How Often Should A Flame Sensor Be Cleaned?

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How Often Should A Flame Sensor Be Cleaned?

Is your furnace turning on but then shutting off soon as it starts working? Does it do this a few times before shutting down for good? If that’s the case, you’re probably dealing with the same issue that many homeowners face every year: a clogged flame sensor.

The majority of furnace service work is sophisticated and requires the assistance of an HVAC professional, but cleaning your flame sensor is a straightforward procedure. It’s also simple to troubleshoot and determine whether it’s the source of your issue before looking for ‘heating services near me for HVAC professionals.

What Is A Flame Sensor?

The flame sensor is a straightforward device found on the burner assembly. It’s essentially a thin, usually bent metallic rod that sits in front of the furnace’s flame stream.

The flame sensor’s role is to certify to the system that the gas outlet is open and that there is a fire present. There would be a dangerous buildup of unburned gas if the unit continued to generate gas when there was nothing to fire it with. The flame sensor has a very narrow time window to detect the flame when your furnace starts up, and the burners are ignited.

If the sensor detects no flame, the unit will shut off automatically. Most devices will tolerate this shutdown three times before entering a “safety lockdown” for an hour before attempting it again. Your pointless attempts to turn on a heater without a working flame sensor can create wear and tear on other components, lowering efficiency.

What Makes Your Flame Sensor Dirty?

A flame sensor can go bad, but it’s more likely that it’s just dirty from carbon buildup than it is broken. The slightest coating of carbon can cause a flame sensor to misread and shut down because it has a very low tolerance for fluctuations in the reading it takes. Many units are in basements, attics, and laundry rooms where there is a lot of dust, so dust particles get attached to the sensor and burn onto it, causing carbon buildup.

How To Clean Your Flame Sensor?

  • Shut off the power

You must turn off the power to your furnace whenever you perform maintenance on it. A toggle switch is often located on or near the device. If not, you can turn off the furnace at the circuit breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electrically controlled, you’ll have to turn off the gas to the device before working on it.

If your gas valve isn’t electrically controlled, you’ll have to turn off the gas to the device before working on it.

  • Remove the sensor and clean it

The sensor is widely obtainable and is usually secured with a single 1/4″ hex head screw. When you remove this screw, the sensor will slip out, allowing you to clean it more simply. Remove the sensor with care and, use light grain sandpaper to gently massage the metal rod. Remember, you’re not sanding down a vehicle body here; you’re simply cleaning the sensor.

  • Replace the sensor

Simply reattach the sensor’s wire, reinstall the sensor on the flame assembly using the 1/4″ screw, reinstall the unit’s door(s), and switch the power back on after cleaning it.

  • Check the performance

This is typical if the unit takes a few additional seconds to start up or the fan runs for a few seconds. Shutting down the unit’s power causes it to reset and run through a series of checks before attempting to shoot again. Before declaring your problem fixed, make sure the device can start up and stay on at least one more time.

So if you are looking for a professional HVAC company that can clean your system’s flame sensor, then give us a call. We at Comfort Solutions Heating and Cooling provide the best maintenance services. We even provide other services like Furnace tune-up in Lebanon and heating installation in Cincinnati, OH.

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