You don't need to be an HVAC specialist to maintain the efficiency of your system. Of course, there are a lot of things that will need to be fixed by professionals every once in a while. However, if you do a little bit a basic maintenance on a regular basis, you can probably avoid common problems. One of the best things that you can do to ensure that your heating and air conditioning systems are running efficiently is to clean your furnace pump every year or so. This article explains how to do this.
Shutting Down Your Furnace
If you have never done any maintenance to a furnace, you need to learn how to properly shut it down first. Usually, you start off by turning the thermostat to the off position. At this point you can open up the furnace cabinet. Some older furnace cabinets can only be opened by removing a couple of mounting screws. Most modern units open just like a door. Once your cabinet is open, look for the gas control knob. This knob is usually rather large and easy to see. Turn this to the off position. Finally, you need to cut the actual electricity running into the furnace. Since most furnaces don't have an on/off switch, you need to find the designated breaker switch and turn it off. Only now will it be fully safe to work on your furnace pump.
Cleaning Your Furnace Pump and Cabinet
In reality, shutting down your furnace and powering it back on when you're done might take longer than the actual cleaning. If you don't know what a furnace pump looks like, you still shouldn't have any problem finding it. The pump is a surprisingly small plastic box with wires coming out of both ends. One or two sides of the box will be vented. These vents are the most important part to clean. Usually, the fan is right inside the vented section. If they are clogged, the fan will heat up and become less efficient.
You can easily clean the fan by using a hose vacuum with a brush attachment. You shouldn't try and wipe down the vents with a rag. This will probably just push the dust into the fan, causing further problems. While you have the vacuum out, it is definitely a good idea to clean out as much of the cabinet that you can reach. Any dust or debris within the cabinet is likely to get sucked into the fan eventually. If you thoroughly clean out the entire cabinet, you won't need to clean the fan as frequently.
For more tips on cleaning your furnace pump and keeping your HVAC unit in good condition, talk to a professional like Pristine Air Conditioning Corp.