Why Does A Gas Furnace Ignites But No Flame

If you try turning on your gas furnace and notice that it ignites but does not have any flame, know that it is a common issue. Instead of panicking and calling furnace repair services, you could try some troubleshooting tips to get it working. Let’s discuss.

Malfunctioning Gas Igniter

If you have ever looked inside a gas furnace, you would know that it comes with burners and a gas igniter. The gas igniter is responsible for igniting the gas, which produces heat as a result. Typically, a furnace’s igniter will come on as soon as the furnace is turned on and will glow bright orange.

As the igniter turns hot enough, the furnace’s gas valve will open to deliver gas. So, if everything is working normally, you would expect the igniter to turn hot and let the furnace do its job. However, if it is malfunctioning, the igniter will simply not turn hot enough, not allowing the gas valves to open. As a result, your furnace won’t have any flame.

In such situations, you can smell gas. However, there is no need to panic. Every furnace comes with a safety shut-off valve that turns off the gas if the igniter fails to turn on. The most common reason a gas igniter fails is simply due to age.

Sooner or later, it turns weak to the point where it is not able to draw enough current to open the gas valve. Therefore, if you observe that your ignitor is glowing but it is struggling to ignite the burner, it means it has lost its efficiency.

How To Fix?

In the case of a faulty igniter, you will simply need to replace it as it cannot be repaired. If you plan on doing it on your own, make sure you turn off the circuit breaker to your furnace first. Make sure the furnace is not connected to any electrical outlet.

Next, grab the user manual and remove the necessary parts to access the igniter. Once you are able to reach the igniter, look for any damage or visible signs that indicate it has a problem. If you do not see any signs, re-install the igniter and turn on the furnace.

If the situation remains the same, it might be that the igniter needs replacement.

Malfunctioning Gas Valve

Another possible reason your gas furnace might be igniting but does not have any flame is a malfunctioning gas valve. A gas valve is designed to ensure that the gas travels safely through to the furnace’s burners. As mentioned previously, it only happens if the igniter is working properly.

However, if the gas valve is not functioning properly, you wouldn’t expect the burners to work either. Although it is rare for gas valves to go out, it is not impossible. In most cases, it has to do with insufficient voltage.

If the gas valve does not receive sufficient voltage, it will simply fail to work. In this case, you will need to consult an expert to perform a voltage check. And if the gas valve fails to respond, you will need to replace it.

Dirty Gas Burners

Dirty gas burners can create all sorts of problems. With time, the burners tend to get dirty and accumulations make it harder for them to receive oxygen to flame up. If that is the case, you can clean them using a special chemical specifically made for cleaning burners and try turning on the furnace again.

However, make sure that you turn off the furnace and disconnect it from the main power source. It is often the case that people ignore such a minor issue simply because they underestimate its potential. Cleaning the dirty burners and maintaining the furnace is essential to prolong its life and prevent complications down the road.

Then again, if you cannot do it on your own, you should schedule expert maintenance depending on usage frequency. If you live in a cold region, the usage of a furnace is going to be comparatively more than living in a hot region. Therefore, the maintenance frequency will add up as well.

Final Word

In the end, your gas furnace not flaming could be a tricky situation. Make sure you do not hurt yourself in the process of determining and fixing the issue. Always pick reliable furnace services Arlington VA and ensure you look after the furnace.

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