Furnace Services: Cleaning The Combustion Chamber Of Furnaces

Posted on: 9 February 2015


The furnace in your home has an approximate lifespan of 15 years although the amount of energy needed to power the furnace may increase with time due to a decrease in overall efficiency. To increase the lifespan of your furnace so that it will remain operational for a longer period of time and to maintain its efficiency in overall function, opt for annual furnace servicing, which typically cost less than $100. One of the main services offered will be to clean out the combustion chamber.

Soot Builds Up in the Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber of the furnace is where the magic happens. The fuel is mixed there with the air and ignited in order to generate heat for the entire home. By-products that are also generated during the reaction include carbon soot, carbon dioxide and water vapor. The soot that is produced will accumulate and eventually build up on the chamber walls causing less space to be available for the combustion reaction; thus, reducing overall efficiency.

Cleaning Out the Combustion Chamber

To improve the overall energy efficiency of the furnace, the combustion chamber should be cleaned annually. A small wire brush is normally used to scrape off the accumulated carbon that has been clinging onto the walls. A shop vacuum is then used to remove all of the soot before the chamber is inspected. Some furnace cleaning services may even go one step further by actually washing out the inside of the chamber. Once the chamber is cleaned, most professionals will also look for signs of corrosion. Accumulated soot can actually cause the metal to corrode with time, and holes will greatly reduce the overall efficiency and capability of the furnace.

To prevent inhaling any of the soot, professionals wear a face mask when cleaning out the chamber. It is also important to line the surrounding environment with newspaper or plastic, so that any soot that flies out from the chamber can be easily collected. 


Keep in mind that thick layers of soot are incredibly difficult to remove. By ensuring that you are diligent in scheduling an annual furnace servicing, you will be able to avoid paying hefty bills for the amount of labor spent on trying to clean the combustion chamber. With all of the soot gone, the combustion chamber will have more space and air for the fuel to burn. As a result, the overall energy efficiency and capability of the furnace will greatly improve, and the lifespan of the furnace will also be lengthened.

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