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Should I Perform Furnace Cleaning After Every Winter?

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As winter ends, spring cleaning beginnings! Most homeowners do the majority of their yearly cleaning in spring. 

It is a great time to do much of the heavy lifting that cleaning entails. The spring breeze helps alleviate stress in case you work up a sweat. 

Your furnace may benefit from a thorough cleaning this season. 

After a long dreary winter, your furnace may be due for a spring cleaning. Your furnace needs attention, and it needs it now. However, it would be best if you weren’t too hasty.

Be careful in handling its delicate components. There might also be leftover frosting and hazardous residue seeping out of their pipelines.

Find more tips for spring furnace care that every homeowner in Oregon should know.

Does My Furnace Need Spring Maintenance?

After winter’s last chill, your furnace might be on the brink. It may benefit from a thorough inspection and maintenance. 

Annual furnace cleaning is important. It saves you the trouble of dealing with faulty heating systems next winter. 

But…does it have to be immediately after winter? 

Spring is prime time for all kinds of cleaning. Can you imagine working on your heating system during summer?

Additionally, winter drives all sorts of inhabitants into your home. The slightest opening invites trouble, leading to unseen intruders and particles. Who knows what’s taken refuge in there?

It’s best to act fast to prevent rodents and contaminants from breeding there. They may pose health risks and fire hazards in the future.

Risks of Poor Furnace Maintenance

Winters in Oregon aren’t exactly harsh. However, they can overwork your furnace system. 

Neglecting HVAC systems doesn’t always lead to immediate danger or perilous risks. However, even the smallest compromises may result in mechanical damage.

Your furnace system may succumb to damage, regardless of its worth. Total system replacement or overhaul can cost up to thousands of dollars. 

Clogs and blockages may compromise components and hinder heating functions. You may experience costly heating and faltering systems that can really put a damper on things for winter.

Dust, dirt, and leftover winter frost can block natural airflow, allowing your furnace to harbor contamination. Hindered ventilation also allows particle pollution and condensation to stagnate - a volatile mix that may eventually lead to mold growth.

Your furnace is a prime location for mold spores to settle and breed. While they may only cause clogs now, it won’t take long before they spread through ductwork. 

You already know how bad a mold infestation can be for your home and everyone living there. Taking simple steps in furnace aftercare during spring can save you thousands of dollars in mold remediation. 

Areas in your furnace harboring condensation can invite mold spores. Residual fuel lingering on pipes can make internal systems vulnerable to infestation and cause corrosion

Seemingly minor clogs won’t always lead to mold, but they aren’t harmless. They can make things much harder for your furnace systems. 

You may not notice immediately. However, it is best not to wait until next winter to find out. Forgoing post-season inspections may lead to various consequences. 

We aren’t sure what’s worse to experience during winter; receiving erratic temperatures or surging utilities. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid costly utility bills and unreliable heating next winter.

Post-Season Furnace Maintenance Tips

To avoid stressful heating issues next winter, pay attention to your furnace now. After every winter, inspecting your heating systems for any imminent threats is best. 

No one wants to spend time coaxing rodents out of air ducts. However, ensuring your furnace is clean and pristine before letting it sit dormant for months is prudent.

Furnace Aftercare: Do-It-Yourself

While it is always best to enlist professional assistance, there are things you can do without the help of professionals. 

We cannot, in good conscience, give you advice on handling comprehensive furnace management. Instead, we will give you helpful tips you can do before you call professionals. 

Inspection

Sometimes, you can tell if there’s something wrong with your furnace. You might catch various manifestations with a glance. 

Inspecting your furnace helps you pick up on unusual symptoms. You may immediately see signs of corrosion, leaks, cracks, dents, blockages, andsome forms of infestation. 

Inspect the entire exterior of your furnace. You may notice leaks seeping from any dents, holes, and cracks. While some abrasions are easily remedied with a little electrical tape and DIY patchwork, some require more complex remedies.

You may see some symptoms on the surface, but you must look further into your heating system.

Your pipes aren’t immediately visible. They are often stashed behind access panels to avoid exposure. 

Corrosion looks like bubbling rust. Inspect your pipes for rust or blackish gunk saturating the tip of your pipes.

