What a Flame Sensor Is and Why It Matters

Scheduling your routine furnace maintenance helps keep your heating system running up to thirty percent more efficient and helps extend the life of your furnace. But things could still malfunction, and when they do, you could feel like it’s always something else. 

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

Also, what is a flame sensor? 

A flame sensor is a critical safety component on your gas furnace. During the ignition sequence, your gas furnace goes through a process where either a spark or a hot surface igniter actually ignites the gas. Once the gas is ignited, the flame sensor generates a current of electricity. The electricity is calculated in micro amps. If the furnace’s control board does not read the right level of micro amps, the furnace will no longer give the system fuel to stop an explosion. 

Over time, if the flame sensor is not adequately cleaned, oxidation or carbon buildup can hinder the flame sensor’s ability to function properly, which can end up causing the heating system to malfunction. 

The way to determine if a soiled flame sensor is to blame 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 technician will clean the sensor with steel wool. If dirt was the single factor, we will see a significantly higher amp reading. If the reading doesn’t change, the technician will continue with the heating system repair diagnostic process. 

If you aren’t confident your heating system is going to outlast these last few weeks of winter, give Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing a call and we’ll come out and provide you with a full furnace maintenance or a no-charge in-home estimate on a new heating system. 

  • Eight Common Heating Myths Debunked

    There are many myths out there about home heating that lead to confusion and inefficient furnace usage. It’s time to clear up these common misconceptions. Here, the heating professionals at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing get to the bottom of the eight most common myths to... Continue reading

  • Eight Upgrades to Boost Your Home HVAC System

    During the cold winter months in the U.S., there’s no better way to improve your home’s comfort than with easy and effective upgrades. It’s not simply about keeping the house toasty warm as the snow begins to fall—it’s about boosting efficiency and cleaning the very air you breathe.... Continue reading

  • How to Choose a Suitable HVAC System

    When it comes to keeping your home comfortable all year, nothing is more critical than choosing the right heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This choice influences your daily comfort, monthly utility costs and general home efficiency. But, with so many system types, sizes and... Continue reading