Turn Heater Off Before Cleaning
Before you clean your heater, it’s important to make sure it’s off. If it’s built in, make sure the switch or thermostat is in the off position. If your heater is portable, take the extra step of unplugging the heating device. This can help prevent safety issues that may arise.
Check the Heater’s Instructions
Before getting started, read the safety manual that comes with your heater. This is important to do because not all heaters are the same. There may be additional information that applies to your specific heater. Manuals can often be found online if you lost yours.
Control Dust Build-Up Regularly
When you clean your heater regularly, you can prevent dust buildup from happening. Dust can keep your heater from operating properly and block airflow. It can also stick to things spilled in the heater by accident, causing further issues. Keep dust buildup from becoming a safety hazard by frequently using a static-free duster.
Cleaning in Between Heater Tubes
To clean in between heater tubes, simply wrap a paper towel around the flat end of a spatula and use a rubberband to hold it in place. Hold the spatula by the handle and use the flat wrapped end to get in between the tubes. If there’s something in there other than dust that’s tough to remove, you can spray a little glass cleaner or all-purpose cleaner on the paper towel area for cleaning.
Vacuuming a Heater
Because there will be some spaces you can’t get to, it’s important to vacuum inside your heater as well. You can do this using a brush attachment on the tube end of your vacuum. The brush removes extra dust particles for more thorough cleaning.
Removing Rust Stains
It’s not uncommon for rust to occur on your heater’s metal plate. It will happen less if you keep the dust under control, however. Once you see rust on the metal plate, you can treat it by applying some vegetable oil to a piece of steel wool. Rub this over the rusted area very gently. Then, go over it again with a soft cloth that’s wet with denatured alcohol (methylated spirits).
Don’t Forget an Annual Checkup
No matter how thorough you are with cleaning, your heater should still be checked at least once per year by a local heating company. A technician can help ensure your heater is clean within areas you can’t see, which is extremely important for safety.
Cleaning your heater regularly can help prevent airflow issues, as well as keep your heater operating at full speed. It’s important to keep up with cleaning it yourself, as well as have a technician visit to service your heater at least once annually.