Safely Examine your Furnace Burner Flames

When furnace issues happen, as homeowners, we often find ourselves in a panic. We start to think about all of the potential issues that could be happening. While there are several areas of your furnace that you could check on, we want to focus this article on the burner flames. Problems with the burner flames happen more often than you might think — and it’s an issue that many homeowners often overlook.

In many cases, issues with your burner flames will indicate that another problem is going on with your furnace unit. In other words, inspecting your burner flames can help point you in the right direction of the problem. If your burner flames are in good condition, then at least you can cross that potential problem off the list. Let’s take a look at the DIY steps involved with this process.

*Please keep in mind, these steps are to help walk you through the process of visually inspecting your furnace’s burner flames. DO NOT adjust the flames yourself. You should always leave this part of the process in the hands of an HVAC professional.

Step 1: Remove the compartment cover (if necessary). This should be the removal of a few screws. On some furnaces, you may be able to see the flames without removing anything; in this case, you can skip right over this step.

Step 2: Turn up the heat on your thermostat. This will get your system running so that the burners will ignite.

Step 3: Visually inspect the burners. The flames should be blue. All of the flames should also be equal in size. If your flames are flickering or showing some yellow or red color, this is the sign of a bigger issue. In many cases, these are signs of improper combustion. This problem could lead to the production of carbon monoxide in your home. If yellow or red colors are visible in your burner flames, please shut down your furnace immediately and bring in an HVAC professional. Again, do not attempt to adjust the flames on your own.

Step 4: Put the compartment cover back on. This step is only necessary if you performed this in step 1.

As mentioned above, if you noticed orange, red or yellow flames, reach out to an HVAC repairman right away.

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