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Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Blog

This Sensor in Your Furnace Might Be Causing Trouble

Your furnace has a lot of working parts that need to run together in tandem, but some are more important than others. In fact, this one sensor is so important to your furnace’s operation that it could be stopping it dead in its tracks.

This isn’t a common part of furnace service in Arlington, VA that homeowners know about, so that’s why we’re talking about it today. It’s called your flame sensor, and it has a big role it plays: keeping you and your family safe, and keeping your furnace in check.

Your Flame Sensor Plays a Crucial Role in Furnace Safety

The flame sensor is a safety-related component. As you might imagine, it’s there to detect whether or not there’s a live flame. If there is, it allows the flow of gas to keep the flame going and your furnace keeps firing away. If it’s not able to detect a flame, it puts a lid on your gas line’s incoming flow.

That’s important because otherwise, you’d just have a lot of gas leaking into the air that you breathe. That’s not only bad for your health, but it also becomes a growing fire hazard. Gas leaks are a serious risk to your health, and need to be handled with care. That’s why it’s important to have a fully functional flame sensor at all times in your furnace.

Here’s What’s Wrong With It

It’s dirty, plain and simple. Over time, that flame creates soot, which slowly clogs up your flame sensor. Then it can’t tell if there’s a fire or not, so it operates as if there’s no flame whatsoever, and keeps the flow of gas completely halted. It’s like shutting the blinds and wondering why no light is coming in.

The good thing is, it’s not an extremely difficult thing to fix. It just requires cleaning. That being said, it’s still not a DIY hob you can just tackle on your own, which we’ll explain in a minute.

Disassembly and Cleaning (By a Professional)

A technician needs to take apart the entire flame sensor, clean all the components, and replace it. This is normally done during your annual maintenance appointment, which is why it’s important to keep those appointments.

The reason this isn’t a DIY project is two-fold. For one, you’re not a trained technician who knows how to reassemble this crucial safety component of your furnace and ensure its operation. It’s best to have someone who’s trained on all the proper safety protocols and knows how to make sure a flame sensor is doing its job right.

Second, it’s possible to void your furnace’s warranty by doing this. If you perform maintenance or repairs of any kind on your furnace, you won’t be able to make a claim when and if something big happens that may be the fault of the manufacturer. Taking a DIY approach to this is surrendering your furnace’s warranty, plain and simple.

Keep the Flame (and That Sensor) Going

Whether it’s your flame sensor or another problem with your furnace, you can’t afford to let it continue like this, especially if it’s preventing your furnace from turning on in the first place. It’s time to take care of this one component that’s keeping you in the cold, and get your home comfort back on track.

Contact us today to schedule your furnace repair as soon as possible.

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