The furnace is the heart of the heating systems for homes with central air. Using this furnace maintenance checklist will keep it from clotting up and going into failure. Like most systems, even if it doesn’t break it will operate less efficiently without an annual service checkup. Keeping the furnace clean and well oiled can save you up to 5-10% on energy bills and prolong the life of the unit. Safety is a key factor, too. A faulty unit can lead to a carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide is not only very dangerous but it is also odorless and colorless making it almost impossible to detect without alarms.
Start by removing the electrical and fuel supply for safety reasons. Then remove the cover to access the combustion chamber. Use a wire brush to remove buildup of soot. Leaving it on the metal surfaces can lead to corrosion. Use a shop vacuum to remove the debris. After cleaning off the soot, inspect the surfaces for holes and cracks.
It is strongly recommended that you use gloves, a surgical mask and safety glasses during this step. Soot can be very corrosive and unhealthy.