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Question: How do I clean the burners on my gas furnace?

upshot furnace burner

Question: My furnace burners do not light all the way across. The farthest burner from the gas valve will not light unless I cycle the furnace multiple times to warm up the furnace. Would cleaning the burners help?  How do I clean the burners on my gas furnace? Do you have any other suggestions for fixing my furnace?

Answer:  It sounds like your problem could be caused by dirty burners or not having enough gas pressure. I would suggest that you try to clean the burners by blowing them out with compressed air if you have an air compressor. There are 4 main burner types that are shown below :

  1. The Inshot burners are the most common and popular burners used today.  The Inshot burners are used on many 80% and 90% furnaces. The Inshot burner can not be used on a 70% furnace. upshot furnace burner
inshot burner closeup
Above Inshot Burner Closeup:

2. The Upshot burners are seen on many of the really old furnaces. Most of the time they are made of cast iron.

3. Ribbon burners or Stamped Steel burners. This type of burner is found on many of the older 70% name brands. Many of the older furnaces like Bryant, Carrier, York, Trane, Lennox, Ruud, and Rheem have ribbon, stamped steel burners.

ribbon burner

Make sure that you were eye protection and a dust mask if you decide to use compressed air to clean your burners. I have seen dust, rust and dirt go everywhere when using compressed air. If you are in a place where you can not use compressed air indoors a home then I would like to suggest turning the power and gas off to the furnace then taking the burners out and using compressed air outside the home. I find it best to use a wire brush and a vacuum to clean the burners. I have used both methods with and without compressed air with success. The compressed air method seems to clean the burner better. We have a really good YouTube video made by Word of Advice TV below that shows how to clean gas furnace burners. We also have a really good YouTube video that shows the different types of gas furnace burners. This video is made by Grayfurnaceman. If after cleaning the burners you still have problems then if you want you could try adjusting the gas pressure up a little bit. I would not recommend turning the gas regulator up over 1/4 turn at a time before testing. Be ready to turn the power switch off to the furnace if the furnace has delayed ignition for more than a second or two. We have a really good YouTube video made by AC Service Tech that tells how to adjust the natural gas pressure on a gas furnace. If you still have problems you might try cleaning the flame sensor. We have a post about this on the following page:  Click here if you are interested in how to clean a gas furnace flame sensor and how to troubleshoot a flame sensor.  I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions please let me know by emailing me or commenting below. Our email is We would love to help you out and earn your business! Steve

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