Depending on the kind you own, you may access various pipes at the rear through the furnace doors. Some furnace types have accessible pipes located behind panels at the front.

Older furnaces have exposed piping, which is more susceptible to corrosion. You might be able to scrape off some rusting, but corrosion is infectious and spreads quickly through metal elements that are linked together.

Corrosion may also cause blockages, clogging various inlets and outlets. You may not see deep into your entire heating system to find clogs. While you can’t always see them, you will hear from them.

Most unusual noises, such as banging, clanging, hissing, and gurglingstem from clogs. Something trapped in your heating system can bang around internal systems and dislodge components. 

You might hear these disruptive noises through your ductwork. Do not dismiss them as operational noises. 

Remain vigilant for obnoxious noises and lingering odors. 

A slightly burnt smell is normal when you first turn your furnace unit on during winter. However, a burning odor is unusual in spring. Your furnace shouldn’t release any odors while it’s turned off unless there’s an underlying issue

Decaying smells such as aged meat or rotten eggs indicate hazards. You must report them immediately. 

There might be a decaying rodent within your furnace or ducting system. Your furnace filter may also be saturated with contaminants!

Cleaning

A furnace filter and some pipes are easy components to access and clean. You may find the furnace filter above the motors by the blower compartment. 

You may find them at the base of the entire heating system. Other furnace systems may have filters on a rack beneath a baseboard next to return vents.

Your central heating systems may also have integrated air filters atop or behind each vent. Air filters are the first line of defense against various particles and contaminants.

The easiest step in the entire furnace cleaning process is handling dirty filters. You can dislodge them from their attachments for cleaning. You may use industrial or homemade cleaning solutions.

You can concoct your own cleaning agent with equal parts of baking soda and white vinegar. You can also use lemon juice or anything with citric acid in place of white vinegar. 

A little baking soda mix with a gentle brush goes a long way. Most homeowners use homemade remedies to clean furnace pipes and filters.

Protection

However, it’s important you use gentle materials to apply chemical solutions on furnace components. Gentle brushes and microfiber fabric are always best. 

Use rubber gloves while cleaning to ensure nothing is damaged, including your skin.

Remember, furnace aftercare is for cleaning. You must avoid causing any damage by attempting to clean your furnace. 

If you don’t have the necessary equipment or skill to handle furnace cleaning properly or safely, it’s best to reach out to the pros.

Should I Call the Pros?

It is best to contact professional HVAC contractors to avoid damaging your furnace. Inspection and cleaning are simple steps you can do, but conducting minor or significant repairs is a leap. 

Do not underestimate the various complexities of handling your heating systems. Technicians undergo extensive training to conduct different procedures correctly. 

Thorough cleaning and proper repair services are the most effective ways to ensure system stability and efficient heating. 

Additionally, older furnace systems need more than cleaning to survive more winters. All furnace types require annual tune-up services to retain efficiency and stability.

While furnace tune-ups range between basic and comprehensive efforts, you should call the experts instead of attempting them yourself.

Who Should I Call for Furnace Maintenance in Portland, Oregon?

It’s all over for winter but it doesn’t have to be for your old furnace. We will provide your home heating systems with the comprehensive care it needs. 

Call the Sunset Heating & Cooling team for annual furnace maintenance plans. We will anticipate winter’s end and immediately get to work, leaving you with less stress.

We also provide yearly furnace tune-up services to ensure your home has efficient, reliable, and quality heating each time. Trust Sunset Heating & Cooling for all kinds of heating services.

For over a century, we have provided Oregon with various home improvement services, including furnace repair and maintenance. Our furnace replacement services can help upgrade your home’s heating if it’s been around for as long as we have.

Your furnace deserves the best, and so does your family. If you need professional inspection and evaluation, we’re there!

Call Us for Heating Services in Portland, OR, at (503) 500-5866 Today!

What Our Clients Say

Sunset went out of their way to help with my project and David was amazing. Great job and look forward to future projects.

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Roman did an awesome job. I had the trifecta, new AC unit ,furnace and hot water heater. Courteous, and competent service. I highly recommend Sunset Heating & Cooling.

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