When your furnace is starved for oxygen for any reason, it results in the burner flame stretching and growing in an attempt to access as much oxygen as possible to keep it burning. Unfortunately, this stretching and growing can lead to the burner flame reaching outside of the combustion chamber and damaging the furnace itself. In addition, it can lead to other types of complications. Here's a look at what you need to know about oxygen deprivation and your furnace burner.
What Causes Oxygen-Deprivation In A Furnace?
In an ideal environment, your furnace's pilot light should burn consistently and evenly. For this to happen, there must be a balance of fuel and oxygen. The burning process produces exhaust gases that should be filtered out of the combustion chamber to maintain that balance.
When the heat exchanger is cracked, those exhaust gases backup into the system. In addition, it can be caused by a buildup of soot inside the furnace that blocks the combustion gases from flowing freely out the exhaust channels. It can also be due to a blocked flue pipe, which prevents anything from flowing out of the home.
Why Is An Oxygen-Deprived Furnace A Safety Risk?
When your furnace is deprived of oxygen and the flame stretches in search of more, it can inadvertently stretch beyond the confines of the combustion chamber. This is a safety hazard for your furnace and your home.
It will expose your furnace to high heat in areas that aren't actually designed to withstand it, which can lead to serious damage to your furnace and costly further repairs. It can also be an indication of cracks in the heat exchanger, which could leak carbon monoxide into your home.
How Can You Tell If Your Furnace Is Deprived Of Oxygen?
You may not know right away that your furnace is suffering from low oxygen. However, over time, you'll start to see charring and burn marks outside the combustion chamber. In addition, if you're watching the furnace burn, you'll see the flame escape the combustion chamber. It means a close watch on the furnace, or calling a service technician to monitor it.
How Can You Avoid Oxygen Deprivation Issues?
Most modern furnaces are fitted with a sensor that will cut off the fuel supply to the burner if it detects heat levels rising around the combustion chamber. However, if this sensor is faulty, it will not do its job. The best way to avoid problems like this is to have your furnace inspected, cleaned, and maintained every year. During this process, the technician will check that sensor and ensure that it is functioning properly.
Contact a service, like Barnetts Heating & Air Conditioning, for more help.