Symptoms of dirty furnace burners

Symptoms of dirty furnace burners

This is a list of signs that your furnace burners are dirty:

This part is known as the furnace burner, which develops the flame to warm your home. After some time, the burners get dirty and filled with dirt, debris, and carbon, which hampers their efficiency and effectiveness.

Some key symptoms that indicate your furnace burners need cleaning include:

Reduced Heat Output

This is one of the most easily noticeable signs associated with a dirty furnace burner when your furnace cannot reach the targeted temperature. Suppose it appears to be running all the time and does not adequately heat your home. In that case, the burners probably have debris that inhibits their ability to combust fuel efficiently and transfer the heat you need. This puts pressure on your system to maintain the thermostat temperatures that it is set at.

Longer Run Cycles

Dirty burners also make your furnace work harder to reach a specific temperature or maintain the set point. An efficient system with clean burners may go on and off every 15-20 minutes on a cold day. A dirty furnace burner may remain on for 40 minutes or more before meeting the thermostat demand. While benefiting the customer in terms of continuous use, it also leads to increased energy consumption to compensate for the longer run times and increased wear and tear on components.

Higher Energy Bills

This just means that dirty burners will lower efficiency and hence will take more extended periods to heat. Therefore, you are likely to have higher monthly heating bills. You will need to look at other factors that make your bills seem higher than they used to be concerning the climate, and the use of thermostats and cleaning the burners should be on your list of things to do.

The flames are either orange, yellow, or dark in burner flames.

It is possible to diagnose dirty burners without having to take apart the furnace, which is why you should consider that. All that is required is to take off the front door and then watch for the flames of the burners the moment the furnace is on. Regular and clean burners in a natural gas furnace should give a bright blue flame color. If the flame is orange, yellow, or darker, the ports are considered dirty. This means that the fuel is not completely burnt, and the flame is better due to incomplete combustion.

Soot Buildup

Other signs of grimy burners are black soot buildups in the vicinity of the burners or in different parts of the machine. This soot results from the incomplete combustion of natural gas, and it contributes significantly to global warming. It is well known that it can accumulate rather quickly and negatively impact the efficiency of the system by narrowing the air passage. Sooting may first affect the sidewalls at the bottom of the furnace cabinet before affecting other parts.

Strange Smells

Many homeowners are familiar with the smell of the furnace when the system is initially run for the heating season. This is due to dust when one has not taken their vehicle for a ride, especially during the summer holidays. But new sounds like crackling, popping, scratching, squeaking, knocking, rumbling, or even roaring are just symptoms of a more significant issue, such as dirty burners producing new smells such as burnt plastic or an odor like rotten eggs. These unclean ports alter the manner in which natural gas burns or reacts to produce sulfur dioxide and other chemicals that have unpleasant smells.

Noisy Operation

You may also have to deal with increased noise emissions from your furnace if the burners are dirty. If there is an excess of debris, it lets in more air into the combustion chamber, which is dangerous. This leads to the increase of the roaring or blowing sound being produced by the heart. It also increases through the ductwork, registers, and vents. Regrettably, the noise also gets amplified through the duct system, registers, and vents.

Carbon Monoxide Concerns

Last but not least, sooty burners that do not provide adequate provision for exhaust gas expulsion may cause a build-up of carbon monoxide. Your burners essentially act as a regulator in a way that facilitates the lethal gases to go out of the building through the flue. The accumulation of debris could channel gases into the living spaces at dangerous levels. Having CO detectors will act as an alarm if there is any issue with the combustion of the gas.

Inspecting and Cleaning Burners

It is easy to diagnose and treat dirty burner symptoms, which means that you can prevent minor problems from resulting in more significant troubles or hazards to the system's functions. Some debris build-up is inevitable throughout years of usage, but it is crucial to check the equipment at least once a year to reduce it.

Also, ensure your burners are not cracked or missing a part that will affect the combustion process during the inspection. Change other parts, such as flame sensors, igniters, and heat exchangers, when necessary. Whenever work is conducted that requires entering the burners, then it is an excellent time to brush and vacuum the build-up off.

Key Takeaways

Many people are unaware that dirty furnace signs are indicated by dirty burners that impede system performance and efficiency. Black soot buildup on appliances, prolonged run times, increased energy costs, and abnormal color or shape of burners are common signs of combustion issues due to debris accumulation. Dirty burners also include hazards associated with excessive sound, peculiar smells, and the presence of carbon-monoxide. Performing yearly maintenance checks and practices helps reduce the growth to ensure the furnace is functioning well.