Everyone loves to save money and feel satisfied with fixing a problem. When your furnace stops working, you probably want to do everything you can to troubleshoot the issue yourself. It's easy to find information online about common furnace problems, but diagnosing HVAC issues isn't as straightforward as following a symptom checklist and replacing a part.
In many cases, multiple problems may have the same symptoms, and condemning parts on your furnace can mean wasting money and failing to resolve your underlying issue. If you're considering throwing money at your furnace problem by replacing one of these three parts, you may want to consider calling in a professional instead.
1. Pressure Switches
All modern furnaces use a pressure switch to prove that the draft inducer motor is operating correctly. The draft inducer creates negative pressure that pulls exhaust gases away from the furnace, ensuring safe and efficient operation. The furnace won't start without the go-ahead from the pressure switch, so a faulty switch can leave you out in the cold.
Why You Shouldn't Replace It: You can hear your draft inducer motor turn on, but your furnace still has a pressure switch error. Does this mean your switch is faulty? Not necessarily! You may have a clog in your exhaust vent or another problem stopping the blower from producing the correct pressure. It's crucial always to check and test the pressure switch before rushing to replace it.
2. Flame Sensors
Flame sensors are another item that ensures your furnace is operating safely. The flame sensor confirms that your burners are successfully ignited. If the burners aren't running, the flame sensor signals the control board to shut off the gas supply and avoid dumping unburnt gas into your home. A flame sensor that isn't working will cause your gas supply to shut off.
Why You Shouldn't Replace It: Many people assume they have a faulty flame sensor if the burners turn on and then quickly shut off. However, this behavior doesn't necessarily mean that the sensor is bad. The sensor may require cleaning, or there may be a wiring or control board issue. Since flame sensors are relatively robust, so testing these devices before condemning them is critical.
3. Flame Rollout Sensors
Although you may not know much about them, the flameout rollout sensors are some of your furnace's most essential safety features. These sensors detect when flames "roll out" of the combustion chamber, which usually indicates a flame hunting for oxygen due to high combustion gas concentrations. Since a tripped sensor will stop the furnace from working, some homeowners rush to replace them.
Why You Shouldn't Replace It: Flame rollout is often the first sign of a cracked heat exchanger, which can release carbon monoxide into your home and put you in immediate danger. If a flame rollout sensor trips, stop using the furnace. Never attempt to replace these sensors until a qualified technician can prove that your heat exchanger isn't leaking exhaust gases.
Contact a company like Wyoming Air to learn more.