Possible Reasons Your Gas Furnace Won't Ignite

If your gas furnace fails to ignite, your home will get cold quickly if you don't fix the problem. You can tell there's a problem with the ignition system when you hear clicking that isn't followed by the furnace and blower kicking on. Here's a look at a few things that can cause this problem and the heating repairs that you may need.

Power Surge In The Furnace

An electrical problem or power surge can interfere with the electronic ignition of your gas furnace. If your furnace isn't working, one thing you'll want to check is the electrical panel to make sure the circuit isn't flipped. If it is, turn it back on, but if it flips right back off, then leave it off and call a furnace repair service. If the circuit in the panel is in the on position, try flipping it off and then back on again. A modern gas furnace has a circuit board that controls the electronic ignition, and it sometimes needs to be restarted if an electrical malfunction affects it. By flipping the power off at the circuit and then back on again followed by pressing the reset button, your furnace resets. Follow the instructions in your manual for how to reset your furnace so it's done properly, and that might fix the problem.

Bad Ignition Switch

An ignition switch has to be replaced every few years. It's not intended to last as long as the furnace, so when your furnace won't ignite, you should suspect the ignition switch. Different things can affect how long the switch lasts. If it gets grimy because the furnace isn't cleaned regularly or if your furnace short-cycles because it shuts down due to overheating caused by dust and grime inside, the switch will wear out faster. This is an easy repair since an HVAC technician can put in a new switch. However, the technician may also need to clean the furnace so the new switch doesn't wear out fast, too.

Control Board Problems

The control board for your furnace can often tell you exactly what is wrong when your furnace malfunctions. You can read the display code and then find the code on a chart in your manual to find out what part is bad. Sometimes the control board itself goes bad and has to be replaced. When you call a heating repair professional, they can use the codes to diagnose the problem or figure out what is wrong by studying the way your furnace acts and the way it looks inside. Even something like the color of the flames can tell a professional how well your furnace is burning.

A heating breakdown can sometimes be an emergency when it's bitterly cold outside, so you don't want to delay in calling for repairs to be made when your furnace isn't igniting. The repairs could be something simple that has a quick fix, in which case your home will be warmed back up again quickly. More serious problems can sometimes be prevented through routine maintenance and getting help when your furnace first shows signs of trouble.