What a Flame Sensor Is and Why It Matters
Setting up your annual furnace maintenance helps keep your heating system working up to thirty percent more efficient and helps extend the life of your system. But things may still stop working, and when they do, you may feel like it’s always something else.
This time it’s your motor, next time it’s your pressure switch. Now you have to have your flame sensor replaced.
By the way – what is a flame sensor?
A flame sensor is a critical safety component on your gas heating equipment. During the ignition sequence, your gas furnace goes through a process where a spark or a hot surface ignitor actually ignites the gas. When the gas is ignited, the flame sensor produces a current of electricity. This is measured in micro amps. If the furnace’s control board doesn’t read the right level of micro amps, the furnace will no longer give the system fuel to stop an explosion.
Over time, if the flame sensor is not adequately cleaned, oxidation or carbon buildup can impede the flame sensor’s ability to operate properly, which can cause the furnace to malfunction.
The way to establish if a soiled flame sensor is the reason for a furnace malfunction is to take a micro amp draw reading, which an expert furnace technician can supply you. If a dirty flame sensor is the offender, the heating expert will clean the sensor with steel wool. If dirt was the sole factor, we will see a notably higher amp reading. If the reading does not change, the technician will proceed with the heating system repair diagnostic process.
If you aren’t confident your heating equipment is going to survivie these last few weeks of winter, give Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing a call and we’ll come out and provide you with a full furnace maintenance or a free in-home estimate on a new HVAC system.
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