Solving Furnace Ignition Problems

AirPoint Technician fixing a Carrier Infinity® 98 furnace furnace

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There’s nothing worse than waking up on a freezing morning only to find that your furnace isn’t working. One of the most common issues homeowners face with their furnaces is the system not igniting. But why is this happening? To answer this question, we first need to understand what a furnace ignition system is.

What is Furnace Ignition

Furnace ignition is the process of lighting the burner in a gas furnace to produce heat. This process is crucial for the functionality of your heating system. If the ignition fails, your furnace won’t be able to generate heat, leaving your home cold and uncomfortable.

Types of Furnace Ignition Systems

There are primarily three types of ignition systems in modern furnaces: hot surface ignition, intermittent pilot, and standing pilot. Each of these systems has its unique operating principles and potential points of failure. Understanding these can help identify why your furnace isn’t igniting.

5 Reasons Why Your Furnace is Not Igniting

Having a furnace that won’t ignite can be quite frustrating. Let’s explore the top five reasons that might be behind this problem.

Ignition System Failure

The ignition system itself is often the culprit when your furnace isn’t igniting.

How Ignition System Failure Occurs

This can happen due to various reasons, from component wear and tear to outright system malfunction. Routine maintenance can help prevent such problems, keeping your furnace in top shape.

Blocked or Dirty Filters

A furnace’s efficiency depends heavily on air circulation. If your filters are blocked or dirty, this can impede airflow.

Effects of Blocked or Dirty Filters

Restricted airflow can cause the heat exchanger to overheat and shut off too quickly, not providing enough heat and ultimately preventing the furnace from igniting.

Inadequate Gas Supply

Your furnace needs a steady supply of gas to ignite and function properly.

Potential Causes of Inadequate Gas Supply

A gas leak, closed supply valve, or problems with the gas line could lead to an insufficient gas supply, causing ignition issues.

Thermostat Issues

Even if your furnace is perfectly fine, a faulty thermostat can prevent it from igniting.

Common Thermostat Problems

These can range from incorrect settings to wiring issues or even dead batteries.

Power Supply Problems

Lastly, without power, your furnace simply won’t work.

How Power Supply Affects Furnace Ignition

Check your circuit breakers and fuses to ensure they haven’t tripped or blown, causing your furnace to lose power and preventing ignition.

Solving Furnace Ignition Problems

While some issues can be solved with simple DIY steps, others require professional help. It’s crucial to understand when to call a technician and when you can handle the problem yourself.

Professional vs DIY Solutions

Changing filters, checking gas supply valves, and resetting circuit breakers can usually be done without professional help. However, if your furnace continues to struggle with ignition after these fixes, it’s time to call a professional. Don’t attempt to fix complex components like the ignition system yourself, as it could potentially damage your furnace or lead to hazardous conditions.

To learn how to check and replace a furnace ignitor, check out this video by Word of Advice TV

How to Check and Replace Faulty Furnace Ignitor

Trust AirPoint for Your Furnace Ignition Solutions

Understanding why your furnace is not igniting is the first step to restoring comfort in your home. At AirPoint, we specialize in diagnosing and fixing such problems efficiently. As a Carrier factory authorized dealer and NATE certified provider, we ensure top-notch service quality. Having been named HomeStars Best of the Best 2023 and with 5 stars on Google and HomeStars, we are a trusted name in Toronto. Our technicians are fully certified by TSSA, HRAI, and CSA, ensuring your furnace’s well-being is in the safest hands.

Addressing Your Furnace Concerns

While some issues like blocked filters or tripped circuit breakers can be fixed at home, it's recommended to call a professional for complex problems.

It's generally recommended to get your furnace serviced annually, preferably before the heating season begins.

If your furnace is not producing enough heat, or not igniting at all, it could indicate a problem with the ignition system.

While a furnace not igniting often means you'll be without heat, it's not inherently dangerous. However, if the issue is due to a gas leak, it could pose a safety risk and needs immediate professional attention.

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