How and Why to Vacuum the Furnace

Save money and increase your heating system's efficiency and comfort by following these simple steps to keep your furnace in tip-top condition.

Introduction

Together, these tasks will take you less than three hours to do, cost only a few dollars, and require a few basic hand tools. That's pretty cheap insurance for a worry-free winter of cozy, cost-effective warmth.

Winter’s tough enough without your furnace dying or not putting out enough heat. And when it comes to furnaces, an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.

So here are some basic maintenance tasks that you can do to ensure that your natural gas or propane-fueled furnace stays running in peak condition all winter.

Watch this video to see 6 tips for furnace troubleshooting:

Project step-by-step (13)

Step 1

Remove the Combustion Chamber Door

powerFamily Handyman

DIY maintenance will save you from needing a new furnace. To fix your furnace, first flip the electrical power furnace switch to “Off.” Remove the combustion chamber door by lifting up and pulling it out, and remove the burner cover (if you have one). It’s usually held in place by two screws.

Step 2

Inspect the Burner Flames

FlamesFamily Handyman

Turn the power switch on and activate the burners by turning up your thermostat. Inspect the burner flames. The flames should be fairly even and blue.

Yellow flames indicate dirty burners. (Don’t breathe on the flames because the extra oxygen will also make them turn yellow.) Don’t adjust the burners yourself. Call in a pro.