A gas furnace tends to be a reliable source of heat, and the reassuring whoosh of the burners igniting lets you know that heat is on its way, and you’ll soon be comfortably cozy. If you’re trying to get your heat to come on and you don’t hear that whoosh, you’ll immediately worry. What’s wrong? What can you do about it?

If your furnace won’t ignite, it will typically shut down completely for safety. You’ll get cold pretty quickly. So what went wrong?

Ignition Methods

The first thing to know is that not all gas furnaces ignite their burners the same way. Traditionally, gas furnaces used a standing pilot light. This was a tiny flame burning a very small amount of gas at all times, which was then used to ignite the burners when the thermostat called for heat. Some gas furnaces still have pilot lights.

Most newer furnaces use an electronic ignition system. This uses electricity to create a spark, which then ignites the burners. Before you can guess the cause of your ignition problem, you need to know which type of ignition method your furnace uses.

Pilot Problems

If your furnace does use a pilot light, it may simply have gone out. Check your owner’s manual for specific directions about how to light the pilot. One general safety recommendation is to shut off the gas to the furnace for several minutes before attempting to light it again, to allow any accumulated gas to dissipate, avoiding a flare-up.

If you do not have your owner’s manual and need help determining what to do, or if the pilot light continues to go out after re-lighting, shut off the gas and reach out to us.

Failed Igniter

In an electronic ignition system, the igniter can break or burn out. If this has happened, you may hear a clicking sound when the furnace attempts to ignite the burners. You need furnace repair in New Braunfels, TX. The good news is, that this part is simple for a technician to replace.

Flame Sensor Issues

The flame sensor determines whether the burners have been lit. If it senses that they have not, it will shut down the gas to avoid a leak. If the burners have lit, but the sensor does not discern that, it will shut down the gas and the burners will go out immediately. If it is covered in soot, a cleaning may be all that is needed, but if it is damaged, it can easily be replaced.

Stuck Gas Valve

Another reason for burners not to ignite is that they’re simply not receiving any gas. A stuck gas valve can also cause the clicking sound we mentioned. A technician can determine which is the case and get it repaired for you.

Dirty Burners

Sometimes, soot or grime on the burners themselves prevents them from igniting. If this is the root of your problem, you’ll need a professional to address it. The assembly must be detached from the furnace for proper cleaning.

Whatever the source of your ignition problem, you can rely on us to help.

Our professionals are ready to take care of you when you reach out. Contact Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

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