.
  • Strange sounds or odd noises are coming from your heating system.
  • Your home is constantly dusty, no matter how often you clean it.

Get 24/7/365 Expert in Furnace Service

Do any of the above-noted signs look familiar to you? If so, it may be time to have your home’s furnace system cleaned and serviced!

The certified HVAC team at Francis Home Environment is available 24/7/365 days a year for emergency repairs! That includes after-hours, weekends, and holidays at no extra cost to homeowners! With over 75 years of experience, you can trust Francis Home Environment to get your furnace back up and operating optimally as quickly as possible!

Is it safe for me to clean my own furnace?

No, it is not generally safe to clean your own furnace, and here's why:

  • Level of complexity: Furnaces are complex structures with lots of moving parts that must be handled precisely. Cleaning the insides of the furnace lacking the appropriate training and knowledge can result in unintentional damage or even hazardous malfunctions.
  • Gas and electrical hazards: Furnaces frequently use natural gas or electricity to heat themselves. When these forms of energy are mishandled, they can cause fires, explosions, or electrocution. Professionals have received training to work safely in these potentially hazardous environments.
  • Health risks: Cleaning a furnace is likely to expose you to hazardous dust, allergens, and potentially dangerous particles, all of which can be harmful to your health. Professionals are equipped with the appropriate protective gear to reduce the hazards they face.
  • Warranty invalidation: Many furnaces come with assurances that may be voided if you try DIY servicing. Professional support will make sure the manufacturer's warranty is not voided.
  • Inefficiencies: DIY furnace cleaning may only be effective if the tools and expertise that are required are available. A qualified cleaning service can provide an in-depth cleaning that optimizes the efficiency of your furnace.

Should I clean the inside of my furnace?

No, you should not attempt to clean the inside of your furnace yourself. It's a task best left to professionals for numerous reasons that concern your safety. Therefore, if you're overdue for a maintenance appointment, it’s recommended that you reach out to your local HVAC company to schedule an appointment with a qualified technician.

Certified HVAC technicians know how to correctly clean your furnace equipment while abiding by local codes and safety guidelines. As such, to avoid potential hazards and ruin your equipment, leave the DIY attempts to the professionals.

Can I use a vacuum to clean my furnace?

Most homeowners should avoid using a vacuum to clean their furnaces. This is why: 

  • System complexity: The components of a furnace are complicated and interconnected. Trying to clean them with a vacuum cleaner can cause damage or disconnection, resulting in incorrect reconfiguration and hazardous operation.
  • Inefficiency: Most household vacuums are not designed to handle the amount of debris and accumulation found inside a furnace. Professional technicians use specialized cleaning equipment designed for this purpose, guaranteeing a thorough and effective cleaning. 

In the end, it's best to leave furnace cleaning to trained HVAC technicians who have the skills, experience, and appropriate equipment to do the job properly and safely. They can clean the furnace without endangering you and make sure that your heating system runs efficiently moving forward. 

What happens if you don't clean your furnace?

Ignoring your furnace cleaning can have a number of negative consequences. For starters, the efficiency of your furnace will decrease, resulting in increased energy usage and more expensive utility bills. Second, contaminants such as dust that has accumulated within the furnace can be distributed into your home's air, lowering the quality of your air and potentially triggering or worsening allergies. Furthermore, your furnace may be unable to evenly distribute heat, causing certain parts of your home to feel colder than others. 

At the same time, a failure to maintain your furnace is likely to accelerate the process of wear and tear and possibly reduce its operational lifespan. There are also safety concerns, especially if your furnace runs on natural gas. Further, dirt and debris can clog the process of combustion, enhancing the likelihood of gas leaks or home fires.

Moreover, when looking at the long-term consequences, homeowners can expect expensive furnace repairs or even having to shell out money for an entirely new furnace system more frequently. Lastly, failing to perform routine maintenance, such as cleaning, can invalidate any existing warranty, leaving you liable for replacement and/or repair costs.

When was the last time you had your home's furnace professionally cleaned? If you can't remember, or it's been well over a year since your last booking, please don't hesitate to reach out to the team at Francis Home Environment for assistance!

Our certified HVAC team is available 24/7/365 days a year for emergency repairs! That includes after-hours, weekends, and holidays at no additional cost to you! If you live in the Ottawa area and surrounding neighborhoods, reach out to Francis Home Environment today!

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