Dirty Flame Sensors and How to Clean Them

In the chilly months of winter, a reliable heating system can be the difference between maintaining a warm and comfortable home – or being miserably cold! At Maki Heating and Air Conditioning we understand the importance of a well-functioning heater and the all-too common issue of dirty flame sensors impacting your system’s efficiency. As your trusted HVAC partner in Auburn, California, we can provide you with valuable insights on how to clean and care for them to avoid any problems.

The Importance of a Clean Flame Sensor

The flame sensor in your heating system is responsible for detecting the presence of a flame in the burner area. As such, it plays a pivotal role in keeping your heater safely and efficiently working. However, when the sensor becomes dirty or covered in residue, it can negatively impact  its ability to accurately detect the flame. This can lead to a variety of issues, including frequent shutdowns, reduced efficiency in heating the home, and even increased energy consumption. 

Common Signs of a Dirty Flame Sensor Include:

  • Frequent and unexpected system shutdowns
  • Inconsistent heating performance
  • Unusual noises during operation
  • Higher energy bills

Heater Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning the flame sensor in your heating system is a relatively simple task that can significantly improve overall system performance. Take a look at this step-by-step guide from your friends at Maki Heating and Air to help you get started:

  1. Turn Off the Power: Before performing any maintenance on your heating system, ensure that the power is turned off. Locate the power switch or shut off the circuit breaker connected to your heater.
  2. Locate the Flame Sensor: The flame sensor is typically located near the burner assembly. Refer to your heating system’s manual for specific instructions on finding the flame sensor.
  3. Remove the Flame Sensor: Gently detach the flame sensor from its mounting bracket. This is usually done by loosening a screw or releasing a latch.
  4. Clean the Sensor: Use a soft brush or a piece of fine-grit sandpaper to gently clean the surface of the flame sensor. Be careful not to damage the sensor itself during this process.
  5. Inspect for Residue: Check for any residue or buildup on the sensor. If stubborn residue persists, a mixture of mild detergent and water can be used for a more thorough cleaning.
  6. Reinstall the Flame Sensor Correctly: Once the sensor is clean and free of residue, carefully reattach it to the mounting bracket.
  7. Restore Power: Turn the power back on, and monitor your heating system to check that it functions as it should.

When to Seek Professional Assistance from Maki Heating Technicians

While cleaning the flame sensor is a task that many homeowners can handle on their own, some situations may require professional expertise. If you experience persistent issues with your heater or are unsure about performing certain maintenance tasks, contact Maki Heating and Air Conditioning for furnace replacement or repair. Our team of skilled technicians is dedicated to providing top-notch heating and air conditioning repair services in Auburn, California and the Greater Sacramento Area.

A Small Task with a Big Impact

Maintaining a clean flame sensor is a small yet important step in ensuring the optimal performance of your heating system. By following the simple guidelines outlined above, you can enhance the efficiency of your heater and enjoy a cozy and warm home throughout the winter months. 

For more extensive heater cleaning, furnace replacement, duct cleaning or heater repair needs, don’t just search for any “heater repair near me.” Instead, trust Maki Heating and Air Conditioning to deliver reliable and professional services tailored to your needs. 

Contact us today at Maki Heating and Air Conditioning for maintenance, cleaning, and repair by calling (530) 885-3449 or (916) 782-9242. We look forward to working with you soon!


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