How to Clean a HVAC Squirrel Cage
If you’ve ever wondered how to clean an HVAC squirrel cage, you’re not alone. It can be a difficult task if you don’t know the first thing about these systems. The following article will explain how to disassemble a squirrel cage fan and clean the condenser coils. Once you’ve done this, you can reassemble the unit to continue using the AC.
Disassemble a hvac squirrel cage fan
If your squirrel cage fan has a dusty motor or has a build-up of grease, you can easily remove the blower unit and clean it. But you need to remove the squirrel cage first, since it may also be rusted. Disassembling the squirrel cage fan also gives you a chance to clean the motor and other parts. Ideally, you will do this as often as possible, since it is prone to build-up.
After removing the dust and dirt from the motor, you should then remove the blades. The blower assembly is usually mounted above the air handler and contains several screws and bolts. When disassembling the fan, make sure you remove any rusted parts from the shaft and remove any rust. To avoid rust, oil the fan shaft first. Remove the screws that attach the fan blades to it.
Once you’ve removed the screws, you can start the disassembly process. Usually, the control board is attached to the motor and held in place by several metal frames. Pull the mounting bracket to expose the motor. Be sure to separate the wiring from the motor. Next, check the ducts and fins. You may need to disassemble the entire fan to check its functionality. And you can always try reassembling it later.
Clean the blower wheel
There are many reasons why you should regularly clean the blower wheel of your HVAC squirrel cage. Not only will this prolong the life of your equipment, but it will also help you save money on power bills. To keep your air conditioning equipment in top working condition, clean the blower wheel at least once a year. This can be done by following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you use an air cleaner, make sure to change the filter as necessary.
Dirty air can cause the blower motor to overheat, causing it to stop working altogether. To reset the motor, simply press the red button on your HVAC system. If your furnace is an older model, you may have a motor bolted to the side of the squirrel cage. If the blower is still running, the problem could be with the drive belt. If the belt is loose or worn, the blower may not be able to rotate.
To clean the blower wheel of a squirrel cage, disassemble the fan assembly. It will slide out of the air handler’s base. It is usually secured by two to four bolts. Note that the fan wheel does not look particularly dirty in the first photo, but it can have a lot of dirt on it. Dirt and debris will block the curved fan blades, changing their shape. Moreover, the fan may be wet. If this is the case, it is likely that the condensate drain has become clogged.
Clean the condenser coils
To clean your HVAC system’s condenser coils, you can use a simple cleaning solution available at any home improvement store. Do not use the cleaning solution for indoor coils, as it may produce fumes and cause burns. Instead, mix a small amount of dish soap with warm water and use a soft brush to scrub the coils. You may also use a no-rinse coil cleaner, available at a local home improvement store. It foams up and drips into the drain pan of the HVAC unit, taking dirt with it.
You can also clean the fan assembly, which is located inside the air handler unit. A gas-fired furnace uses a separate cooling coil located above the air handler unit. The same air handler system is used for both heating and air conditioning, so it may contain separate condenser coils. If the condensate drain is clogged, solid ice can form on the cooling coils, which can lead to costly repairs.
After removing the cage, you should wash and dry it. Slide the squirrel cage over the motor shaft, and screw the cover in place. Make sure to align the holes in the air conditioner and furnace with the screws and retaining bolt. After cleaning the condenser coils of an air conditioner, place it outdoors, where the sunlight will dry them. You may want to add a pre-filter to keep the squirrel cage clean.
Read More: How To balance a squirrel cage blower fan
How to clean a HVAC squirrel cage
You can clean a HVAC squirrel cage by using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.
First turn off the power to the unit.
Next remove the cover of the squirrel cage.
Use the brush attachment to vacuum the inside of the cage being careful not to damage the blades.
Finally replace the cover and turn the power back on.
What are some signs that a HVAC squirrel cage needs to be cleaned?
Some signs that a HVAC squirrel cage needs to be cleaned include decreased airflow strange smells coming from the unit and excessive dust and dirt buildup around the cage.
How often should a HVAC squirrel cage be cleaned?
A HVAC squirrel cage should be cleaned at least once a year but more often if it is located in a dusty or dirty area.
What happens if a HVAC squirrel cage is not cleaned?
If a HVAC squirrel cage is not cleaned it can cause the unit to overheat and lead to damage to the blades.
Additionally the dirt and dust buildup can eventually lead to decreased airflow and decreased efficiency.
What is the best way to prevent a HVAC squirrel cage from needing to be cleaned?
The best way to prevent a HVAC squirrel cage from needing to be cleaned is to regularly change the air filter and to keep the area around the unit clean.
How do you change a HVAC air filter?
Most HVAC units have a panel that can be removed to access the air filter.
Simply remove the old air filter and replace it with a new one.
Be sure to check the manufacturer’s directions to ensure you are using the correct type of air filter.
What are some common types of HVAC air filters?
Some common types of HVAC air filters include pleated filters fiberglass filters and activated carbon filters.
What is the difference between pleated and fiberglass filters?
Pleated filters are more effective at trapping smaller particles than fiberglass filters.
Fiberglass filters are less expensive but need to be replaced more often.
What is the difference between an activated carbon filter and a regular air filter?
Activated carbon filters are more effective at trapping odors and chemicals than regular air filters.
How often should a HVAC air filter be changed?
Most HVAC air filters should be changed at least once every three months but more often if the unit is located in a dusty or dirty area.
Where can I buy HVAC air filters?
HVAC air filters can be purchased at most hardware stores and home improvement stores.
They can also be ordered online.
How much do HVAC air filters cost?
The cost of HVAC air filters varies depending on the type and size of the filter.
However most filters cost between $5 and $20.
I’ve noticed that my HVAC unit seems to be working harder than normal.
Could a dirty air filter be the cause?
Yes a dirty air filter can cause your HVAC unit to work harder than normal.
This can lead to decreased efficiency and increased energy bills.
My HVAC unit seems to be making a strange noise.
Could a dirty air filter be the cause?
A dirty air filter can cause your HVAC unit to make a strange noise.
This is because the dirt and dust buildup can cause the blades to vibrate.
I can’t seem to get rid of a musty smell in my home.
Could a dirty air filter be the cause?
Yes a dirty air filter can cause a musty smell in your home.
This is because the filter is not trapping all of the airborne particles allowing them to circulate through your home.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.