Phoenix in the winter is heavenly. With cool but not cold nights, everyone enjoys settling in and relaxing in a warm, pleasant house. If your gas-fired furnace is not providing the head you want, though, your evening may be filled with words that make the prickly poppy blush.

Ingiter Troubleshooting List

Here is a quick guide to quick fixes for your furnace ignition system. 

Older Models

Howard Air - Furnace Igniter Repair Troubleshooting - Pilot Lights

Older gas-fired furnaces may have pilot lights. These small flames ignite the gas when a call for heat comes to your furnace from your thermostat. A pilot light that constantly extinguishes itself could be caused by three issues: 

  1. A bad or loose thermocouple

  2. Pilot orifice clogged

  3. Flame set too low for proper ignition

Turn off the gas before attempting any work! Once the gas is safely off (check it twice — a gas explosion will do more than ruin your evening) and the circuit breaker is tripped to prevent power to the furnace, clean the orifice with very thin wire. Run the wire into the opening to knock loose any debris. 

A few models of pilot lights have screws to adjust the flame. Work carefully to achieve your goal: a full, blue flame (no yellow) around two inches (five cm) long. 

Newer Models

Howard Air - Furnace Igniter Repair Troubleshooting - Happy Mother & Son

Most modern gas-fired furnaces use electronic ignition, often using a hot surface igniter (HSI). The host of issues with HSIs means your best bet is to call Howard Air for service. You can try a few remedies yourself, however: 

  • Condensate

  • A full condensate pan will trip the float switch, stopping your furnace cold; make certain the condensate tube is not clogged and the pan is empty.

  • Pressure switch tube

  • Your furnace’s vacuum tube also can get clogged; when this pressure switch tube fails, the furnace will not ignite.

  • Faulty igniter

  • A broken igniter (look for white residue — silica dust —built up along the igniter blades) can be replaced if handled with care; you may wish to have a professional for expert replacement.

HSIs can have many more issues, including voltage drops, faulty wiring and misalignment. Most of these are too challenging for the average Phoenician to fix. Remember, gas furnaces are complex and potentially dangerous.

Furnace Igniter Repairs in Phoenix

If you attempted to fix your electronic igniter or pilot light and your heating system is still not providing the heat you expect, contact Howard Air. One of our expertly trained technicians will be happy to help you.