About Damien

Damien McCusker, Manager of Arpi's residential service division, has been working in the HVAC industry for 16 years and has hands-on experience in new home installations, furnace and air conditioner replacements, sales and residential service. He spends most of his spare time being an UBER driver, driving his kids to soccer practice and games.

How Do Furnace Cleaning and Maintenance Differ From Duct Cleaning?

Phil Laprairie

How Do Furnace Cleaning and Maintenance Differ From Duct Cleaning?If you're trying to stay warm efficiently in the cold Calgary winters, you've no doubt heard the term "furnace cleaning." Exactly what that process entails, however, may not be so clear. Learning how furnace cleaning and duct cleaning differ will help you provide your furnace with the care it needs.

What's Involved in Furnace Maintenance

"Furnace cleaning" actually refers to the annual professional inspection and cleaning your furnace requires to run as safely and efficiently as possible. Annual maintenance also helps your system's components last longer. This yearly checkup doesn't just include cleaning, it also involves spotting and correcting malfunctions before they cause serious damage.

As part of routine furnace maintenance, your furnace technician will:

  • Clean the blower motor and test its operation
  • Measure for optimal airflow
  • Test the gas pressure and check for leaks
  • Clean and inspect the heat exchanger and combustion chamber assembly
  • Inspect for loose wires and electrical connections
  • Test the thermostat and controls for accuracy
  • Test for carbon monoxide (CO) gas leaks
  • Inspect your ducts for blockages and leaks

How Duct Cleaning Differs

Annual furnace cleaning includes a basic duct inspection, but it doesn't necessarily include duct cleaning. That's because most duct systems stay perfectly clean for many years and simply don't need to be cleaned annually. Instead, the ducts should be thoroughly inspected, separately from routine maintenance, at least once every five years to decide whether or not they require cleaning.  If you have pets or smokers in the home, consider duct cleaning every couple of years.

Also, periodically check inside the accessible parts of your ductwork and schedule a duct inspection if you find moisture or patches of discoloration, which suggest mold growth, or evidence of pest infestation.

If your ducts do need cleaning, your technician will bring in a truck-mounted vacuum system that will be connected to your duct system. The air duct registers and vents will be cleaned first, then a hose will be run through the ducts to dislodge debris and simultaneously suck it out. This method prevents debris from entering your rooms.

If your furnace or duct system is due for a cleaning, get in touch with us at Arpi's Industries Ltd. in the Calgary area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Jojje/Shutterstock”

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