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Furnace Problems: How To Troubleshoot Your Electric Ignition System

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You probably don't think about your furnace beyond setting the thermostat to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. But when your furnace fails, you worry about what you can do to fix it. The following guide will help you figure out if your furnace problems have to do with your electronic ignition (if you have a modern furnace).

How It All Works 

You should know a thing or two about your appliance to troubleshoot it correctly. Your furnace is switched by the thermostat, which helps measure the temperature in your home. The thermostat will tell your furnace that your home has fallen or risen beyond your desired temperature.

The thermostat sends the signal that finally reaches your electronic ignition, which turns on only when you need it. Older furnaces use a pilot light, which is constantly on. But thankfully you have a furnace that helps keep power consumption at a low. 

Troubleshooting Your Electronic Ignition

The electronic ignition can be triggered in different ways depending on your machine. The most common triggers are a spark ignition or a hot surface ignition. Both of these change the way you troubleshoot your furnace. You can read your owner's manual or have your furnace specialist help you figure which type of ignition your furnace has.  

The Spark Ignition

Check the ignition wire, control board, or the control module to see if there is a spark whenever you turn the furnace on. You can also refer to your owner's manual if you do not know where these locations are located on your furnace. An unsuccessful spark means that you may have a problem with your electronic ignition. Talk to your furnace specialist, from a professional company like Thompson Heating & Air Conditioning Inc, about your suspicions so that he or she can help resolve any problem. 

The Hot Surface Ignition

For this type of igniter, you will need to have a look at your control module or the furnace control board.

What you want to pay attention to is the voltage that your furnace needs. Most furnaces need around 120 to 240 volts of electricity. Make sure that your furnace is receiving that much electricity to spark your hot surface igniter. Electricity issues are separate from your electronic ignition system and should be addressed by your furnace specialist. 

That is how simple it is to figure out if your problem lies with your electronic ignition system. A little knowledge can help you and your furnace specialist get to the bottom of the problem.