Heat pumps and furnaces are important tools that play a vital role in keeping your home comfortable during the winter months. When a furnace or heat pump is brand new, it operates at maximum efficiency. However, they can begin to accumulate dust, debris, and other contaminants over time that impact their performance.
The following are some steps you can follow to clean a heat pump or furnace. In many cases, it is preferable to have the work done by professional HVAC technicians. We understand how to safely disassemble your heat pump and furnace. In addition to cleaning the unit, we can evaluate it to see if it needs maintenance or repair.
How to Clean a Heat Pump
A heat pump is an excellent energy-efficient solution for heating and cooling your home. However, if you do not regularly maintain and service your unit, its performance could be affected. Failure to keep your unit clean can cause serious problems.
Thankfully, your heat pump does not need a ton of maintenance. With a few simple steps, you can make all the difference in the function and longevity of your unit.
First, clean the dust from the filters. You should clean the heat pump’s filters four times a year. If you don’t, dust and debris will clog them and restrict airflow. Keeping the filters clean ensures that the heat pump functions at maximum efficiency and does not use too much energy.
Removing and cleaning the filters is easy. Make sure your heat pump is switched off before you start. Open or remove the front panel. Next, remove the air filter. Use a small brush or vacuum with a bristled attachment to clean it. You could use lukewarm water to rinse it off. Place it in a shaded area to dry. Once it is dry, reinsert the air filter into the unit, and close the front panel.
Cleaning the Indoor and Outdoor Grilles of Your Heat Pump
Dust will accumulate on the indoor grilles of your unit. Take a vacuum with the bristle attachment and gently clean the grooves. You may want to use a damp rag afterward to remove any residual dust.
It is just as important that you clean the outdoor heat pump unit as it is that you keep the air filters of the indoor unit clean. You want to make sure that the outdoor unit does not have any organic debris on it, like weeds, leaves, etc. Before you clean the outdoor unit, isolate it from the electrical supply. Just because you have disconnected the indoor unit does not mean that the outdoor unit is also disconnected. You should find the power switch adjacent to the outdoor unit. You can clean the exterior of the outdoor unit by washing it down with a water hose using low pressure.
These are some basic do-it-yourself maintenance tips that you can follow. However, your heat pump is a complicated machine. There are several parts that should only be cleaned by an experienced heat pump technician. In addition to cleaning your unit, a professional will ensure that your system is operating efficiently, which will keep your home comfortable and extend the life of your investment.
Cleaning Your Furnace
As the cold winter months approach, keeping your gas furnace working at peak performance is a must. This requires preventative cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning your unit is the best way to ensure its longevity and reliability.
Before getting started, you will want to get some hand tools, like a screwdriver, racket, and socket set. A vacuum cleaner, preferably a shop vacuum, with a brush attachment should be used. You should have a new furnace filter and a small bristled brush.
Cleaning your furnace can be a complicated job. The best way to ensure that is properly cleaned and maintained is to have the work done by professional HVAC technicians, but here are some steps you can follow if you want to do some basic cleaning.
Clean the Surfaces
Before you clean your furnace, make sure that it is disconnected from electricity and from the gas supply. You can do this by finding the dial in your electrical box for the furnace and clicking it off. Turn the handle for the gas flow so that it is perpendicular to the pipe transporting the gas. This is how you know it is off.
Next, begin cleaning the exterior surfaces of the furnace. You can use a damp clean rag to wipe them down.
Open the furnace access door. It should be relatively easy to open. In most units, you just need to lift it up and pull it out. You will see a burner cover. You can then loosen the screws to remove it.
Take your shop vacuum and clean up any dust from around the burners and from the furnace’s base. Try to clean as many surfaces as you can, including the area behind the blower door. If you see a lot of soot or a collection of dark dust, stop what you are doing. Give your HVAC expert a call. This is an indication that your furnace is not properly burning the gas. It is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Cleaning the Blower
With most units, you will have to unscrew a control panel to gain access to the blower. Use your ratchet and socket to undo the bolts that hold the blower in place. You have to be careful as you remove the blower to avoid touching the wire or counterweights with the fan blades.
Use your vacuum to get rid of any dust, and use your small brush to scrape away anything that the vacuum cannot remove. Although it is possible for you to do this yourself, it is best to leave it up to a professional because they will be able to remove all the dirt and grime. If you do not clean your blower unit evenly, your entire system could be thrown off balance.
Cleaning the Flame Sensor, Filters, and Pilot
Using a straw, gently blow the dust off the pilot light. If you have a newer model, you might have a hot surface igniter. Do not touch it. Just use the straw to blow away dust.
You will see the flame sensor in its own bracket. You can pull it out and use an emery cloth to remove any dust or grime. Once it is clean, slide it back into place.
Take advantage of this time to inspect the drive belt. If it’s broken or damaged, contact our HVAC professionals. We can quickly replace it and get your furnace working smoothly.
Finally, you want to remove the air filter and replace it. You should clean your furnace’s air filter four times a year. Always replace the filter with the ones that your manufacturer recommends.
Keep Your Family Comfortable
Your furnace and heat pump are key to keeping your family comfortable during the winter. At McGowan's Heating & Air Conditioning, we are committed to Daytona Beach, Florida residents by providing 24-hour heating and cooling services. We have a reputation for using the best products on the market, providing 100% customer satisfaction, and offering comprehensive services every single time. If you need AC or heating installation, repair, or replacement, be it residential or commercial, we are the team to call. Contact McGowan's Heating & Air Conditioning today. We look forward to working with you.