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First Rate Plumbing Heating and Cooling Inc Blog

This Sensor in Your Furnace? It’s Not Looking Too Good Anymore

Dec 25, 2023

Your furnace has a ton of working parts that rely on one another for the whole machine to operate. Some of those components are critical to performance, meaning the furnace will break down if that part isn’t working properly. Others? They’re still important, but your furnace can proceed even if they’re a little damaged. Then you have this sensor, which can prevent your furnace from turning on in the first place.

We’ve seen a lot of furnace repair in Rio Rancho, NM, and through all of that, we’ve seen flame sensor issues arise enough to know how interruptive they can be. When this small part of your furnace isn’t working, it shuts down the whole show, and doesn’t indicate what the problem is. Your furnace looks like it’s just broken, but in reality, it’s a safety feature that’s doing its job. Let’s explain.


Your Flame Sensor? It’s a Safety Component

Your flame sensor’s job is to detect a flame, as you might expect. But it’s what the reaction to that flame is that’s important. When it detects a live flame, it allows the gas line coming in to your furnace to remain open and flowing, so your heater works as planned.

But if it can’t detect a flame? It’s responsible for making sure the gas line remains closed. Otherwise, gas would leak into your home and into your air supply. It’s not only a safety hazard for your indoor air quality, but it turns your home into a tinderbox.

What the Problem Really Is

The flame sensor is dirty. It’s obstructed from doing its job thanks to soot and debris that have caked their way onto the sensor over time, and it’s completely expected. It’s actually part of your annual maintenance: cleaning the flame sensor. If nothing is truly broken in your furnace, the whole reason its operation is held up is just because the sensor is dirty.

It’s Not a DIY Task to Clean Your Flame Sensor

While we would love to tell you that you can just wipe down your flame sensor, it’s not that simple. You can’t just wipe a rag across it and call it a day. You have to shut off the gas, power down your furnace, turn off the electricity going to it, remove the flame sensor, disassemble it–it sounds tedious because it is.

But beyond all that, the main reason that it’s not a DIY-friendly job is because it deals with a critical safety component in your furnace. What makes more sense to keep your house and family safe: working through a YouTube tutorial and hoping you did it right, or having a licensed, professional technician with ongoing experience handle it for you? When it comes to personal safety, it pays to have it done right.

Let’s Fix That Flame Sensor Today

Whether it’s your flame sensor or another issue that’s causing your heating issues, we’re there to help. Our experienced technicians will inspect your furnace, see what all the fuss is about, and find a fix that gets your heat back on before you know it. And it all starts with a phone call or by filling out our contact form.

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

Categories: Heating