Receiving your annual furnace maintenance helps keep your heating equipment running up to thirty percent more efficient and helps extend the life of the equipment. But things may still malfunction, and when they do, you could feel like there is always something else.
This time it’s your motor, next time it’s your pressure switch. Now you need to replace your flame sensor.
By the way – what is a flame sensor?
A flame sensor is an important safety element on your gas heating equipment. During the ignition pattern, your gas furnace enters a process where either a spark or a hot surface igniter will actually ignite the gas. When the gas is ignited, the flame sensor generates a current of electricity. This is calculated in micro amps. If the furnace’s control board fails to read the correct level of micro amps, the furnace will quit giving the system fuel to prevent an explosion.
Over time, if the flame sensor is not cleaned appropriately, oxidation or carbon buildup can hinder the flame sensor’s ability to operate properly, which can cause the furnace to malfunction.
The way to establish if an unclean 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 furnace expert will clean the sensor with steel wool. If dirt was the sole factor, we will see a much higher amp reading. If the reading does not change, the technician will continue with the heating equipment repair diagnostic process.
If you aren’t sure your heating equipment is going to outlast these last few weeks of winter, give Barlow Service Experts a call and we’ll come out and perform a full furnace maintenance or a no-charge in-home estimate on a new furnace.