When we clean our houses, garages, or cars, it’s usually for aesthetic
reasons like making them look and smell nice. But when it comes to your
furnace, cleaning is about much more than just aesthetic appeal. Keeping
your furnace clean helps avoid breakdowns, keeps your home safe, and improves
the efficiency of your system. Today we’re going to talk about the
effects that dirt has on your heating system and provide you with tips
for how to keep your furnace clean!

What Happens When Your Furnace is Dirty?

Dirt buildup can cause all sorts of problems for your furnace, some of
the most common of them include:

  • Efficiency issues with your air handler. When dirt builds up in your air
    handler’s fan’s blades, it weighs the blades down and makes
    it is harder for the motor to spin them. As a result, your air handler will
    have to consume more energy to provide proper airflow to your system.
  • Ignition problems with your burners. Dirty burners are often to blame for
    furnace inefficiencies and breakdowns. When dirt builds up on your burners,
    it restricts the flow of oxygen and causes them to burn incompletely.
    This causes carbon monoxide to build up inside your furnace, which is
    a safety concern. If dirt buildup on your burners is severe, it can completely
    prevent them from igniting.
  • Pilot light problems. If you have a furnace with a traditional or intermittent
    pilot light, dirt buildup can cause the pilot light’s flame to extinguish
    and/or prevent it from relighting.
  • Electronic ignition problems. If you have a furnace with electronic
    ignition, dirt buildup can form a layer on its surface that prevents it
    from heating up properly. As a result, your burners might not be able
    to ignite at all.
  • Impaired safety devices. Furnaces have several safety devices that
    protect your home if your system has a carbon monoxide
    leak or is a fire hazard. If any of those devices get dirty, it can prevent
    them from keeping your system in check and might allow your furnace to
    continue to operate unsafely.

How to Keep Your Furnace Clean

  • Get a furnace tune-up every year. Another common name for a furnace tune-up
    is a “clean and check.” That’s because cleaning plays
    an essential role in every furnace tune-up. During your tune-up, we’ll
    clean your system inside and out to prevent the problems listed above.
  • Change your air filter every month. The primary purpose of your air filter
    is to protect your furnace from dirt buildup. If your filter is clogged,
    dirty air will bypass the filter and dirt will accumulate on your system’s
    components. You can prevent this by checking and/or changing your air
    filter every month. Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning makes it easy to stock up on filters with
    our online filter store!
  • Upgrade your filtration system. The higher the MERV rating of your air
    filter, the better it will protect your system from dirt buildup. Consult
    your furnace’s owner’s manual or contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning to find
    out the highest MERV rating your system is designed to operate with. If
    your current filter’s MERV rating is lower than that, consider upgrading
    to a more efficient filter.
  • Clean your house regularly. Another great way to keep your furnace clean
    is to keep your house clean. By regularly dusting and vacuuming your home,
    you can remove dirt at its source before it can be carried back to your furnace.

If you have any questions about how to keep your furnace clean, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Charles furnace installation and repair contractor. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like Cottleville, Creve Coeur, and Dardenne Prairie, MO.

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