When your furnace is working properly, it is a perfectly safe appliance to have at your home. However, since furnaces usually burn some fuel to produce heat, they may develop some serious safety problems, especially when they start malfunctioning. This is one of the reasons why it is recommended that you have a heating and AC repair technician come over to your home for a routine inspection of your furnace and air conditioner.
Several devices are installed in different parts of your furnace to ensure safe operation. These components are designed to detect issues when they are about to arise and take the necessary measures, like shutting off the furnace to prevent further damage to the unit or your home. To reiterate, the best way to ensure your furnace is safe is by having a heating and AC repair technician come over for routine maintenance. In this article, you will learn the main safety features of modern furnaces and what you can do to ensure they are efficiently functioning.
Fan Limit Sensor
The furnace uses a blower fan that blows the warm air over the unit’s heat exchanger to heat your home. The fan limit sensor automatically shuts off the furnace if the blower fan stops functioning or doesn’t provide enough airflow over your unit’s heat exchanger. The fan limit sensor is typically located near the furnace blower and is connected to the furnace control board. It monitors the temperature of the air passing through the furnace and shuts it off if it gets too high. This can prevent the fan from overheating and potentially causing a fire. This is because the furnace is producing hot air, but it is not being effectively blown out. This might result in the cracking of the heat exchanger. When this happens, you will have to call an AC repair company in The Colony, TX for a replacement, as cracked heat exchangers aren’t repairable.
Furnace Pressure Switch
As mentioned above, a furnace produces heat by burning fuel. This results in the exhaust that must be safely removed from your home. A furnace pressure switch is a safety device that monitors the air pressure in the furnace and shuts off the gas supply if the pressure falls below a certain level. It monitors the air pressure in the draft inducers to prevent dangerous overpressure conditions from occurring, which can cause the furnace to explode. This is particularly dangerous and will need the attention of an emergency heating and AC repair company. The fan motors pull the flue and flame gases via the heat exchanger. After burning the fuel, the fans push the exhaust via a flue pipe and out of your home through the roof. This air circulation ensures that the exhaust is removed from your home safely.
The pressure switch is typically located near the burner and is connected to the gas supply line. It uses a spring-loaded diaphragm to sense the pressure in the furnace and compare it to a preset pressure level. The switch will open and shut off the gas supply if the pressure falls below the preset level. This can prevent the furnace from producing a dangerous overpressure condition that could cause it to explode. It is an important safety feature that is required on all furnaces to ensure safe and efficient operation. If the switch is tripped, ensure that a heating and AC repair company sends a technician for a further inspection.
In-duct Smoke Detector
Although used in commercial settings with furnaces blowing over 2000 cmfms, the in-duct smoke detectors are the other furnace safety measure. In some jurisdictions, they are required by law in commercial and residential properties. A heating and AC repair technician can install these in-duct sensors as an add-on to your furnace or HVAC system. If the in-duct smoke detectors detect any smoke presence, they will turn off the blower motor, limiting the spread of the smoke in your home and preventing smoke inhalation.
However, they need regular testing, cleaning, and maintenance by a reliable heating and AC repair company in The Colony, TX. Since they are installed inside the ducts, they need more labor for their maintenance. If set off by a minor issue, they will need a visit by a technician. However, it should be noted that the in-duct smoke detectors aren’t a replacement for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors installed in your home. However, they are an additional layer of safety in case of a fire.
Furnace Flame Sensor
The other safety measure in your furnace is the furnace flame sensor. It switches the inflow of gas whenever it detects no gas combustion. Most modern furnaces feature a flame sensor that detects any problems with the spark ignition or ignitor. If the thermostat sends a signal to heat your home, the sensor automatically turns on the gas and lights the flame. However, routine maintenance by a heating and AC repair company is required.
All new furnaces today use an instant ignition to turn on the furnace. The flame will only be present if the thermostat sends a signal to start heating. Hence, you must ensure that the thermostat is in peak condition. Otherwise, it might send the wrong signal, resulting in various problems, some of which require you to call a technician. Although you might be used to seeing a pilot light alongside a thermocouple in your furnace, those units are being phased out for enhanced efficiency and safety. The furnace flame sensor will turn off if the gas flame is not ignited.
Although the furnace has many safety features, routine maintenance by a professional is the best way of ensuring that your unit is safe. Do you need any furnace repair, maintenance, or even replacement? Contact us today at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas, your reliable heating and AC repair company in The Colony, TX.