Gas Furnace Ignition Problems Are Common in Twin Cities Homes
Any time your gas furnace isn’t working, the most likely issue is a problem with the ignition system. Even though it’s never a good thing when there is no heat in your house, ignition problems are almost always easy to diagnose and repair for our highly trained, experienced HVAC technicians. Best of all, fixing such problems costs much less than many other problems with residential natural gas furnaces. Most components of ignition systems are very affordable and our technicians normally already have the replacement parts in their service vans when they come to your house. That means that when you call our Minneapolis heating company, we can usually diagnose and fix your system quickly and at a lower price than you might expect.
Typical Gas Furnace Ignition System Components
The ignition system is made up of several components. All are part of a system that is designed with safety in mind. They’re all interconnected, so that if one component fails, the heat will not be on. The basic components include:
- Your Home’s Thermostat – While thermostat problems are uncommon, the thermostat is a primary part of the ignition system. Operating at a low voltage, it is the temperature-controlled switch that sends the start or stop signal. Wiring problems often can cause it to fail to send the right signals to the controller board.
- Controller Board – This is the electronic control center of all modern gas furnaces. It’s really a small digital computer that controls the entire sequence of heating operations. Although they rarely fail, controller boards are susceptible to damage caused by power surges. Replacing the control board will solve the problem.
- Draft Inducer Fan – Before heating can start, the controller board turns on a draft inducer fan. It starts air flowing through the combustion chamber and the exhaust flue. If this fan or its motor fails, the ignition sequence won’t continue. These fans are very reliable, but sometimes they can fail, especially on older furnaces.
- Draft Detection Sensor – After the draft inducer fan starts, this sensor checks to make sure the fan is running and that air is flowing freely through the exhaust flue. A clogged flue or bad fan will prevent the OK signal from this sensor from being sent to the controller and heating will not start.
- Natural Gas Valve – This electrically operated valve is opened by the controller board after verification of proper air flow. It allows natural gas to flow through the burners. If the valve fails, it will fail in the closed position for safety reasons, preventing ignition.
- Ignitor – After the natural gas valve is open, the controller board activates the ignitor. This can be a spark or a hot surface ignitor. Its job is to light the gas flame. If there’s no flame, the next component detects that and aborts the ignition sequence.
- Flame Sensor – This sensor is a thermocouple device that detects the heat from the burners. If no heat is detected, the sensor sends a signal and the controller shuts down the ignition cycle and closes the gas valve. It also signals the controller to shut the gas down if the flame is somehow extinguished, but that’s a very rare event.
Diagnosing and Repairing Heating System Problems
When a furnace doesn’t start, the problem is in the ignition system in the vast majority of cases. The experienced technicians with our Minneapolis St. Paul heating and air conditioning company use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to quickly identify the defective component. If your heating system is relatively new, built-in diagnostic features on the controller board will indicate which component stopped working. On older models, each component can be tested quickly. Once the defective component is identified, replacing it restores the furnace to proper operation.
A defective ignitor, flame sensor or draft detection sensor causes the most common problems. Most likely, replacement parts are already in the technician’s van, ready to install. Other components are usually immediately available at a nearby local HVAC supplier. Except for controller boards, replacement parts are not expensive and the repair can be made quickly at a low cost. Your heat will be restored in most cases soon after our technician arrives.
Fast, Trusted Furnace Repair Services – Minneapolis St. Paul Metro Area
When you call our Minnesota award-winning furnace service company for any problem with your home heating, we know that it’s important to get your furnace working quickly. We’ll schedule your service call as soon as possible and dispatch one of our experienced professional technicians. He’ll diagnose the problem and give you a clear explanation of exactly what’s wrong. He’ll also give you an accurate estimate of the cost for the repair. With your approval, he’ll get the job done efficiently. As our over 35,000 satisfied customers already know, we never sell unneeded services or overcharge our customers. Call us anytime, even during the evening, on weekends or on holidays. We’re always here to provide the very best service you’ll find anywhere in the Twin Cities.