How to Remove a Squirrel Cage From a Furnace Motor Shaft

The blower motor of your furnace is responsible for turning the blower motor fan. The blower fan moves heat throughout the furnace duct work. It is common for the squirrel cage holding the blower motor and fan to fill up with dirt during normal operation. This can cause reduced efficiency, raising your heating bills and causing unnecessary wear on the motor assembly. Removing the squirrel cage and cleaning it in the fall before turning on the furnace for the winter is good practice.

The squirrel cage fan is common in many furnace systems.
  1. Turn off the power to the furnace at the circuit breaker.

  2. Open the front access panel to the furnace by releasing the catches and pulling the cover off.

  3. Loosen the screws to the control panel in front of the squirrel cage, if there is one, by removing the two screws. Let it hang in place.

  4. Reach back into the unit and use a ratchet to loosen the bolts holding the squirrel cage. Hold one hand underneath to prevent it from dropping. Use a 7/16-inch socket for the nuts.

  5. Remove the squirrel cage from the unit once the nuts are removed.