What a Flame Sensor Is and Why It Matters

Setting up your seasonal furnace maintenance helps keep your furnace operating up to thirty percent more efficient and helps extend the life of the equipment. But things may still malfunction, and when they do, you may feel like there is always something else.

This time it’s your heat exchanger, next time it’s your control board. Now your find out the flame sensor has to be replaced.

Also, what is a flame sensor?

A flame sensor is an important safety element on your gas heating equipment. During the ignition sequence, your gas furnace undergoes a process where a spark or a hot surface ignitor will ignite the gas. When 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 doesn’t read the correct level of micro amps, the furnace will quit giving the system fuel to stop an explosion.

Over time, if the flame sensor is not cleaned properly, oxidation or carbon buildup can interfere with the flame sensor’s ability to operate properly, which can result in a malfunction of the furnace.

The way to determine if a soiled flame sensor is the reason for a furnace malfunction is to take a micro amp draw reading, which an expert heating technician can give you. If a dirty flame sensor is the reason, the heating expert will clean the sensor with steel wool. If dirt was the only factor, we will see a notably higher amp reading. If the reading shows no change, the technician will proceed with the heating system repair diagnostic process.

If you aren’t certain your heating equipment is going to survivie these last few weeks of winter, give Golden Seal Service Experts a call and we’ll come out and provide you with a full furnace maintenance or a free in-home estimate on a new heating system.

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