Receiving your annual furnace maintenance helps keep your heating system running up to 30 percent more efficient and helps extend the life of the equipment. But things could still go wrong, and when they do, you might feel like you’re always hearing about something else.
This time it’s your motor, next time it’s your pressure switch. Now you need to replace your flame sensor.
A flame sensor is an important safety feature on your gas furnace. During the ignition pattern, your gas furnace goes through a process where either a hot surface ignitor or a spark will actually ignite 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 does not read the right level of micro amps, the furnace will stop giving the system fuel to prevent an explosion.
Over time, if the flame sensor is not cleaned appropriately, oxidation or carbon buildup can interfere with the flame sensor’s ability to function properly, which can result in a malfunction of the furnace.
The way to diagnose if a soiled flame sensor is to blame for a furnace malfunction is to take a micro amp draw reading, which an expert furnace technician can provide you. If a dirty flame sensor is the culprit, the technician will clean the sensor with steel wool. If dirt was the single factor, we will see a much higher amp reading. If the reading doesn’t change, the technician will continue with the furnace repair diagnostic process.
If you aren’t sure your furnace is going to make it through these last few weeks of winter, give Roland J. Down Service Experts a call and we’ll come out and provide you with a full furnace maintenance or a free in-home estimate on a new furnace.
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