5 Tips for Cleaning Your Central Heating System
A central heating system, generally located in the garage or basement, functions either by gas or electricity. It is made of a single centralized furnace that transforms energy into heat which is eventually blown in the house through ducts or vents thus heating the whole building. The furnace lets you control the air temperature thanks to the thermostat located on your wall and generally has an incorporated exhaust system which gets rid of any fumes.
1. Get Acquainted With Your Central Heating System
Your central heating system, like any other object in your house, needs regular maintenance and cleaning. Keeping central heating systems clean will avoid many breakdowns and major problems in the system, keeping it fully functional for a longer time. Therefore, it is always very important to keep filters, air ducts and vents clean to avoid malfunctions. The most common type of heating systems are the furnace type and heat pump type which are generally connected to a ducted system, and it is recommended to get acquainted with your own heating system before attempting any repairs yourself. There are also two different system types: the forced air duct system which pushes warm air into the vents thanks to a blower, and the gravity furnace system which uses convection currents to circulate warm air in the house.
2. Regular Filter Checks
It is recommended to regularly check your filters to optimize your system’s efficiency. Dirty filters may block warm air from circulating in your home. It is important to change the filters at least twice a year and even monthly during heating season to avoid clogged systems. Before changing your filter it is advisable to first check the filter size which is generally marked on a sticker on the access door. This will avoid inconveniences when you try to replace the old filter with the new one. Consider using disposable filters which are inexpensive.
3. Cleaning the Vents
Cleaning the vents is another maintenance issue for the upkeep of your central heating system. If vents are obstructed, warm air might be stopped from flowing. Make sure to keep all your vents, cold air returns and the exhaust system free of debris, dust and leaves.
4. Clean Your Pilot Light With A Small Wire Brush
In addition to the regular upkeep of your filters it is advisable to keep the heat exchanger surfaces clean to avoid accumulations of dust in the system. If you have a gas heating system always make sure that the pilot light is a clear blue for optimal service. It is thanks to the pilot light that the burners remain ablaze so it is imperative to keep it clean. To clean it you can use a small wire brush to clear the gas release area and a can of compressed air to get rid of the debris created. Remember to always shut off the gas flow and the thermostat is turned off before attempting to clean the pilot light.
5. Flushing The Heating System
At times a more aggressive solution like flushing the heating system may be required to clean the radiator. Make sure the heating boiler and gas or electricity are turned off and beware not to let any water leak into the central heating system. When flushing the heating system you will be using the expansion cylinder so make sure that the water does not overflow into the system.
These are only a few inexpensive tips that will help while cleaning your central heating system and will allow your heating system to run efficiently for a longer time. Keep in mind to always shut off the electricity or gas before attempting any cleaning to avoid accidents