Most gas furnace models rely on an electronic igniter, so there's no pilot light to worry about. If you're accustomed to the traditional pilot light furnace, you may wonder how to respond when the igniter fails, because there's no pilot to relight. The good news is that you can reset the igniter if you know how to do it. Here's a look at what you should know to reset your igniter, potentially saving you a call to an HVAC technician.
Locating The Igniter On Your Furnace
Start by shutting off the power to your furnace by turning off the circuit breaker in your home's electrical panel. Once you turn off the breaker and are confident that there's no power to the furnace, remove the cover from the burner compartment in front of the furnace. Look to the top or bottom of the compartment for the valve that controls the gas line's fuel feed. Follow the pilot tube that runs from that valve to the burner. At the end of that tube, you'll find the igniter. It's a small probe-like assembly with a ceramic tube attached. You'll also find an electrical wire attached to the other end of the tube.
Resetting The Igniter On Your Furnace
There should be a switch on the side of the igniter assembly. Flip that switch to 'OFF' and wait for several minutes before turning it on again. This allows the system to clear and reset itself. If your burner doesn't have a switch on the side, it may have a red button. If it does, press the button and hold it for a few seconds before releasing.
You'll need to replace the cover before you start the furnace again. Secure that cover over the burner door, then you can restore the power to the furnace at the circuit breaker panel again. Once you've restored power to the furnace, adjust your thermostat to engage the system. Then, listen to the furnace to make sure that it turns on. Check the air coming from the system to be sure that it is warm. If it doesn't get warm, shut the system down and call an HVAC company like Mike's Bremen Service Inc to come inspect your system.
When you aren't familiar with the furnace assembly, it's common to be intimidated by potential issues. Don't let the lack of a pilot light leave you feeling overwhelmed. With these tips, you can reset the igniter first to see if that's the source of the problem before you put in a service call.