It’s that time of the year to stop freezing everyone in the house and succumb to the yearly tradition of turning on the home heater. Not only does that mean home heating costs are going up but the holidays will be here soon and that can be expensive too! But then it happens… the heat is not working!
After only a few brief moments of warm relief and feeling starts to return to your finger tips you notice that the heat ain’t heating. What gives?? You know it was working a second ago. If your home heating system consists of a gas fired furnace you may have became the latest victim of “Dirteous Flamis Sensorous” or — the dirty flame sensor. This is a very common problem and if you have yearly maintenance on your furnace the flame sensor is almost always cleaned. However if you have been putting off the serving of your heating system this little nuisance of a problem will almost always arise at some point. So here is how you take care of it.
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Step 1. Turn Off the Power
Yes.. this is important. Make sure you turn of the power to your furnace by locating the power switch (looks like a light switch) or by turning off the breaker to the furnace at the breaker panel.
Step 2. Remove the Furnace Door Panels
Some furnaces have 2 panels (1 for the burner compartment and 1 for the main blower compartment) other furnace just have 1 large panel. In either case just ensure you have access to the burner assembly.
Step 3. Locate your Flame Sensor
Flame sensors come in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. But one thing they all have in common is that they are all positioned directly in front of one of the furnace burners so that it is completely surrounded by the furnace flames during normal operation. Carefully remove the flame sensor by removing anchor screw with either a 5/16” or 1/4” hex driver. In some cases this can be done with a regular screw driver also.
Step 4. Inspect the Flame Sensor
After you have the flame sensor out then you can see any type of build-up on the end of it. Visual inspect the sensor for any cracks in the porcelain covering. Also check to see if the metal part of the sensor is lose and / or moves freely inside of the porcelain. If you notice either problems it would be best to replace it at this time.
Step 5. Clean the Flame Sensor
After your flame sensor passes a quick inspection it is time to get that sucker cleaned. It is very IMPORTANT not to use anything too abrasive on the metal part of the flame sensor. A soft Brillo pad, steel wool, or very very fine sand paper should work. If you don’t have any of those you may be able to use a dollar bill as a quick substitute.
Step 6. Put it all back together
Now that your flame sensor is good and clean simply place the sensor back into place in front of the burner and secure with your screw from step 3. Reattach the flame sensor wire (if you removed it). Put back the panels to your furnace. Turn back on the power. That’s it!
Step 7. Be the family HERO
Now the best part is getting the family’s vote for Father, Mother, Husband, Wife, or just Super Cool Person of the Year Award! You earned it. And if this still did not solve your problem just call A#1 Air and we promise to give you the credit for being the hero!
A#1 Air Services all of Collin County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, and Rockwall County including Plano, Allen, Frisco, Mckinney, Southlake, Irving, Arlington, Carrollton, and Denton