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What Happens When a Furnace Pressure Switch Goes Bad?


Posted by Dallin | December 10, 2023 | Reading Time:

Your home’s HVAC systems combat seasonal temperature extremes. With the dry cold inherent to Phoenix winters, you’ll want your furnace to function at its highest levels during this season. In order to do so, every component of your system needs to remain in optimal working condition. Certain furnace components ensure safe operations. For example, the pressure switch provides essential protection against back drafting and carbon monoxide exposure in your home. But what happens when a furnace pressure switch goes bad? When your furnace’s pressure switch stops working, call for top-rated 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 Switches

It’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 Switch

With 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 Fails

Knowing 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 Failure

Knowing 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
Professionals from Rainforest Plumbing & Air can inspect your system, identify the cause, and restore the functionality of your furnace pressure switch.

Troubleshooting Steps for a Faulty Pressure Switch

While 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

Replacing Your Dysfunctional Pressure Switch

Although some homeowners may want to try replacing their own pressure switch, professionals can more adeptly replace this component. Hire experts to inspect your system, diagnose the cause of failure, and efficiently resolve the problem.

Protect Your Home Comfort With HVAC Experts From Rainforest Plumbing & Air

Enlisting high-quality care for your home heating systems ensures that you remain comfortable throughout the year. Whether you need minor furnace repairs or are considering an entire system replacement, professionals from Rainforest Plumbing & Air offer the best services available. We believe that every homeowner deserves the benefits of functional plumbing and indoor climate control. That’s why we offer diverse financing options to keep every household comfortable, regardless of your wallet. Learn more about what happens when a furnace pressure switch goes bad by calling to schedule an appointment with Rainforest Plumbing & Air.
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