About Me

Hiring and Communicating with a Home Cleaning Service

Thanks for stopping by my website. My name is Annabelle Collins. My husband and I live in a large house with our two teenage children. We’re fortunate in that we’re able to have a cleaning service come and clean on a weekly basis. In the past, I found that it was difficult for me to exert myself when it came to hiring and communicating with our cleaning service. I’ve never been very authoritative, and that shone through in a not good way. I wanted things to be done in a certain way, but found it difficult to ask for what I wanted. I have come to realize that in order for the service to do the job I want to be done, I have to ask for it to happen. I doubt that I’m alone in the fact that this is difficult, and want to share my experience and growth.


Hiring and Communicating with a Home Cleaning Service

How To Clean Your Furnace's Combustion Chamber

by Vicki Burns

Your gas furnace has provided warmth to your home for the past several winter seasons. After hundreds of hours of use, you've noticed your furnace produces a strange odor whenever it's active. In an attempt to fix this problem, you've replaced your air filter and cleaned your blower motor. However, your furnace's strange odors continue to waft into your home. In such a case, it's highly likely debris has managed to slip through your air filter and settle in your combustion chamber. Here's how to remove it:

Gather Your Equipment

To properly clean your furnace, you'll need a screwdriver set, flashlight, long metal brush, vacuum or air compressor, a few shop rags, and a microfiber cloth. Contrary to popular belief, you won't need any chemical cleaners to get the job done. Household cleaners will leave behind a flammable and toxic residue capable of releasing harmful gases into your home when ignited.

Prepare and Inspect Your Furnace

Shut off both the electrical power and gas supply to your furnace. Once your furnace has cooled, open the access door on your furnace unit. Depending on your furnace design, you may need to remove a few screws from the door before you're able to open it.

Now that you have access to your combustion chamber, determine whether or not your burner tubes must be cleaned.

Your burner tubes are responsible for delivering gas to your furnace. However, if your furnace isn't receiving sufficient airflow, then soot will coat your burner tubes and restrict the flow of gas to your furnace. If you don't see any soot on the exterior surfaces of your burner tubes, shine your flashlight into the tubes to inspect their interior for soot deposits.

If your burner tubes are free of interior and exterior soot deposits, then skip the next section on burner cleaning. However, if your tubes are coated with even a small amount of soot, then you'll need to clean them. In addition to restricting the flow of gas to your furnace, soot deposits will also produce unpleasant odors when heated.

Clean Your Burner Tubes

If your burner tubes are easily accessible, then you may be able to remove light soot deposits with your air compressor or vacuum. To do so, place the nozzle of your air compressor or vacuum into the opening of each tube and either blast or suction the soot deposits until your tubes are clean. However, if your tubes are heavily soiled or inaccessible, then you'll need to remove them from your furnace and scrub them with your metal brush.

Depending on your furnace design, you'll either need to remove each tube individually or remove the entire series of tubes at once. For most standard furnace designs, you'll only need to remove a few screws near the base of each tube to remove them from your furnace. However, since each furnace model differs, it's best to reference your owner's manual before attempting to remove your burner tubes.

Use your metal brush to scrape away any exterior soot deposits on your tubes. Once each tube's exterior is clean, slide your brush inside the tube and brush while rotating the tube in a complete circle. By doing so, you'll break apart soot deposits that formed on the top, sides, and bottom of your tube interiors.

You must be extremely careful while reinstalling your tubes. If your tubes aren't installed correctly, they can funnel your furnace's gas supply away from your pilot flame. If you aren't able to reinstall your tubes to manufacturer specifications, then hire a professional HVAC contractor to finish the job.

Clean Your Chamber

Debris blown by your motor can settle all over your combustion chamber. Dampen one of your shop rags with water and wipe the sides, back, and bottom of your chamber.

Once you have removed all debris from your chamber, use your microfiber cloth to absorb any water left behind by your shop rags. In addition to absorbing water, your microfiber cloth will collect lint from your shop rags that could be ignited the next time you activate your furnace.

Test Your Work

Make sure you reinstalled any components you removed during the cleaning process prior to closing your access door. Restore your furnaces gas and electric supply and activate your furnace. If no more odors are released into your home, then pack up your equipment and call it a day. However, if your furnace continues to release unpleasant fumes or odors into your home, then immediately shut off your furnace and hire an HVAC technician, such as HomeSmart From Xcel Energy, for an inspection.