Furnace cleaning is usually an easy task -- high-pressure air triggers can be used to clean out the heat exchanger. However, if the heat exchanger has not been cleaned for a long time, there is a lot of debris you may need to remove to make sure that the furnace remains efficient.
Dirty Heat Exchangers are Inefficient
When your heat exchanger is very dirty, the furnace might not be drafting properly. You'll see a reduction in the production of the equipment. The system has to work harder to generate heat, so you'll likely see higher utility bills. This problem can often be solved with a simple cleaning. However, it's still important to make sure that no damage was done to your heat exchanger, which is another common cause of an inefficient furnace.
Your Home Might Smell Bad
You might notice strange smells in your home. The gases that are released may lead to your carbon monoxide detector going off. Whenever a carbon monoxide detector is going off, you'll need to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.
The Flame Might Stutter
Normally, your furnace will have a blue flame that will be constantly burning. When the flame is stuttering, this is often because there is something wrong with the heat exchanger. Particles can build up and clog your furnace components; this can make it much more difficult for the flame to burn properly and consistently.
Look for Signs of Rust
When you don't clean your heat exchanger regularly, your furnace may experience dirt and soot buildup that may lead to corrosion. Eventually, this can lead to a heat exchanger that is defective and may need to be replaced. You may notice rust around the sides, edges and base. If the problem is not too severe, you may simply need the rust to be cleaned off.
Use the Right Cleaning Method and Consider Hiring Professionals
When the heat exchanger has been highly fouled, it may be cleaned through polishing, pellets, or with a water jet. Water jets typically lead to a greater level of cleanliness and will extend the run time of the heat exchanger. Cleaning using more traditional methods, such as special cleaning chemicals, may actually damage the heat exchanger if they are not used properly. The fastest and safest method is to use a combination of high-pressure water, a rotary polishing machine, and a rotary projectile system.
For more information about furnace cleaning, you can contact companies like Always Ready Repair.