How To Clean An Electric Furnace

Though electric furnaces keep up with the modern world, their maintenance is not to be neglected. If you're not sure how to clean them, don't worry! We did in-depth research to uncover tips and tricks for maintaining electric furnaces safe and clean for daily use. 

To properly clean an electric furnace, you must prepare your cleaning tools and equipment. Once everything is set, then you are ready to implement these steps:

  1. Make sure you turn off the furnace's switch.
  2. Check and clean your filter if necessary. 
  3. Vacuum and dust inside. 
  4. Inspect the belt and wiring.
  5. Check and clean the blower fan and heat registers. 
  6. Turn the power on and listen to the furnace's sound.
  7. Turn the power off.

It doesn't take that much time to clean a furnace. What's left of it now is how thorough and gentle you are in cleaning it. Some components require extra care in cleaning, so remember to do it slowly but precisely. Continue reading as we delve into the cleaning process and the precautions we take to keep things in order.

A home high energy efficient furnace in a basement - How To Clean An Electric Furnace

How do we clean an electric furnace?

Technician repairing Gas Furnace.

Cleaning a furnace won't take up much of your time. It's easy and doesn't get you worked up over minute details. You will only need to prepare a vacuum, a soft-bristle brush, and compressed air. 

Keeping all things clean goes a long way. It extends the lifespan of your unit and gets it working properly. Below are seven easy steps to clean an electric furnace:

  1. Make sure you turn off the power before opening up your furnace.
  2. Check your filter and clean it if too much dirt accumulates on it. Having a dirty filter keeps the electric furnace from being efficient.
  3. When the filter is clean, unscrew the doors of your furnace and open it to inspect the inside first. Some filters do not use bolts, so you can easily slide them down. 
  4. Start vacuuming your furnace. Dust necessary dirt on the wires and other components. Check loose wires and rewire them back to their original position if needed. 
  5. Use your compressed air after dusting off dirt on your circuit board and other tight spots. You don't have to be strict with your cleaning regimen, but cleaning it will save unnecessary damage. It also keeps you from poor quality air leading to health risks and hazards.
  6. Clean your blower fan. Check the inside and the backside before dusting them with a soft brush. Having your blowers clean keeps you from having problems in your electric furnace in the long run.
  7. Once done, turn the power on and listen to the furnace sound. A good and working furnace does not produce a bad screeching sound.
  8. If all is cleaned and checked, turn off your furnace, and you're done.

Do electric furnaces need to be cleaned?

Close up of Air Conditioning Repair, repairman on the floor fixing air conditioning system

Yes, electric furnaces have to be cleaned. While it may be true that electric furnaces are less threatening than gas furnaces, that doesn't exempt us from risks and hazards. All appliances require maintenance and servicing, whether done by HVAC professionals or you do it yourself.

Generally, all-electric furnaces are serviced annually as you have to maintain the integrity of your furnace. It does not only keep you safe but will save you money for unnecessary service repairs and replacements. 

Risks of Unclean Furnaces

Failing to keep your furnace clean might increase risks to your household budget and your health. A buildup of dirt and debris will clog up the filters and may cause overheating of the system. It's one risk that leads to another. 

What's tragic about clogged filters is that they overworked their components to compensate for the airflow block. The damage could soon be severe, and more furnace compartments will wear out and might need repair or replacements. 

With dirty filters, you are already at risk of bad quality air surrounding your home. What is filtered out is being re-filtered inside, causing a dust buildup. It poses chronic damage to individuals with asthma and other related respiratory diseases. 

How much does it cost to get your furnace maintained?

HVAC service technician changing dirty air filter in the central ventilation system. Change filter in rotary heat exchanger recuperator. Air duct ventilation system maintenance for clean air.

If you purchase an electric furnace, make sure you know the warranty of your unit and how far their maintenance service lasts. Check with your manufacturer and have a heads-up on prices that are not in their annual inspection and cleaning. 

On average, a furnace inspection ranges from $100 to $300 and an additional $275 to $500 if ducts need cleaning too. Replacement for a filter likely costs between $10 to $30, depending on the brand. 

Click here to see this furnace filter on Amazon.

Can you replace gas with an electric furnace?

How To Clean An Electric Furnace

It is possible to change your gas furnace with an electric furnace. The benefits skyrocket as you decide to change your gas furnace. One of which is the space it occupies. A gas furnace has a boiler and pipes that take up so much space in your area.

There are certain advantages to switching your gas furnace to electric. Electric furnaces do not require intensive maintenance. There will be no possible gas leaks, and it is safer for you and your home. Some areas in the country have more access to electricity than gas which saves thousands of dollars.

In most cases, it is doable to switch to an electric furnace since you can still use ductwork from the gas furnace with electric furnaces. But check first with your service provider before making the decision, or it could cost you a lot more money for replacements of new ones.

How long can an electric furnace last?

The use and maintenance of a furnace determine the lifespan of your unit. With proper servicing, maintenance, and usage, it could last longer than its expected lifespan. However, it is also beneficial to find out exactly how long your furnace can last.

Depending on your type of furnace, its life expectancy is around 20 to 30 years. Electric furnaces tend to last twice longer than gas furnaces.

Are electric furnaces expensive?

A home high energy efficient furnace in a basement

Using electricity as a means to run an electric furnace requires additional costs in your budget. While it may be true that gas is not particularly easily accessible to certain parts of the country, the use of electricity is not cheap either. On a positive note, the cost may differ on your location, type of unit, size of your home, and cost of your electricity. 

You may spend an average of $2,600 per year for an electric furnace, while a gas furnace may cost you $1,800 per year to use. But gas furnaces often require high costs for maintenance and repairs. They also have shorter lifespans compared to electric furnaces. 

Click here to see this electric furnace on Amazon.

In Closing

Hiring technicians or professionals to do the furnace cleaning job is easy. It might cost you more, but you're sure your furnace is in good hands. If you are the handyman type, you can do it yourself, although it's not a trial and error process, so do it well.

Knowing how to clean your furnace is a bonus. It saves you time and money. Remember to always check the sensitive compartments of your furnace before running a clean-up. Your furnace is an investment, so be sure to maintain it annually.

For more helpful information about electric furnaces, check out these other posts:

Do electric furnaces need yearly maintenance?

Are Electric Furnaces Quieter Than Gas?

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