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Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Short Cycling Furnace Causes: Dirty Flame Rod

Ever wonder what causes a cycling in a furnace? We encourage you to read this article to learn how a dirty flame rod can lead to short cycling.

The Flame Rod 

The flame rod is part of a furnace’s built-in safety system. Its job is to help regulate the state of the gas valve. The idea is that, when ignition is successful, the burner flames will heat up the flame rod, causing it to send a signal to keep the gas valve open. If, however, combustion does not occur, the cold flame rod will soon shut down the gas valve, thus keeping raw gas from leaking out.

Problems 

This is all well and good–so long as the flame rod can do its job correctly. The problem is that, over time, contaminants build up on the surface of the rod. Such contaminants hamper its ability to detect heat. Eventually they will keep it from being able to do its job at all, meaning that the rod, failing to detect heat, will close the gas valve down even when combustion is occurring.

Fortunately, a furnace technician can often resolve this issue simply by giving the flame rod a thorough cleaning with sandpaper or steel wool. If your furnace has been short cycling, it is important to have your flame rod inspected as soon as possible.

Give Cunningham Associates a call today with any questions or service needs you may have.