How To Shut Down Your Furnace

Homeowners spend a lot of money on HVAC. That is, heating and cooling can be among your most substantial utility bills. So, it is understandable to want to do whatever you can to reduce HVAC energy consumption. Of course, there's always the option of investing in brand new appliances, like a new furnace or condenser unit. However, this is usually too expensive for most budgets. If you can't afford to invest in a brand new, energy efficient furnace, you can still do your best to make your furnace more efficient. This article explains how to safely shut down your furnace in order to clean it. 

Shutting Down the Furnace

Many people are simply intimidated by furnace maintenance because they don't know how to properly shut it off. That is, when you shut down the electricity to your furnace, you also need to turn off the gas. Many people are afraid to turn off the gas because this means they also need to relight the pilot. However, all this work is very easy if you just follow the simple instructions. You don't need any special tools or technical know-how to shut down a furnace. In fact, many furnace will have complete shutdown instructions on a sticker right on the outside of the cabinet. At the very least, they will have specific instructions about how to relight the pilot.

Importantly, you just want to make sure you shut everything down in the right order. That is, first you open up the furnace cabinet and look for the gas control knob. Twist this to the "OFF" position. Once the gas is turned off, you need to find the main power switch to the furnace. The power switch might not be on the actual furnace. Often, it is in a small breaker box that is mounted to the wall. Either way, it should be clearly marked and easy to find.

Cleaning the Furnace

Once the gas and electricity to your furnace are off, you can go ahead and clean it. Cleaning the inside of your furnace is very easy and self-explanatory. Just stay away from any wires or pipes that look vulnerable. You can use a hose vacuum and a wet rag to clean just about any surface.

Relight the Pilot Light

Once everything is clean, you just need to relight the pilot and your furnace will be ready to go. First, you need to turn on the electricity. Most modern furnaces have self-igniting switches, so you don't need a match or anything. Your best bet is to simply follow the instructions for your specific model.

With your furnace turned on, you should run your heat and make sure that everything is working properly.