Russell's Heating & AC
Jul 16 2018

Some Reasons Why Your Furnace Won’t Stay Lit

Not only is it irritating when your furnace won’t stay lit, it also can leave you chilly. It can be tempting to inspect your furnace yourself and maybe even try to adjust a few things to see if you can get your furnace to ignite; unless you have expert knowledge, this isn’t a good idea. Why? There are a number of reasons why your furnace won’t stay lit and unless you know what you are doing, it’s best to leave that work to an expert. The trained technicians at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning can help with any heating problem you may have, so call us today!

Reasons for Non-Ignition

Here are some reasons why your furnace won’t stay lit:

Problems with Electronic Ignition

If your furnace has an electronic ignition system, it is one of two types: intermittent pilot or hot surface ignition (HSI). Both systems use electricity, but in different ways: intermittent pilot lights a small pilot gas line with a spark; HSI ignition uses a probe that heats via electrical current. Should the electrical flow to either one of these devices fail, there will be problems with ignition. Additionally, if they are dirty – a dirty nozzle for intermittent pilot, fingerprints or dirt on the probe for HSI ignition – this can inhibit the action of the igniter.

Problems with Standing Pilot

If your furnace is a little older, you may have a standing pilot. With this kind of ignition system, the pilot is on all the time, hence the name “standing pilot”. Sometimes a draft can blow the pilot out, requiring that it be re-lit. If the pilot is constantly going out, there may be a bigger issue with the pilot, in which case you’d want to call for a technician.

Problems with Safety Mechanisms

Your furnace has a number of safety mechanisms that will kill the ignition process or shut off the burner to help prevent potentially serious problems from developing. Examples of these components are flame sensors, the thermocouple and the limit switch. Flame sensors and thermocouples can close the main gas valve if they sense there isn’t a viable pilot light, and limit switches can turn off the burner if the heat exchanger becomes too hot. Sometimes these devices can malfunction, causing problems with ignition or keeping your heater lit.

Combustion systems should be repaired only by trained technicians. If your furnace won’t stay lit, call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment for heating repair in Yucaipa!

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