Coronavirus Update: We care about your health and continue to service our customers safely. Read More

Skip navigation

24hr Emergency Service

Proudly Serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area

live operators standing by

Menu

Furnace Not Igniting?

It’s pretty frustrating listening to the sounds of your furnace starting up and then almost immediately shutting down. If you hear this happening, it usually means that your system isn’t igniting. When your system doesn’t ignite, the safety controls within the furnace immediately shut the system down to prevent anything dangerous from developing. It isn’t your job to see what’s happening with your furnace’s ignition – this is a potentially dangerous scenario. Instead, call the heating experts from Boehmer Heating & Cooling and schedule furnace repair  in Baldwin-Whitehall.

There Can Be a Few Reasons

Depending on the kind of ignition you have – a standing pilot light or electronic ignition – there can be a few reasons why your furnace won’t light. Let’s first take a look at a standing pilot.

A standing pilot is a small flame that is always lit. This flame is monitored by a component known as a thermocouple. Problems igniting with a standing pilot can occur when the pilot is blown out, when the pilot is weakened by something like a dirty nozzle, or there is a problem with the thermocouple. Your trained technician will be able to tell what is happening with your standing pilot light.

When it comes to electronic ignition, your furnace (if it uses electronic ignition), will use one of two different components: an intermittent pilot igniter or a hot surface igniter. With an intermittent pilot, ignition will be terminated if the sensor monitoring the flame finds that the flame isn’t viable. Dirt stuck inside the nozzle can reduce the size of the flame, or sometimes the sensor may malfunction. Hot surface igniters work by heating a filament, very similar to the filament inside a light bulb. The filament is protected by an outer cover, which is where problems can start, as the covers can crack. A second common problem that affects hot surface igniters is dust, dirt, or even fingerprints on the outside of the component. All of these things can interfere with ignition.

Comments are closed.