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Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

This One Furnace Sensor Might Be Standing in Your Way

Furnaces may still be a popular choice for heating your home, but as far as safety concerns go, they’re archaic compared to ductless heating and heat pumps. Still, there are some safety features built into furnaces that help you sleep easy at night, but they could also be the reason that your furnace appears broken when it actually isn’t.

When we perform furnace service in Washington, DC, sometimes we see an issue with a furnace’s flame sensor. That’s a little sensor that can halt the entire operation of your furnace and make it seem like there’s a bigger problem in store than there really is. Here, let’s explain.

Your Flame Sensor Is a Safety Feature Above All Else

This sensor acts as a gatekeeper, preventing the flow of gas from the gas line reaching the furnace unless a flame is present. Otherwise, it would spill gas into the air and turn your home into a massive fire hazard. Not to mention that it’s not safe to breathe that in. It’s an important feature, but it can feel massively inconvenient when it gets in the way of the rest of your system functioning just because it’s dirty.

How to Fix a Dirty Flame Sensor

Your flame sensor is likely just dirty, so it will need to be removed, disassembled, cleaned, and put back together again. However, there’s also a chance that something within the sensor has truly broken, so it may need to be replaced entirely. It isn’t common to completely replace your flame sensor, but don’t write it off as a possibility. We know it sounds like cleaning a sensor is simple, but…

Why It’s Not a DIY-Friendly Job

Your flame sensor isn’t the most complicated component of your furnace, but the process to clean it is tedious. You have to cut off the electricity to your furnace, then the gas line, then remove the flame sensor, disassemble, clean it … you get where this is going.

Beyond it being surprisingly in-depth and time-consuming, there’s another reason you can’t DIY this task: your furnace’s warranty. Any amount of work on your furnace (beyond changing an air filter and some basic cleaning) needs to be carried out by a licensed technician. This is how manufacturers can guarantee that their machines have been serviced properly, so they can justify fulfilling that warranty.

Another reason that it’s not a good idea to DIY this is because it’s a safety feature, and unless you’ve done this before, you likely can’t guarantee your flame sensor works exactly as it’s supposed to when you put it back together. You should never mess around with your family’s safety for the sake of DIY-ing a project.

Let’s Fix That Faulty Flame Sensor

Whether your flame sensor just needs a good cleaning, or it’s finally hit the end of the line and needs to be replaced, we’re there to help you out. Contact us today through our online form or with a brief phone call, and we’ll get you set up with an appointment so a technician can diagnose and fix the problem before you know it.

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

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