As an Arlington, TX, homeowner, the most important thing for your household is its comfort. You want you and your loved ones to be content and at peace during their time there and, most importantly, have a place to hide out from the world’s troubles. However, this comfort can be compromised, especially during the harsh weather seasons of summer and winter.
Therefore, it is crucial to have regular air conditioning service to ensure that your HVAC system is in its entire operation. Additionally, these services will help prolong your system’s lifespan and avoid unnecessary repairs. This article will discuss gas furnace ignitors in detail and the different types in the market. However, always consult your air conditioning service provider before purchasing a furnace ignitor.
What Is a Gas Furnace Ignitor?
The furnace ignitor of your system is primarily the most crucial component of the gas furnace. It is the ignition for your furnace and lights the pilot and the furnace to function correctly. This system works electronically to ignite the gas in the furnace to eat your home. When you turn up your thermostat, you might notice a clicking sound before your home starts to warm up. The furnace ignitor produces this clicking sound. It creates a spark that ignites the gas and heats the air within it. The warm air is later circulated in your Arlington, TX, home, leaving it warm as desired. However, regular air conditioning is necessary to keep the warm air circulating.
Therefore, even if all the other parts of your furnace are working seamlessly, the furnace will not produce any heat if the ignitor is not working since it cannot burn fuel in the first place. However, it is essential to note that the type of furnace ignitor varies from one system to the other, depending on the manufacturing date of your system. Therefore, contact an air conditioning service provider to know the type of furnace ignitor in your system. The most popular types of furnace ignitors in the market include;
Hot Surface Ignition System
As mentioned above, the ignition system type depends mainly on your system’s manufacturing time. Therefore, if your furnace manufacturing is within the last twenty years, it will most likely be equipped with a hot surface ignition system. The system sends a spark of energy and heat through a thin wire, causing a lightning sequence like that seen in a light bulb or a heating element. It is more energy-efficient than its predecessors since it only burns the fuel while heating your home.
In addition, its operation is quieter than the other types and does not have a click sound as it lights up. On the other hand, this furnace ignitor requires high temperatures; thus, it’s a thin wire. It is made of materials that can facilitate and withstand high heat. However, its more notable advantages include being more dependable, highly efficient, and requiring less air conditioning services and maintenance.
Direct Spark Ignition System
The next notable type of furnace ignitor is the direct spark. It was majorly used in furnaces manufactured in the 80s and 90s. Therefore, if your system’s manufacturing is from these times, it probably integrates the direct ignition system. However, this does not mean they are only limited to the 90s furnaces. Therefore, get an air conditioning service provider to check your home’s system to establish which furnace ignitor your system uses. This type creates flames at the main burner rather than lighting a pilot burner, as in the previous models. Its significant advantage for some Arlington, TX, homeowners is that this type has a longer life span, saving much money you would have used to cater to unforeseen breakdowns and repairs.
Standing Pilot Ignition System
The standing pilot ignition system is one of the manufactured initial ignitors in the market. Though it was first created in the 1920s, making it the oldest furnace ignitor type, it prevailed in the market up to around the 1950s. Unfortunately, being one of the first ignitors is among the most inefficient types available. During its operation, unless the gas valves and pilot light are switched off, the gas will continuously run throughout if it is lit. Apart from this type being used in gas fireplaces, the standing pilot ignition system is no longer used in homes. Therefore, contact an air conditioning service technician if you are unsure about the furnace ignition type in your system.
Intermittent Pilot Light Ignition System
The intermittent pilot light ignition systems were used before the direct spark recognition. This type was commonly used in furnaces manufactured from the 50s until just before the 2000s. This furnace ignitor uses an automatic spark ignitor and gas pilot light for its operation. During operation, the gas pilot light is always on, but when you need more heat for your home, the automatic spark ignitor turns on and lights the main burners. Due to its twin system operation, this type is more efficient than its predecessor. However, it is not as efficient as the latter systems, such as the hot surface ignition system. Contact an air conditioning service provider if you need to replace the one installed on your furnace.
Top Signs of a Malfunctioning Furnace Ignitor
Now that you know the purpose of a furnace ignitor in your Arlington, TX, home, it is also essential to know the main signs your system will give when the furnace ignitor is experiencing some malfunctioning issues. Apart from knowing when to call an air conditioning service provider, this will help you avoid staying for too long without seeking help to the point of complete breakdown or need for a total replacement of the ignitor.
Consequently, you will attend to the issue as soon as possible, thus saving on unnecessary repairs from subsequent issues. Notably, there are cases where replacing the furnace might be the better option as it will save you more money on utility bills. Therefore, if you notice any of the below issues with your furnace, the origin might be the furnace ignitor; thus, you should call an air conditioning service technician immediately.
