Possible Reasons Your Furnace Won’t Ignite

November 19, 2013
Ross and Witmer

When it gets nippy outside, you need your furnace. When the furnace won’t ignite, it’s easy to jump to the worst-possible scenario. Do you need a replacement or an expensive repair? Before you start stressing, take a deep breath. There are quite a few reasons that the furnace won’t ignite, and some of them are easy fixes. Before calling your HVAC-system professional, check your system for the following culprits.

  • Check your thermostat: Make sure your thermostat is in heating mode, and it’s set at a temperature that’s higher than the temperature in the room.
  • Check for power: A gas furnace needs electricity to operate. Check for a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Flip the circuit breaker off. Wait a minute or two, then flip it back on again. That just might do the trick.
  • Check the condensate pan: If your furnace won’t ignite, it might be an issue with a full condensate pan. If a pump briefly loses power or is old and needs to be replaced, the condensate pan can overfill and keep your furnace from turning on. To remedy this, simply drain the reservoir and check for any blockages in the condensate pipe.
  • Check the pilot light.: Most furnaces manufactured today have electronic ignition. But older furnaces have pilot lights, which can go out from time to time. If your pilot light is out, relight it. If it goes out again, call your HVAC-system expert. The assembly or the sensor may need to be cleaned.
  • Check furnace filter: A severely clogged air filter can cause your furnace to stop working. Pull the filter out of the furnace, and hold it up to the light. If it’s filled with dust and dirt, replace the filter. Your furnace could start working again.

If you continue to have problems with your furnace, contact the HVAC experts at Ross & Witmer. Our experienced technicians have been serving Charlotte-area homeowners since 1945.

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