Menu

My Gas Furnace Won’t Ignite

Here at John Nugent & Sons, we routinely receive phone calls from residents of Fairfax, Arlington, Reston, and throughout Northern VA who say something to the extent of “my gas furnace won’t ignite.” We’re directly in the middle of the cold season, which makes your gas furnace the most important appliance in your home.

DIY Gas Furnace Fixes

A DIY project shouldn’t be confusing, so the heating and cooling experts at John Nugent & Sons have created simple directions to fix the furnace issue yourself. Follow these steps to fix a gas furnace that won’t ignite:

  • Check to make sure the furnace filter is clean—if not, replace the dirty filter with a clean filter. Also, check to make sure the power to the furnace is on. Finally, make sure the gas supply to the furnace is open.
  • If your gas furnace initiates the start cycle but does not fire up, it’s likely because of a faulty, damaged, or dirty ignitor/sensor. This is a very common furnace problem—you can try to clean the sensor and replace the ignitor. It is possible for a flame sensor to go bad; but more often than not, it is not broken, just dirty from carbon buildup.
  • A flame sensor is an important component of a furnace that’s responsible for igniting and maintaining the flame within the surface. A flame sensor failure is pretty common due to buildup of materials and particles in the confined area of the furnace. To clean the flame sensor, start by making sure your furnace is off—it can be turned off using the switch on the unit or by cutting the power source at the breaker box. Next, locate the flame sensor. It’s the metal rod located in the direct path of the burner with a wire attached to it. If possible, remove the sensor by removing the screws and pulling the wire off. Clean the surface of the sensor by wiping it with either sandpaper or with steel wool. Once clean, reinstall the flame sensor directly back into the location from which it was removed.
  • A gas furnace ignitor is used to start up the furnace. It uses an electric current and filament to ignite. Make sure your furnace is once again turned off before you attempt to replace the ignitor. Now, locate the ignitor—it’s usually found near the center of the burners. Once you’ve located the ignitor, you’ll have to unscrew it from its place. It’s important that you take note of the location of the ignitor so you won’t have any trouble fitting in the new ignitor. You’ll now have to position a new ignitor and screw it in place.

If you have any questions about the steps outlined above, call the professionals at John Nugent & Sons. You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. When it comes to tackling common furnace problems—we’re the experts.

Furnace Repair Services in Northern Virginia

If you’ve followed these steps and your gas furnace still won’t ignite, it’s more than likely you’ll need a furnace repair or replacement. And, if needed, John Nugent & Sons offers additional furnace maintenance through our service contracts. Take preventative measures this winter, and give John Nugent & Sons a call to help you with any and all furnace problems you may be experiencing.

Call us at 703-291-1926 if you need to schedule a service appointment for your furnace.

You May Be Interested In…

Contact Us

See Our Coupons & Specials

Testimonials

10 TIME Super Service Award Winner!

"John Nugent & Sons, I believe, is a model for a company with excellent management, superior service through cooperative scheduling and excellent service representatives."

J.A. – Leesburg, VA.

  • Ask About Financing

    Financing available with approved credit