How to Clean RV Furnace Vents

Whatever the season, maintaining the furnace is a critical upkeep for an RV.

Cleaning the Inside Furnace Vents

Dirty and obstructed vents can lead to fires or carbon-monoxide poisoning. Both the inside and outside vents should be checked frequently and kept clear of items such as bird, rat and wasp nests. An hour of cleaning can save a lot of headaches and keep the furnace operating safely. This do-it-yourself cleaning job needs to be at the top of every vacationer's travel preparation list.

Step 1

Mix a quarter-cup of liquid detergent with a gallon of warm water. Open the furnace door and turn the heater knob to the "off" position.

Step 2

Remove any debris or dust from the door vents. Use a rag dampened with the soapy water. Scrub the inside and the outside of the vents.

Step 3

Rinse with clear water. Vacuum the area around the furnace with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner.

Step 4

Visually inspect that the exhaust vent pipe reaches the outer vent door. Close the inside furnace door.

Cleaning the Outside Vent

Step 1

With a screwdriver, remove the outside vent cover by unscrewing the small bolts holding it in place. Check the exhaust vent pipe for obstructions. Dipping the handle of a flyswatter down the exhaust vent pipe works well.

Step 2

Scrub the inside and outside of the vented outer furnace cover. Rinse with clear water and let the cover air dry for a few minutes.

Step 3

Replace the outside vent cover. Secure it tightly with the bolts.

Things You Will Need

  • Liquid detergent
  • Rags
  • Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
  • Flyswatter
  • Screwdriver


  • Vacuum around the furnace, too. It will help keep the unit running efficiently.
  • The RV Basics website offers excellent furnace troubleshooting advice and will help keep your furnace in top shape.


  • Take note of any soot collecting on or near the vents. This could indicate that the furnace is not operating correctly and needs to be serviced by a qualified technician.