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How to Fix a Furnace Ignitor


Is your furnace ignitor not working? Do you even know what a furnace ignitor is? Luckily, we can help you. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing how you can troubleshoot your furnace ignitor and what to do when you can not fix it. We will also be discussing what a furnace ignitor is, how it works, and what to do when it isn’t the problem. We hope you find this informative and that it helps you navigate the murky waters of dealing with a broken furnace ignitor. If you have any additional questions, leave a comment below and we will try our best to answer them.  

How Does a Furnace Ignitor Work?

A furnace ignitor, to put it simply, is used to heat the gas in a furnace and cause combustion. This allows a furnace to produce enough heat to properly warm a home. The average temperature a furnace ignitor operates around is 1,200 Fahrenheit or around 649 Celsius. If it isn’t hot enough, then it won’t be able to start the chain reaction which is required to generate heat inside of a furnace. If your ignitor isn’t working then you won’t be able to heat your home. 

Ways to Fix Your Furnace Ignitor

  • Make Sure It is Actually Your Furnace Ignitor Causing Problems

While you may believe your furnace ignitor is causing issues it’s important to check other things in your furnace first. For example, when was the last time you replaced your air filter? If it has been a while, replace it and see if that is the issue instead of your ignitor. As mentioned in our blog post “How to Take Care of Your Furnace,” you need to replace your filter regularly. The thicker the filter is, the longer it is going to last. You should also check your thermostat and make sure it is working properly. 

Of course, there is an easy way to tell your ignitor has gone out. If you open your furnace panel and see that your ignitor is cracked, chipped, shattered, etc., it has gone bad. You can also test your ignitor with a multimeter. A multimeter measures the voltage, current, and resistance. After measuring your ignitor, if it stays on zero then it has gone bad. Remove your ignitor before testing it and turn your HVAC system off. 

  • Clean Your Breaker

Your ignitor may not be working because of a tripped breaker. Your breaker might have been overloaded and caused your furnace to switch off. You should check to make sure that your breaker wasn’t tripped. There might be a red light next to the breaker if it was tripped. Flip the breaker completely off and then flip it on again. You can try this a few times and see if it helps. If it doesn’t, you can narrow the issue down even further and rule your breaker out. 

  • Reset your Ignitor

To reset your ignitor, the first thing you should do is to make sure your heating system is on. After checking to make sure your furnace is on, turn it off along with its gas supply. You should wait at least ten minutes to make sure that it is no longer running. Once you have made sure that your furnace is no longer running and waited the appropriate amount of time, turn your furnace back on. You can do this by finding the ignition button on your furnace and pressing it. Wait a bit for your heating system to power back on and see if resetting your ignitor solves your issue. 

Home Circuit Breaker

What to Do When You Can’t Fix It

  • Replace It

The average lifespan of a furnace ignitor is four to seven years. If your ignitor has reached its lifespan, replace it. If it hasn’t however, the average furnace ignitor costs around $30 to $50 if you replace it yourself. If you have an HVAC technician replace it, you’ll have to count labor in the cost. You can replace your ignitor yourself easily, but first, make sure your HVAC system is turned off. We can not stress this enough. Always, always turn off your furnace before attempting to work on it. Another thing to keep in mind is that your ignitor is fragile. Handle it carefully when replacing your old one. Replacing your ignitor can sometimes be the only thing you can do. Thankfully, it’s not as expensive as replacing your whole furnace. 

Furnace Ignitor
A furnace ignitor
  • Call an HVAC Technician

If replacing your furnace ignitor doesn’t work or you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, we recommend you call an HVAC technician. An HVAC technician will not only replace your ignitor but make sure that it’s the issue in the first place. As mentioned in the “Ways to Fix Your Furnace Ignitor” section, while an ignitor might seem like the issue, it isn’t always. 

HVAC Technician Looking at Furnace


 We hope this blog post helped you. Fixing a furnace ignitor can be a simple task, but getting there can be complicated. It’s important to make sure that your furnace ignitor is the part that is causing issues in your furnace. If your furnace is still not working properly after troubleshooting it, contact us if you live in Jefferson County or the surrounding areas! We would love to be able to help and we will give you a free quote. Our phone number is 636-475-9384. 

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