Troubleshooting And Repairing Delayed Ignition In Gas Furnaces

Hearing your furnace go "boom" can be quite scary, and once should be enough to prompt you to call a furnace repair expert. More likely than not, your furnace is having a delayed ignition problem, which besides being able to cause serious damage to your furnace, is also a safety hazard you cannot afford to ignore.

What Causes Delayed Ignition

Diagnostics is the first step to a successful furnace repair. Where you may not have used your gas furnace for a while, you may experience delayed ignition due to the build-up of moisture, dust, and lint on your unit. These build-ups may block the ports carrying gas into the burners, causing delayed ignition when you turn on your furnace.

Gas supply issues, especially excess primary air or low gas supply pressure causing there not to be enough gas at the burners, are another possible cause. Misaligned burners would also interfere with how much gas reaches the burner, leading to delays in ignition.

For an older furnace, the problem may also lie with the pilot light. If it is weak or, for any reason, restricted, it may also cause delayed ignition. A highly skilled and experienced furnace repair technician will inspect your furnace and identify the problem area that requires attention and repair.

Professional Furnace Repair

Given the safety hazard delayed ignition presents, it is best to leave all the furnace repairs to a trained professional. Again, the longer you wait, the higher the risk of further damaging your furnace. The damage may get so severe (especially if it affects the heat exchanger) that furnace repair may no longer be an option, and you'd need to replace it.

The furnace repair expert will implement a strategy that is specific to your circumstances and what is causing the delayed ignition. This may mean cleaning the surfaces, the blower, flame sensors, and igniter to remove any build-ups that may have accumulated on these areas or system components. Similarly, the technician may replace your furnace air filters if they are too dirty. 

Beyond the furnace repair visit, a professional will want to ensure you don't experience the same problem again. In this case, you can expect some tips on how best to clean your furnace and how often you should replace the air filters.

Don't Wait

The fact that you need to call in a professional furnace repair service as soon as possible cannot be overstated. Get the delayed ignition problem resolved fast to avoid further damage and to ensure your own safety.