A Bad Furnace Ignitor Keeps Your Furnace From Working, But It's An Easy Heating Repair

A furnace ignitor is a small part that lights your gas furnace so it can turn on and make heat. Newer gas furnaces don't rely on continuous pilot lights like old furnaces did. Instead, new furnaces send a signal to the ignitor that lights the flame when heat is needed. 

The ignitor in your furnace may eventually go bad because they don't last as long as more durable parts of your furnace or the furnace itself. Here are signs the ignitor could be bad and how a heating repair technician might handle the problem.

Signs Your Furnace Ignitor Is Malfunctioning

The ignitor can act up in a number of ways. It can keep your furnace from igniting, and it can cause your furnace to start and then suddenly shut down. When the ignitor malfunctions, the operation of your furnace might be erratic rather than its usual pattern of turning on and running for several minutes at a time.

Furnace Problems That Have Similar Signs

When you call a heating repair company, they may suspect your problems are caused by a bad ignitor since this is a common furnace problem, but they can't be sure until they check your furnace. Other problems can cause the same malfunctions with your furnace.

For instance, the problem might be with your thermostat or wiring to the circuit breaker. The inducer motor could be bad, or there might be airflow blockage due to a dirty filter or blocked vent. The heating repair technician can test the ignitor with a multimeter and tell if it is bad and thus the cause of your furnace problems.

Repairs Needed For A Faulty Ignitor

Since an ignitor is an inexpensive piece, the repair technician may just replace it rather than try to fix problems with it. A possible exception is if the ignitor is dirty with soot. Here, cleaning it will fix the problem. When the repair technician comes to check the ignitor, you may also want them to check other parts of the combustion area that work together to ignite the burners and create heat.

If other parts are also old and worn, it might be best to replace them in a single service call. This can save you money and spare you the inconvenience of another furnace breakdown. Plus, the technician might need to clean any soot out of the combustion area too if you skipped the fall tune-up. With the bad ignitor replaced and soot removed, your furnace should ignite without problems and keep your home warm and cozy the rest of the winter.

Contact a heating repair service for more information.