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Your Indianapolis Licensed HVAC Contractor


Your Indianapolis Licensed HVAC Contractor


Vital Heating & Air Blog

Why the Burners in Your Furnace Aren’t Lighting


This isn’t a problem you want to run into in the middle of winter: you turn on the heat for your home, but the gas furnace isn’t coming on. The burners that are supposed to ignite are staying cold—and that means your house will stay cold as well.

There may be a simple explanation for this, and we’ll list some of them, but please don’t attempt to do anything like a “repair” to a gas furnace on your own. This is potentially dangerous: you should never work on any appliance hooked to a gas main unless you have proper training, tools, and certification. If your gas furnace won’t turn on and basic troubleshooting hasn’t solved the issue, please call our team for furnace repairs in Indianapolis, IN. We’ll safely repair your furnace, and we back up our work with a 100% happiness guarantee!

Let’s look at some possible reasons the burners in your furnace aren’t coming on… 

The gas to the furnace is turned off

If you haven’t used your furnace for several months, you probably shut off the gas to the heater as a general safety precaution. You may have forgotten to turn the gas back on before using the furnace again. 

The electronic ignition system is broken

Most modern furnaces use an electronic igniter to light the burners rather than a standing pilot light. Electronic ignition systems either create a spark to light the burners or a hot surface similar to the filament in a light bulb. The igniter can burn out and fail, in which case the burners won’t light and the gas will soon shut off as a safety precaution. Repair technicians can replace the electronic igniter. 

The breaker to the furnace has tripped

A gas furnace needs electricity to run: not only for the electronic ignition system but also for the control board and the blower fan. If an electrical fault has caused the circuit breaker to the furnace to trip, it won’t be able to light the burners. Check the electrical panel to see if there’s a tripped breaker and reset it. If the breaker continues to trip, you’ll need to call for professional repairs. 

Gas flow problems

The burners may not be receiving gas through the gas lines because of a stuck valve or a stoppage in the gas lines. There could also be gas leaks in the lines. These are all serious problems and you should call for licensed technicians right away to fix them, shutting off the gas line to the furnace first. 

A faulty flame sensor

The flame sensor is a safety device that shuts off gas to the burners if the burners fail to ignite. This way, there’s no danger of an explosion because of a flood of unburned gas entering the furnace. But if the flame sensor malfunctions, it may stop gas flow to the burners regardless of whether the burners can ignite or not. Repair technicians can clean the sensor or replace it as necessary. 

Have a malfunctioning furnace? Call Vital Heating & Air because “Your Comfort Is Vital!”

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