A furnace heat sensor, or flame sensor, is a small device found inside every furnace. Its main function is to detect the furnace flame and ensure that it’s burning inside it. If the flame goes out, it will alert and shut off the entire system so that unburned gas won’t escape into your house.
Simply put, a flame sensor prevents gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. Since it plays such a crucial role in your home’s safety, it always needs to be working properly.
Read on to learn about some common signs of flame sensor issues and find out when you should call an expert for heating service or repair. We also share a few tips on how to clean your furnace heat sensor.
How to Tell if a Furnace Heat Sensor Is in Trouble
It’s easy to spot a broken flame sensor. The most common signs of trouble are:
- Cracks on the porcelain covering the flame sensor
- Soot or corrosion on the flame sensor
- The furnace turns on and then shuts off after a few seconds
If you notice these issues in your furnace, call up a heating repair specialist so that they can have a look. Sometimes a replacement will be necessary, but in many instances, a flame sensor is acting up due to carbon buildup. In this case, cleaning the furnace heat sensor should be enough to fix the problem.
How to Clean a Furnace Heat Sensor
Dirt can accumulate on the flame sensor over time. When this happens, the device won’t be able to do its job properly, and your furnace will struggle to keep your home warm during the winter.
Generally, it’s best to have a professional clean your furnace heat sensor. However, if you want to do it yourself, emery paper or light-grit sandpaper can be used to clean the sensor. Any residue on the metal rod should be rubbed off gently. Don’t scrub too hard, as this can scratch and damage the sensor.
Modern Air Solutions is a family-owned and -operated company that’s committed to quality workmanship and superb customer service. From heating and air conditioning installation to HVAC maintenance agreements, we’ll ensure each job is carried out to the highest standard. Call us at (630) 534-9037 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.