Regular maintenance for your air ducts and furnace is a chore you know you should take care of regularly to help your furnace work better. That is, you know it in theory. But if you’re like most folks, you can’t remember when you last had your furnace inspected.
So, how often to clean your heating system and what it involves is pretty mystifying. Well, we’re about to solve one of life’s little mysteries for you. To find out when and how to get your HVAC system cleaned, read this guide.
How Often Should You Clean Your Furnace & Ducts
We usually advise that you schedule furnace maintenance every 1-2 years (ideally once a year) and duct cleaning at intervals of 3 to 5 years for a smooth-running system and excellent indoor air quality. That’s the minimum. You might need to tackle these important chores more often… if you own an older furnace, have a large family or some pet dander in your home, suffer from breathing problems, or notice any signs your furnace isn’t performing up to par (more about that later!).
These efforts have extra benefits; they’ll improve your home’s air quality. Here’s what your technician should take care of when you have your air ducts cleaned, or your furnace maintained:
Duct Cleaning (every 3-5 years)
- Start by placing protective coverings in the work area.
- Take off the register covers and inspect the ductwork.
- Thoroughly vacuum your air ducts, registers, and vents. Also, carefully clean the furnace blower area.
- Finish up by treating the heating ducts with a disinfectant spray.
Gas Furnace Maintenance (preferably every year)
- Vacuum the burners and area around the furnace.
- Clean out flue pipes and check for rust or leakage.
- Clean the furnace blower.
- Examine the flame sensor, fuel line, pilot light, and thermocouple.
- Check the gas pressure.
- Inspect the condensate line and remove any clogs.
- Check the heat exchanger for cracks, corrosion, or blockage.
- Lubricate moving parts.
- Test thermostat and safety controls, calibrating as necessary.
- Test and adjust gas or electrical connections.
- Recommend any needed repairs.
Signs You Need To Clean Your Ducts & Maintain Your Furnace
Dirt & Debris Build-Up
When you change the furnace air filters — which you should do every 30-90 days — you may notice that you have an extra dirty filter. Or you might spot a build-up of dirt, debris, and hair around your vent frames. Both of these indicate that you’re due for a new air filter and having your HVAC ducts cleaned.
Yellow Furnace Flames
Normally, a gas furnace will produce a blue flame. If, instead, you see orange or yellow flames, HAZARD ALERT! Either your burner or your flame sensor is dirty. As a result, the furnace is not ventilating properly, which puts you and your family at risk of carbon monoxide leaks. Therefore, you need emergency furnace maintenance.
Making Frequent Furnace Repairs
Maybe your heating system has been breaking down way more often than usual. The need for frequent gas furnace repair might mean a new furnace is needed; instead, it may be a warning that your system is clogged with gunk. A professional cleaning can save you money on repairs and even extend the life of your furnace. Here are some common furnace issues that cleaning can resolve:
Furnace Leaking Water
A furnace leaking water is frequently the result of a clogged condensate line which could lead to mold spores. This problem is easy to solve — request a professional furnace cleaning!
Furnace Turns On & Off
Your furnace may switch on and then keep shutting off very quickly. This phenomenon, known as “short cycling,” is often caused by clogging in either the filter (a minor problem) or the flame sensor (a major, dangerous problem). If replacing the filter doesn’t help, then schedule furnace maintenance ASAP.
Furnace Blows Cold Air
Here’s a highly frustrating scenario: your furnace is running, but it’s blowing cold air. The air filter is the first thing to check. If that’s not the issue, you might have a blockage in the condensate line. Have your furnace cleaned to solve the problem and get your furnace back to properly heating your home.
High Energy Bill
Hmm… why are your energy bills suddenly so high? You haven’t been turning on the heating more than usual. It could be that a build-up of dust, hair, and grime is slowing your furnace down and making it use more energy. Improved energy efficiency helps you save money and is one of the many benefits of furnace maintenance.
Enjoy A Safe Efficient Heating System This Winter
Make sure your home will be cozy throughout the long, cold Brampton winter. Dr HVAC will handle all your duct cleaning and furnace maintenance needs and improve your air quality as a result. We care about your comfort; that’s how we earn 5-star Google Reviews, like this one from Anthony H:
This was my first time using Dr HVAC. Kurtis just came to perform furnace maintenance. What an awesome experience. He was polite, professional, very knowledgeable and had outstanding customer service. While this was my first time with Dr HVAC, it won’t be my last. Thank you, Dr HVAC and Kurtis, for taking care of me and my furnace.
Ask us about Service Club membership — the easiest way to keep your HVAC furnace and air conditioner system in top shape.
I WANT HVAC FURNACE CLEANING I NEED MY FURNACE DUCTS CLEANED