Your Furnace Will Not Turn On
Does your furnace refuse to start even after increasing the temperature settings of your house? Then your main problem might be the furnace ignitor. During regular operation, when you turn up your home’s temperature setting, the thermostat should signal the furnace’s need for hot air, which makes the furnace ignitor turn on. Therefore, if this is not the case, start by double-checking that your thermostat is in the correct setting. You can even turn it off and reset it to ensure the issue does not lie with it. If the issue of your furnace not turning on persists, the furnace switch is in the correct position; you might have a problem with the ignitor.
However, this could also indicate a more severe electrical circuitry issue. Regardless of the cause of this issue, it is best to contact an air conditioning service technician immediately for a full diagnostic and repair of the system. The air conditioning service technician will restore the system’s functionality, leaving your home cozy and warm.
Clicking Sound and Nothing Happens
During regular operation, most furnaces produce a clicking sound when the ignitor lights the burner. As this article shows, although not all furnace ignitors make the clicking sound, many types, such as the intermittent pilot system and the direct spark, have the clicking sound once the ignitor comes alive. Therefore, when you hear a clicking sound, it should only be a few minutes since the air ducts start to circulate the warmth produced by the furnace throughout your home.
However, if you hear the clicking sound of the ignitor lighting the burner but do not feel hot air in your Arlington, TX, home, there might be an underlying issue with your furnace ignitor. At this point, it is best to turn off the furnace and contact an air conditioning service provider to come and troubleshoot your ignition system. A qualified air conditioning service provider will quickly pinpoint the issue and advise you on the best way forward between cleaning, repairing, or changing the ignition system to restore its optimum functionality.
Furnace Not Blowing Air
Is your furnace not blowing out air as it used to? Then there must be a reason behind this new development since a furnace does not stop blowing air for no justifiable reason. The most likely reason is that either one or several safety mechanisms of the furnace determine that it cannot operate and has locked the operation until the issue is resolved. However, before concluding that the fault lies with the furnace ignitor, it is advisable to counter-check some of the other components of the system. Start with the air filter to ensure it is clean and operational. In addition, you should look at the air ducts for any debris or accumulation blocking the air path to your household.
If these two components are in good condition and the furnace still does not blow out air, then it is safe to assume that the trouble lies with your furnace ignitor. After establishing this, contact an air conditioning service provider to send qualified technicians for more thorough troubleshooting of the system.
Furnace Ignitor Is Not Glowing
Modern furnaces, unlike their predecessors, do not require an actual flame to operate. These furnaces use an electronic ignition with a hot surface ignitor instead. The ignitor is beside the gas burner so that when the thermostat communicates the need for warm air distribution, the hot surface igniters and reaches up to 2500 degrees Fahrenheit.
During regular operation, the valve opens, and the burning igniter ignites the gas to produce warm air. The ignitor will, however, burn out in time. Therefore, the thermostat communicates the need for warm air and looks through the louvers of the front cover. If the furnace is working correctly, the ignitor will glow brightly. However, if you do not see the glow in this area, your ignitor is not working correctly, and you may need an air conditioning service specialist. The technician can outline if the ignitor needs a replacement or if fixable. Sometimes, the issue lies with the inducer motor, not the furnace ignitor.
Furnace Short Cycles
The other significant sign that your Arlington, TX, home’s furnace will give trying to communicate that there is a malfunctioning issue is switching on and off throughout the day. This state of switching on and off is referred to as short cycling. In addition, starting and stopping your furnace is not suitable for your furnace’s health. It reduces the lifespan of the entire system as it tries to keep up with the temperature requirements of your household.
Therefore, if you notice this happening with your furnace, it is advisable to turn it off, wait a while then turn it on again. However, if the issue persists, turn it off completely to avoid a major failure and immediately contact an air conditioning service technician to troubleshoot the ignitor. In addition, if you notice these conditions, your furnace ignitor cannot effectively hold a charge and might be on its last leg. Due to its inability to maintain the charge, the furnace lacks enough time to heat up, leaving your home cold. Therefore, the best solution might be a total furnace ignitor replacement which an air conditioning service provider can handle.
Reliable Furnace Repair & AC Services
Since your HVAC system is one of the crucial systems for keeping your home comfortable, it is essential to have a specialist you can depend on in emergencies. Apart from fixing broken parts, the air conditioning service provider will advise you on the best parts in the market and the top ways of caring for your HVAC system. Does your Furnace ignitor show any of the signs above? Contact us at Minuteman Heating & Air, your reliable air conditioning service provider in Arlington, TX.