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Annual Furnace and Fireplace Cleaning

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Annual Furnace and Fireplace Cleaning


Having your furnace and fireplace cleaned annually is one of the most important things you can do as a homeowner. Not only does it improve efficiency and prevent costly repairs down the road, but it also ensures your family’s health and safety. As an HVAC technician with over 10 years of experience, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know about annual furnace and fireplace maintenance.

Why Annual Cleaning is Essential

There are a few key reasons why annual cleaning is so crucial for furnaces and fireplaces:

  • Improves efficiency – Over time, dust, dirt, and debris can build up inside the components. Annual cleaning removes these contaminants so your furnace and fireplace run more efficiently.

  • Saves money – Catching and fixing minor issues early on prevents them from escalating into major repairs down the road. Annual cleaning extends the lifespan of your equipment, saving you money.

  • Prevents carbon monoxide leaks – Built up dust and dirt can lead to improper combustion and dangerous carbon monoxide leaks. Annual cleaning helps keep your family safe.

  • Reduces risk of fire – Regular fireplace cleaning removes creosote buildup in the chimney. This significantly decreases the likelihood of a dangerous chimney fire.

Furnace Cleaning Tips

Here are my top tips for DIY furnace cleaning:

Change the Filter

  • Replace your furnace filter every 1-3 months during heavy usage seasons. Clogged filters block airflow.

Vacuum the Blower Compartment

  • Turn off power to furnace and remove the blower compartment cover. Carefully vacuum dust and debris.

Clean the Flame Sensor

  • Wipe down the flame sensor with steel wool or sandpaper. This improves ignition.

Inspect the Burners

  • Remove any visible dirt or debris on the burners for clean combustion.

Check the Exhaust Vent

  • Ensure the exhaust vent piping is clear of obstructions and operating properly.

Test Functionality

  • Turn the furnace back on and test to make sure heat is blowing properly.

Fireplace Cleaning Tips

Here are some fireplace cleaning tips:

Clean the Glass Door

  • Wipe down glass door with a fireplace glass cleaner or mixture of vinegar and water.

Vacuum the Firebox

  • Carefully vacuum loose debris from the firebox, being sure the ashes are completely cooled.

Check the Flue

  • Inspect the chimney flue for any creosote buildup or blockages using a mirror or chimney inspection camera.

Clean out Ash and Debris

  • Scoop out leftover ash and dispose properly. Check under grates for fallen debris.

Inspect Gaskets/Seals

  • Examine gaskets around doors and screens for any air leaks, cracks, or damage. Replace if needed.

Clean Surrounding Area

  • Dust surrounding mantle or brick/stone with a small brush or vacuum attachment.

Hiring a Professional

While DIY cleaning is great, hiring a professional annually is highly recommended to thoroughly inspect and tune-up your furnace and fireplace. They have the expertise and tools to fully clean and identify any underlying issues. This provides peace of mind that your systems are operating safely and efficiently.


Annual furnace and fireplace cleaning provides huge benefits for performance, safety, and budget. Following these cleaning tips and hiring a professional service annually can extend the life of your equipment and ensure your home and family stays comfortable and safe. Proper maintenance gives you one less thing to worry about!

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