professional heating repair in Phoenix. Experts from Rainforest Plumbing & Air utilize the best tools and techniques to address problems with your pressure switch and furnace. Call today to schedule an appointment.
What Is a Furnace Pressure Switch?The furnace pressure switch is an essential system component. This mechanism provides the main line of defense against back drafting, gas leaks, and carbon monoxide poisoning. When you turn on your furnace, air flows through the machine. However, long before distribution, the pressure switch detects whether the power and ignition process occurred correctly. The draft inducer creates suction that allows the toxic gasses created through furnace combustion to leave your house safely. If the pressure switch senses a functional draft inducer, the mechanism will close, and the heating process will begin. Conversely, faulty or insufficient pressure will not pass this test and immediately shut down your furnace.
Different Types of Pressure SwitchesIt’s important to know that not every furnace has the same pressure switch. As you consider what happens when a furnace pressure switch goes bad, identifying your system type and configuration is helpful. Low and high pressure switches are the two main types available. Low pressure switches are the most common, integral to common, one-stage furnaces of every fuel type. High pressure furnaces only function properly on two-stage furnaces. For most fuel types, pressure switches remain the same device.
Typical Lifespan of a Pressure SwitchWith proper maintenance and care, most furnaces will last about 15 to 20 years. However, pressure switches usually only remain functional for about 10 years. As a result, you’ll likely replace this essential safety mechanism once or twice during your furnace ownership.
What To Expect When a Furnace Pressure Switch FailsKnowing how to react when your pressure switch fails can save you frustration. Calling professionals when these problems begin gives you the best chance at recovering the full furnace functionality. When your pressure switch fails, one of a few things happens. First, your furnace could fail to turn on altogether. Next, you might notice only lukewarm air coming from your vents. Worse, your carbon monoxide alarm could go off. In these cases, call professionals immediately, as back-drafting from a faulty pressure switch may have allowed dangerous gasses into your property.
Common Causes of Furnace Pressure Switch FailureKnowing the common causes of furnace pressure switch failure can help professionals resolve the problem more efficiently. Some of the common causes of pressure switch failure include:
- Shorted switch
- Loose wiring
- Faulty inducer fan motor
- Obstructions in the fan, flue, or chimney
- Cracks, holes, or physical damage to the suction tube
- Water buildup and leaks in the inducer fan housing
Troubleshooting Steps for a Faulty Pressure SwitchWhile you will likely need to call professionals when your pressure switch fails, these troubleshooting steps could restore its functionality. If you notice pressure switch failure, try the following methods:
- Check breakers and ensure electricity is on
- Look for any loose wire connections
- Remove any visible obstructions from the flue and chimney
- Remove obstructions from the inducer fan