There’s nothing worse than a broken furnace on a cold winter day in Northern Colorado. Unfortunately, that seems to be the time that most furnace parts break down. If your furnace isn’t working properly, it could be your furnace ignitor. As you get ready to call Fort Collins furnace repair, learn about this part on your furnace and what you can do if yours isn’t working.
What Is a Furnace Ignitor?
Like the name implies, the furnace ignitor is what turns your furnace on. It’s the part that lights the burner and starts the combustion process to get heat pumping. Older furnaces used a pilot light to essentially do the same thing, but furnaces installed in the last 10 to 15 years use furnace ignitors because they are safer and more dependable. Instead of the constant stream of fuel from a pilot light, a furnace ignitor only runs when the furnace is on, which reduces the risk of accidents and is more energy-efficient.
Why Does it Stop Working?
There are a number of signs a furnace ignitor isn’t working. The most obvious is that the furnace won’t turn on. If you try multiple times to turn on the furnace and it doesn’t work, it’s likely the furnace ignitor. You might also hear the furnace try to turn on multiple times but only feel it blow cold air.
Another sign of a faulty ignitor is if your furnace stops working while it’s running. This could mean that there is a blockage in the system or that the ignitor has worn down and doesn’t work. Most furnace ignitors need to be replaced every five to six years as they break down with normal wear and tear. A furnace that hasn’t been cleaned or maintained regularly may experience ignitors not lasting as long because the dust and dirt can slow down the piece.
In most gas furnaces, if the ignitor can’t get the flame sensor to work, the entire system will shut down until the part can be replaced.
How Can it Be Fixed?
The furnace ignitor is one of the most complicated and dangerous parts of a furnace. Although it is possible to fix it yourself, it’s a project that should only be done by an HVAC professional or experienced handymen and homeowners who are very familiar with furnaces and how to do repairs.
To fix it yourself, turn off the gas or electricity to your furnace. You can purchase a replacement ignitor at a home improvement store or through online retailers like Amazon. If you’re unsure what type of furnace ignitor you need, you can ask an electrician or HVAC professional and order the part through them. The ignitor is fragile, so be careful to not touch it with your bare hands or hit it against anything.
To replace the ignitor, find the faulty ignitor, remove the screw that holds it in place, and then put the new piece in its place. After turning the HVAC system back on, you can test your work by seeing if the furnace will turn on and blow hot air.
Calling the Professionals
If you don’t feel comfortable changing the furnace ignitor yourself, your best bet is to call an HVAC professional. Furnace ignitors break fairly frequently, and a technician should have a replacement part on hand to quickly fix the problem. Calling a professional ensures that the job gets done properly and keeps you safer. An HVAC professional can also identify any other potential furnace issues. If the furnace isn’t working because of something other than the ignitor, they will be able to find the issue and fix it.
The furnace ignitor is a small part of the HVAC system but one that has a big impact on how the system runs and your temperature and comfort. If you think your ignitor on your furnace is faulty, there are options when it comes to making the repair. Call professional Northern Colorado HVAC technicians today to get your furnace running properly again: 970-686-6086.