How To Tell If Your Gas Furnace Ignitor Is Not Working

gas furnace flames

One of the most common problems to occur with the modern gas furnace is a problem with the electronic ignition. When a gas furnace ignitor not working, it is not unusual. In some cases, it is usually quite easy to fix. Knowing exactly what is happening with your electronic gas furnace ignitor is an important part of keeping the furnace efficient and functional. You will also be able to tell if you can fix the issue or if you will need to call in a professional HVAC service technician.

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How To Tell If Your Gas Furnace Ignitor Is Working Or Not

In the following article, we will look at exactly how to troubleshoot your gas furnace ignitor. We will also explain when it would be best to call a professional HVAC company to schedule a furnace repair.

Types Of Furnace Ignition Systems

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In some of the older models, furnaces used a pilot light which would stay lit when the furnace was in use. To start up the furnace, valves would release the combustion gas to the burners where the pilot would set them alight. If the pilot light was not working, the furnace would not light.

But, things are different with modern gas furnaces. Typically, these use an intermittent pilot or a hot surface ignition system.

In the intermittent system, the pilot light will be ignited by an electric spark. When the sensor detects that the pilot light is lit, they will automatically open the valves, sending combustible gas to the burners. In the hot surface ignition system, electricity flows through the system. Once the area reaches a specific temperature, the gas will begin to flow to the burners and ignite the reactor.

In either of these modern furnace varieties, the pilot will be extinguished while the furnace is in use; this makes it far more efficient than the older varieties.

What Is Electronic Ignition Gas Furnace Failure?

Failure in the electronic gas furnace ignitions will result in the burners remaining unlit. Subsequently, the furnace will not produce any heat. Delayed ignition is a similar problem and clearly identified by a loud banging noise before the ignition occurs.

In either case, gas has a chance to accumulate if the ignitor is turned on multiple times in short succession. This can cause a potentially dangerous situation and it is always best to have this type of problem sorted out by an experienced professional.

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Common Causes Of A Gas Furnace Ignitor Failure

Knowing the cause of the problem is a good way to begin. It will allow you to properly communicate to your HVAC contractor who will be able to determine the right solution to the problem. They can also inform you of how to avoid the problem in the future.

Damaged Furnace Ignitor

Ignitors can potentially wear out and become worn down with much use. It will often be necessary to swap out the igniters as they wear out much faster than the other components of the gas furnace. A professional HVAC technician will know when and how to replace an ignitor. They will usually have to remove the furnace panel, disconnect the ignitor wires, and test the ignitors for functionality.

Wrong Ignitor For Furnace

The wrong ignitor will use a different voltage system and this can also lead to ignition failure.

High-Temperature Limit Switch On Your Furnace

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Most furnaces feature a temperature limit switch that will prevent the furnace from getting too hot. If the air filters are clogged they can cause the ignition to switch off before the desired temperature has been reached. Then, there can be a whole slew of mechanical errors that can lead to ignition failure as well.

Power Surges

Power surges also damage electric igniters and cause a quick burnout. This problem is far more frequent in hot surface ignitors that feature a burning filament.

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Furnace Ignitor Troubleshooting Tips

There are many ways the homeowner can remedy these issues. Here are some of the things you should know about troubleshooting your furnace.

Check The Power

image of homeowner at circuit breaker box after furnace blows circuit

The first thing to check is if power is reaching the electronic components of the furnace. Check the circuit breakers and power source to make sure everything is hooked up correctly.

Reset The Furnace Ignitor

You will have to shut off the power to the furnace to perform this step. First, shut off the circuits or disconnect the furnace. Find the burner door, look inside for the ignitor, and flip that to the off position. Allow a full five minutes to pass before returning the burner door to the closed position. Then, flip the power to the circuits back on or reconnect your furnace.

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Always Call An HVAC Contractor When You Experience Issues With Your Gas Furnace

Professional help and assistance is essential when facing all types of issues with furnaces and heating elements. This is why it is always advised to call in a professional HVAC repair company. They will have the training and expertise to handle these situations with precision.

Furthermore, they will understand how these devices operate and the various risks involved with their use. You will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your furnace has received proper attention and the problem has been resolved.

As a matter of fact, it can be very dangerous to perform service on an HVAC system without the proper skills and experience. Not only could this result in physical harm to you, but you may also damage the inner workings of your furnace. You could be faced with serious repairs. Save yourself the time, stress and cash by calling in the professionals from the very beginning.

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Ignitor furnace problems are usually more difficult to remedy than older furnace models. One reason is that these furnaces can’t be ignited manually like most other options can. Also, there could be other issues occurring that will require the skills and expertise of a professional. Only a trained HVAC technician can repair a furnace without causing any further damage to the unit.

Regardless, by knowing what the common causes for electronic ignitor furnace issues, you may be able to prevent some of these problems from occurring.

Contact Townsend Energy For All Of Your Furnace Repair Needs

te logoAre you looking for an excellent furnace repair company? No worries. Give Townsend Energy a call. We’ll be happy to assist you and discuss your furnace problems with a free, in-home estimate.

Townsend Energy has highly trained and certified technicians. Our services include furnace repairs, AC maintenance, boiler installations,  ductless air conditioning replacements, and more.

All the techs in our company are knowledgeable and experienced, so rest assured that we can correctly service your system. We offer the most competitive heating service costs in the area. We can also help you find the best heating system replacement that is within your budget. Book an appointment with us today for a free, no-obligation, in-home consultation.

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