How To Tell If The Gas Ignitor Is Not Working On Your Furnace

furnaceA typical issue that comes up with gas furnaces is the electronic ignition. When you know how to identify when your gas furnace ignitor is not working, you can have it taken care of by professionals rather than suffering in the cold. This way, you will be able to determine if the problem is something that is a simple fix or one that requires the help of a professional HVAC contractor.

How To Identify Problems With Your Gas Furnace Ignitor

In this article, we discuss some methods for identifying a failure of your gas furnace ignitor. You can learn how to spot an ignition problem that should be taken care of by an HVAC professional.

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Ignition Systems On Gas Furnaces

Earlier models of furnaces had pilot lights. The pilot stayed on when the furnace was running. These types of ignition systems had gas valves coming off the burners that would open to ignite the gas. When the pilot light malfunctioned, the heater would not come on.

Today’s furnaces have electronic ignitors. Some are intermittent pilot systems, and others use a hot surface ignition. The differences between them are in when and how the furnace recognizes it is time to light the ignitor.

An intermittent pilot system makes use of an electric spark. This lets the sensor know when the pilot light has lit up. When it is lit, it opens the valve, and the pilot light will ignite the burners. A hot surface ignition has a system that allows electricity flow to it. When the set temperature is reached, the gas will flow to the burner, and the ignitor will light.

Both of the modern furnace systems will turn the pilot light off when the furnace is on. The process makes the system more efficient and uses less energy than furnaces in the past.

What Constitutes An Electronic Ignition Gas Furnace Failure?

hvac contractor performing a heater repairWhen an electronic ignition system fails in a gas furnace, the burners do not ignite.

This issue causes the failure of the furnace to produce heat. Delayed ignition can also be a problem. When the ignition is delayed, your furnace will make a banging sound before it ignites.

When the ignition is delayed, and you try to turn it on over and over again, gases will accumulate. This can be dangerous. It will need to be examined and fixed by an HVAC technician as soon as possible.

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Reasons A Gas Furnace Ignition System Fails

Below, we will discuss some common causes of ignitor issues.

There Is Damage To The Ignitor

An ignitor can become damaged or wear down. Older ignitors usually do not last as long as the furnace. A professional can examine and tell you if the ignitor has worn out and requires a replacement. The examination may require the removal of the service panel to look for any damage or wear. They may remove the ignitor wires and they will test the ignitor with a tool called a multimeter.

The Furnace May Have The Wrong Ignitor

If your furnace has an incompatible ignitor, the voltage will not be correct. This can cause the ignitor to fail. If the limit switch has mechanical problems, it will keep the ignitor from activating.

There May Be Power Surges

Hot surface ignitors use burning filaments. When there are power surges, the ignitor can burn out and fail.

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Tips For Troubleshooting The Electronic Ignitor

circuit breakerFurnace troubleshooting can give you clues as to what the problem may be. Common troubleshooting steps you can take include:

Check The Source Of Power

The problem may be the circuit breaker. If it is not working correctly, it won’t deliver any power to the furnace. Check to see if the power source is working.

Reset The Ignitor On The Furnace

First of all, turn off power to the furnace. Then, find the door to the burner. You will find the ignitor behind it. Turn the ignitor off, wait for 5 minutes, and turn the switch back on. When you close the door to the burner, make sure it is on tightly. Turn on power to furnace at the main panel to restart it.

Call A Professional HVAC Contractor When You Have Problems With Your Furnace

Any time a heating system fails, contact an HVAC company to inspect it and determine the reason for the malfunction. HVAC technicians are well trained and have the experience needed to find the cause. HVAC techs will find solutions to fix any issues with the furnace. When you have your system inspected and repaired by experts, you can rest easy knowing that your furnace is safe and efficient.

If you do not have the training of an HVAC professional, do not try to repair your gas furnace. Doing so can cause more damage and be dangerous. Homeowners that try to repair their gas furnace will often regret the decision. Their attempts to fix it can make the problem worse and end up costing more money that would have been necessary. You can save time and money and endure less stress by contacting an HVAC technician as soon as you see a problem with your gas furnace.

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As you’ve learned in this article, a problem with an electronic ignitor is not as simple as an older ignitor. Unlike with older furnaces, new furnaces with an electronic ignitor cannot be lit by hand. You can clean dirty filters, but a professional will have the tools they need to do the job or replace parts as necessary. However, it is always good to be educated on how to identify the cause of furnace failure. When you know how to troubleshoot, you will be able to offer a more detailed description of the problem to HVAC professionals.

When you need a professional solution, call a professional. HVAC technicians are experts in their field and will have your furnace working as it should in a short time. If you have problems with your furnace or need an inspection, contact your local HVAC company and schedule a home visit.


Contact McAllister Energy For Help With Home Heating

McAllister Energy makes superior HVAC service a top priority. Our staff of NATE certified technicians are the best you can find and will perform the job well. We specialize in furnace installations, tune-ups, repairs, and more. Our professional heating technicians are knowledgeable, experienced. We have the skills needed to get your heating system running at its best.

Does your heating system need attention? You can be confident that McAllister Energy will do a quality job. Our prices are competitive. We have always made comfort, air quality, and energy efficiency top priorities. Contact us and make an appointment for a free in-home estimate today.

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