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Furnace Won’t Stay Lit? Try These Troubleshooting Tips

Posted On: March 9, 2020

After a long, cold Ogden winter, your furnace system is likely starting to struggle a little bit when it comes to keeping your home heated and comfortable. This isn’t uncommon, as extended periods of use often result in a loss of performance. Today, the heating experts at Mountain Air Conditioning & Heating want to help make sure you keep comfortable for these last few chilly weeks by tackling one of the most common causes of trouble this late in the year: when a furnace refuses to stay lit.

Furnace Troubleshooting

While furnace problems are never good news, this issue, in particular, is often less severe than most. Many of the potential causes can be addressed with simple, cost-effective fixes. All you need to do is to figure out what precisely is causing the problem. The common causes for this are as follows, ordered from least to most severe.

Thermostat Problems

In order for your furnace to run properly, thermostat settings have to be set correctly. User errors or small mistakes, such as when settings have been altered without the homeowner’s notice, are actually extremely common. Because of this, if your furnace fails to kick on when you need it, always start here. Be sure the furnace is set to “heat,” and that the temperature settings are correct.

It’s also possible that the thermostat is miscalibrated or broken, but this problem is honestly quite rare. A heating contractor would be needed to diagnose a damaged thermostat.

Dirty Pilot Tube

In order for the pilot light to stay lit on your furnace, it needs free, unblocked access to oxygen. If the tube is coated in carbon, or dirt has made its way into the tube, it will block fuel flow and reduce the likelihood that your pilot will ignite correctly. This can be easy to diagnose by simply checking the pilot flame, for however long it is staying lit. If the flame is orange/red, flickering, very small, or snuffing out quickly, cleaning the pilot tube could prove to be your solution.

Problems with the Furnace Burner

Furnace burners are where fuel and oxygen mix, creating the combustion that ultimately provides heat to your home. Just like the pilot light and tube, burners can be exposed to large amounts of dust and dirt, and carbon deposits can form on them over time. Dirty furnace burners are a common issue if you choose to forgo annual furnace maintenance. Though you will likely want to leave the cleaning and maintenance of furnace burners to a pro, the job is simple and fairly cost-efficient.

A Damaged Thermocouple

A gas or electric furnace thermocouple is a safety device installed near the pilot or electric igniter of your heating system. The thermocouple monitors these devices, and should it detect an issue, it will shut down the furnace automatically in order to prevent damage to the system or your home. A malfunctioning, burnt-out, or worn-down thermocouple will falsely signal problems in your furnace, resulting in the furnace refusing to stay lit until the thermocouple is replaced.

Professional Furnace Repair in Ogden, UT

Tired of stressing out over a furnace that won’t stay running? Call on Mountain Air for the fast, affordable heating repair services you deserve! Our experienced contractors can diagnose and service all furnace issues, from a faulty thermocouple to a damaged thermostat.

Contact us now, either by reaching us online or by calling (801) 416-2215 to schedule furnace repairs in Ogden and Weber County!