My Furnace Won’t Stay Lit – What Should I Do?

During the winter months, you rely heavily on the furnace in your Scranton or Wilkes-Barre area home. Unfortunately, heavier use means that you’re more likely to experience problems with your furnace. When a furnace pilot light won’t stay lit, you can expose your family to cold indoor temperatures that cause discomfort and even sickness.


My Furnace Won't Stay Lit - What Should I Do? T.E. Spall & Son Scranton, Pennsylvania


What to Do When Your Furnace Won’t Stay Lit

In many cases, a draft can cause the pilot light to extinguish. If you suspect that to be the issue, you can try to reignite the pilot light. If the pilot light won’t catch the flame or extinguishes repeatedly, you will need professional furnace repair services.If you can’t get a consistent flame in your furnace’s pilot light, you should call for help immediately. In the meantime, shut off the flow of fuel to your gas furnace. 

For an electric furnace, it’s still a good idea to stop the supply of electricity to your furnace. This step reduces the risks of a fire hazard until a professional can inspect your heating system.

What Causes Your Furnace to Go Dark?

When your home’s furnace won’t stay lit, there are several possible causes. While most of these issues require a professional to provide furnace and heating repair services, you should still have a basic understanding of the problem. Knowing more about your furnace will help you determine the best time to call for repairs.

Interrupted Airflow

Your furnace relies on steady airflow to function properly. If that flow is uninterrupted, a safety mechanism in the furnace forces it to shut off. A technician can replace the filter in your furnace and check the condition of the blower fan to ensure it’s operating properly.

Damaged Flame Sensor

Another safety feature of the furnace in your Scranton, PA, home is the flame sensor. If the sensor becomes damaged or dirty, it may not detect the pilot light’s flame. In that case, it will shut off the flow of gas to the burners. You will need a technician to clean and repair your flame sensor.

Clogged Burners

Your furnace should be serviced at the start of the cold season to ensure it’s working properly. During this type of maintenance, the technician will clear away the grime and gunk that collects in the burners. If this isn’t done, the burners won’t properly ignite, and you’ll have difficulty operating your furnace.

Overheated Heat Exchanger

Another reason your furnace won’t stay lit may have to do with a faulty heat exchanger. This component uses a limit switch that shuts the furnace off if the exchanger becomes overheated. This process involves shutting off the power and the flow of gas to the furnace for safety reasons. 

A heat exchanger that frequently overheats isn’t venting combustible gasses, so it’s important to call for service right away. Attempting to operate the furnace when the heat exchanger is faulty can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide levels in your home.

Experienced Furnace Professionals

If you are experiencing furnace or heating problems in your Scranton or WIlkes-Barre area home, CALL SPALL right away. The professionals at T.E. Spall & Son provide fast and efficient service to ensure you can keep your home warm all year long.

For more information on our furnace and heating repair services or to schedule an appointment with one of our HVAC professionals, contact us online or give us a call today at (570) 281-0155

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