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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

This Furnace Problem Can’t Be a DIY Project

Furnaces have come a long way. Newer models don’t use constantly lit pilot lights, but instead, they use a mix of an ignition source, gas line, and a flame sensor to get your furnace moving.

This may seem like an odd task that we’ve faced during furnace repair in Sussex County, DE, but it’s enough to make your furnace stop entirely. The problem? You can’t DIY this, and we’ll explain why.

Your Flame Sensor Has an Important Job

As you might imagine, it detects whether or not there’s a live flame. Your furnace turns on by an electric ignition that meets a gas line, which only opens up when there’s a flame. That’s where your flame sensor comes in.

If it can’t detect a flame, it doesn’t allow the flow of gas from the line. This is a safety feature to prevent gas from spilling into the air and being breathed in by you and your family.

But it becomes dirty over time. Soot and debris cake onto the sensor, so it can’t tell whether there is or isn’t a flame anymore. It’s like shutting the blinds and wondering why no light is coming through.

It Has to Be Cleaned

And this is where the not-so-DIY-friendly part comes in. You would need to shut down your furnace, ensure the gas line is shut, remove the flame sensor, disassemble it, clean it, reassemble it, attach it again, and then turn your furnace back on.

While that long list may not sound daunting, HVAC technicians are trained on this and carry out similar jobs on a constant basis. They have experience, safety protocols, and the tools necessary to get this job done properly without missing the mark. There’s a lot of variables, and it’s best to put it in the hands of a professional.

Don’t Try to Bypass Your Flame Sensor

The rest of the furnace works fine. It’s just a sensor that’s the problem, so some homeowners try to bypass the sensor instead of getting it cleaned by professionals. This is extremely dangerous and introduces a massive fire hazard and air quality issue as well. Under no circumstances should you try to find a way to get around the flame sensor.

This Is Usually Cleaned During Maintenance

If you’re keeping up-to-date on your annual tune-up, your flame sensor should be taken care of at least once per year. While issues can build up before then, maintenance should handle the brunt of it. If it still gets clogged at some point throughout the year, you can call us to come and fix the problem for you.

Fix That Flame Sensor Today

Your flame sensor could be the culprit, but it’s hard to know until we get a good look at your furnace. Contact us today to schedule your furnace repair as soon as possible, and we’ll help you.

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

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