Setting up your routine furnace maintenance helps keep your heating system operating up to 30 percent more efficient and helps extend the life of your furnace. But things could still go wrong, and when they do, you may feel like there is always something else.
This time it’s your blower, next time it’s your control board. Now you need to replace your flame sensor.
Also, what is a flame sensor?
A flame sensor is a critical safety element on your gas heating system. During the ignition cycle, your gas furnace enters a process where a spark or a hot surface ignitor will actually ignite the gas. Once the gas is ignited, the flame sensor creates a current of electricity. The current is quantified in micro amps. If the furnace’s control board does not read the right level of micro amps, the furnace will quit giving the system fuel to prevent an explosion.
Over time, if the flame sensor is not adequately cleaned, oxidation or carbon buildup can hinder the flame sensor’s ability to operate properly, which can end up causing the heating system to malfunction.
The way to establish if a dirty flame sensor is to blame for a furnace malfunction is to take a micro amp draw reading, which an expert heating technician can supply you. If a dirty flame sensor is the culprit, the furnace expert will clean the sensor with steel wool. If dirt was the single factor, we will see a notably higher amp reading. If the reading does not change, the technician will proceed with the furnace repair diagnostic process.
If you aren’t certain your heating system is going to make it through these last few weeks of winter, give Matz-Rightway a call and we’ll come out and perform a full furnace maintenance or a free in-home estimate on a new furnace.