Do I Need to Clean My Furnace Blower?

A furnace blower contains an assembly with a motor and wheel-like device. It’s designed to blow air through the system and is what allows for airflow through the evaporator coil and your home ductwork. You can therefore see how a dirty blower assembly can affect air quality in your house. The blower runs whether the system is running in heating or cooling mode. Not only does a dirty blower assembly reduce airflow, but it may also reduce comfort and add strain that can damage your furnace.

Why Should I Clean My Furnace Blower?

Cleaning the blower can improve fan performance and the efficiency of the motor, reducing the amount of electricity used. You also have an opportunity to remove dust that can be kept out of the system. Dust is highly insulating and can increase the operating temperature of components, which could cause them to overheat and fail. It also increases resistance on the fan and forces the motor to work much harder. Safe to say, blower cleaning can save you money on electrical bills and repairs.

Does It Matter What Kind of Furnace I Have?

You should always protect your furnace from the very beginning. If it is new and you have a clean blower wheel, install a high-quality air filter. Still, some dust can get past the filter, so the system should be professionally inspected at least every year. If necessary, it can be cleaned by a technician, which can save on operating costs and increase system life expectancy.

If you have an older furnace, it’s likely the blower wheel needs to be cleaned. This requires removing the assembly, disassembling the wheel from the motor, and thoroughly cleaning each part. The goal is to restore the assembly to factory condition, and if the system is excessively dirty, an improved filtration system can be recommended and installed.

Can I Clean the Furnace Blower Myself?

It’s generally not recommended to perform any work that involves taking apart your furnace. That should be left to a professional with the right experience and tools. But if you want to know how a blower assembly is maintained, here are the basic steps that are required:

  1. Turn Off Power: The furnace must be off, whether by a switch, main power panel, or at a separate power entrance for the appliance if there is one.
  2. Access the Assembly: Remove the access door and the door switch if it’s blocking access to the blower. This unit is typically secured by two screws, so remove these; no wires need to be disconnected.
  3. Remove the Control Board: Unscrew the screws holding the board in place, but don’t remove the board from the mounting bracket. Both should come out together. If any wires need to be removed, mark where they’re connected.
  4. Remove the Assembly Carefully: Removing the blower can be tricky. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and position your fingers such that they’re not in the way of the fan, which will spin freely as you remove the unit. In most furnaces, two screws hold the blower in place; remove these and slide the blower assembly out.
  5. Avoid Wires and Sensitive Parts: Edges on the assembly can nick wire insulation and even damage certain parts. Remove it slowly and set it aside carefully.
  6. Clean the Blower: The best tools for cleaning a furnace blower are a vacuum, which can also be used to clean the blower cabinet, and a toothbrush to get between the fan blades. A paint brush can be used to dust down the housing and other furnace parts.

Schedule Professional Furnace Maintenance Today

The licensed technicians at Black Hills Inc. have all the training, tools, and equipment to safely and effectively clean your furnace blower. We offer comprehensive heater maintenance to
improve efficiency, fix minor problems, and ensure your comfort and safety. To set up an appointment, schedule, online or call 888-884-6365 today!