Help! My Furnace Won’t Ignite!

March 12, 2019

You’re relaxing in your living room with a blanket or two when you realize that your house is a little colder than you would like. You head to the thermostat to turn up the heat and are satisfied to hear your furnace making that familiar clicking sound shortly thereafter. You expect to hear your heating system kick on any second now, but instead there’s only silence — and no heat.

If this sounds familiar to you, chances are your furnace is not igniting. Sometimes the issue is something you can fix yourself, and sometimes it’s something that requires help from an experienced furnace repair specialist. Whatever the case, your house needs heat, and it needs it fast. Here’s a brief look at what you should do when your furnace won’t ignite, so you can get back to feeling warm and cozy as soon as possible.

Verify Your Thermostat Settings

It may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many homeowners in the Rome and Utica areas call us with a furnace that won’t ignite and one of our furnace technicians shows up — only for this to be the problem. That’s why we always recommend double (and triple) checking the thermostat. Make sure your thermostat is in heating mode and not cooling or vacation mode. In addition, make sure the thermostat is set at a temperature higher than the current temperature of your house. If your thermostat is a programmable thermostat, make sure there is not an error code on the display.

Relight the Pilot Light

If you have an older furnace, the problem could be related to the pilot light (a continuously burning flame that is used to ignite your furnace.) Sometimes a nearby draft causes the pilot light to go out. Look for a standing pilot light in the combustion chamber door. If you do not see one, relight the pilot light if you feel comfortable doing so. If you do not feel comfortable performing this step yourself, be sure to call a furnace repair expert.

Check Your Fuel Supply

The time between fuel oil deliveries can go quickly. If it’s been a few weeks since your last fuel oil delivery and it’s been especially cold out, it’s possible that it’s time for some additional fuel. In this case, scheduling a fuel oil delivery will resolve the issue.

Have a furnace that runs on natural gas? Although with natural gas you do not need to monitor fuel delivery, there are valves which control the supply of natural gas to your home. Check the natural gas valve outside your home and make sure it is in the on position. (Another easy way to check your gas supply is to light another gas appliance in the home such as the stove.) If your natural gas supply looks fine, double check that the gas supply to your furnace is open and clear.

Call a Furnace Repair Technician

If one of these DIY solutions does not resolve the issue, it could be that there is a problem with the fan motor, thermocouple, flame sensor, control module, or ignition parts. These are all more complicated issues that should be handled by an experienced furnace repair technician.

Having trouble getting your oil or natural gas furnace to ignite properly? Fred F. Collis & Sons helps homeowners throughout the Rome and Utica, NY areas stay comfortable all winter with fast and reliable heating repair. Having been in the home heating business for over 83 years, you can trust our experienced technicians to get the job done right the first time.

Get your furnace back up and running. Contact us or call 315-897-5348 today to schedule furnace repair!

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