How to Clean Furnace Burner Tubes

How to Clean Furnace Burner Tubes. A clean furnace is a healthy and efficient furnace. Dirty, dusty furnace parts wear out much faster and can be costly to replace. Continual maintenance will keep your furnace working and safe. Cleaning the burner tubes is a task you can perform on natural gas and propane-fueled furnaces only. Oil furnaces require a professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Furnace
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Drain line
  • Flashlight
  • Screwdriver

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Turn off the electric power and remove the combustion chamber door on your furnace. If you have a burner cover, remove it. Shut off gas at valve.

Vacuum the entire uncovered area. Pay attention to the burners and the base. You can always attach a smaller hose to the end of the vacuum cleaner hose to reach the back of the burner tubes. Drain line works well.

Remove the lower blower door to vacuum inside. Use your flashlight to check for dark soot or cracks in both compartments. Thoroughly check the sides of the burner tubes for hairline cracks.

Turn the furnace and gas back on. Standing a safe distance away, inspect the color of the flames. Blue and straight indicates a clean furnace. Yellow or bent flames indicate more cleaning may be required in other areas of the system.

Turn the power back off and replace the burner cover and door panels.

Switch the electric power back on and enjoy a cleaner, more efficient heating system.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember to look in the service manual that came with your furnace before attempting any of the above steps. There may be slight differences based on the design of your system.
  • Dark soot inside your furnace could be an indication of a crack or leak within the system. Contact your heating and cooling professional at this time.
  • Change air filters every 1 to 3 months; it will help prevent buildup inside your furnace tubes and other areas of the system.
  • Only adults should undertake cleaning the furnace. When in doubt, contact a professional immediately.
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