Is Your Flame Sensor Dirty?

Your furnace contains a flame sensor, an essential component that ensures carbon monoxide from the furnace doesn't leak from the unit to your home. It appears as a simple device that resembles a bent metallic rod. Although flame sensors break down and malfunction, it often malfunctions because it is dirty. Here is a guide on dirty flame sensors containing everything you should know.

How Dirt Affects the Functioning of the Flame Sensor

Have you been experiencing problems with your furnace where your furnace turns on for a few seconds and then automatically shuts off? Your sensor could be dirty. The sensor serves as a safety feature that ensures the furnace only operates if there is a flame.

When you turn on the furnace without a flame, gas could build up and present a dangerous situation. So, the sensor is added to the furnace to detect a flame. When it doesn't detect a flame, it prevents the furnace from operating by shutting it down. 

Usually, most homeowners install their furnaces in areas like the basement where there are debris and dust particles. After a few months of installation, the dust could accumulate on the sensor and quickly build up, causing a malfunction. 

Since the sensor has a significantly low tolerance for variations in readings, it can misread takings when coated with carbon or debris. So, it will relay the wrong information to the control board, forcing it to shut down, causing a malfunction, and leaving you in the cold.

The Cleaning Process 

When did you last have the sensor cleaned? A dirty sensor that has accumulated dirt or carbon monoxide cannot function efficiently. Therefore, the furnace will become ineffective and barely provide the heat you need. Although there are numerous resources online guiding you on how to go about cleaning the sensor, it is best done by a professional.

Besides, the cleaning process is lengthy. You will need to cut the power, locate the sensor, unfasten it to clean, and later re-attach it. Without the proper knowledge, self-cleaning attempts could break the sensor. So, reach out to an HVAC technician for reliable furnace cleaning and repair.

Tips to Avoid a Dirty Flame Sensor

Ensure your furnace meets your home's heating needs by keeping the furnace sensor clean and following up with regular maintenance. Follow up with your HVAC technician's proposed furnace maintenance schedule. Have a professional inspect and service your furnace at least once every year, and always seek professional furnace repair to avoid further damage to your unit.

Reach out to an HVAC technician for more information on heating system repairs.