Try These Easy Solutions First If Your Furnace Has Ignition Problems


The furnace ignition gets the burners going so they can heat the air and warm your house. An ignition malfunction, therefore, will leave your house cold. As with many problems in life, you should start with the easy solutions before going to the rough ones if your furnace is experiencing ignition problems. Below are some of the simple issues that can trigger furnace ignition problems.

Thermostat Issues

The furnace only ignites if it receives the right signals from the thermostat. This means your furnace will only ignite if:

  • The thermostat is working
  • You have set the thermostat to heating
  • The indoor temperature is lower than the temperature set on the thermostat

Consider a case where you have a programmable thermostat with the wrong date and time. Such a thermostat might not send the right signals to the furnace, and the furnace won't ignite. Therefore, check the thermostat if your furnace is not igniting.

Fuel Supply Interruption

The furnace also won't ignite if it is not getting any fuel or the right amount of fuel. This might be the case if someone did not adjust the fuel supply valve properly or if the valve has malfunctioned. Another reason is if your house is expecting a fuel supply interruption. The latter problem will affect every gas appliance in the house.

Electrical Supply Interruption

Most furnaces, even those that run on fossil fuels, still need electricity. A gas furnace may need electricity for the electronic ignition, for the fan motor, and for the thermostat. For example, your furnace might be off because:

  • The thermostat lacks electrical supply so it can't send the right signals to the furnace
  • The electronic igniter doesn't have the electrical power to spark it and ignite the burners

Such problems might arise if:

  • Something has tripped the circuit breaker
  • You forgot to switch on the furnace
  • Your house has an electrical blackout

Fortunately, such problems don't mean your furnace has a serious malfunction.

Dirty Air Filter

Many people know that a dirty air filter restricts airflow and interferes with heating efficiency. What you might not know is that a dirty air filter can also trigger ignition problems.

The furnace burners won't get adequate air if the air filter is extremely dirty. Inadequate air means the heat exchanger will overheat (the furnace needs the air to pick up the heat and distribute it inside the house).

An overheated heat exchanger is dangerous, and the furnace has a temperature limit switch to limit the dangers. The fan limit switch will turn off the furnace ignition if it detects dangerously high temperatures.

Contact your HVAC services provider for more information.

About Me

Learning To Program My Thermostat

Last summer, I realized that I didn't have the money anymore to keep paying steep power bills. My budget was stretched paper thin, and I was worried about how to make ends meet. One day, it occurred to me that the problem might stem from my air conditioning unit. I went outside and noticed that the sides were really clogged with dead leaves, dirt, and debris. I called my friend, who works as an HVAC contractor, to find out how to fix the problem. This blog is filled with articles about how to keep your HVAC system clean and perfect, so that you don't have to worry about a failing system.

Latest Posts

19 October 2020
As we're getting into the colder months, many people will be turning on their furnaces for the first time. When they do, they may notice a series of b

17 September 2020
When they're working perfectly, air conditioning units barely even let you know they're there. They might hum once they kick on and pass a gentle bree

13 August 2020
It does not matter if it is the range, the refrigerator, or the dishwasher, when an appliance in your kitchen fails — it is a big deal. Fortunately, a