How To Clean My Furnace Ignitor Sensor?

It can happen to anyone. Your furnace, which is essential to keep you warm in the coldest months of the year, sometimes starts to rapidly cycle on and off. Perhaps, it tries to kick on but cannot run for more than a few seconds before it suddenly clicks off, pilot and all. That can be a problematic situation for homeowners. After all, nobody would want to spend thousands of dollars to get a new furnace. Homeowners might resort to calling the nearest furnace service battleground, WA, to get a solution to this problem.

But, the good news is, the solution might not always require professional help. The problem might lie in your dirty flame sensor and could be solved by simply cleaning it.

What Is A Flame/Ignitor Sensor of A Furnace?

A furnace flame sensor is a very basic device for your furnace. It is located on the burner assembly and is just a thin metallic rod. The flame sensor is usually bent and sits just in front of the pilot flame inside the furnace. When the thermostat tells the furnace to switch on, the gas valve opens up and fires gas into the combustion chamber, where the pilot light ignites the burners.

The sensor’s work is to ensure that there is a fire present when the gas is open. If the sensor does not detect any flame, it automatically shuts the unit. This arrangement ensures that your house is not filled with poisonous gas.

Why Does A Flame Sensor Get Dirty?

The flame sensor often becomes dirty due to constant use and carbon accumulation as a result. Dust and other particulate matter in the air can also cause dirt to accumulate in the sensor. If you find soot visibly covering the tip of your sensor, it is time for you to clean it.

How To Clean The Flame Sensor?

Although cleaning the flame sensor is a multi-step process, it is easy for you to perform yourself. You can clean the sensor by following the given steps.

  1. Turn off the Furnace:
    This is the most important step before you begin the actual cleaning of the sensor. Turn off the main power supply to the furnace and turn off the thermostat.
  2. Remove the Flame Sensor from the Furnace:
    Now remove the sensor from the furnace. This is pretty easy to do as the sensor is usually fixed by a quarter-inch hex-head screw. After removing this screw, the flame sensor will easily slide out for you to clean it.
  3. Clean the Dirty Sensor:
    Now with the help of very light sandpaper, simply rub the metal rod. Do it gently (not with much force) to remove the accumulated carbon and grit.
  4. Replace the Sensor After Cleaning:
    After cleaning, just put it back the same way you removed it. Close the doors of the furnace and turn on the power supply. The furnace might take a little extra time to start and run for a bit. After that, it should operate normally through your thermostat controls.

Call For Professional Help:

If the problem with your flame sensor persists, then do not take it lightly. Don’t worry and just contact Advantage Heating and Cooling, and we will take care of all your problems. We are one of the best furnace repairs in Woodland, WA. Schedule an appointment by calling us on (360) 693-5220.

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