If your home is not heating up as quickly or as consistently as you like or if it is not heating at all, then you may have an issue that requires furnace repair. And, one of the more common issues involves ignition failure or simply poor ignition function. Keep reading to learn about how you can identify this sort of issue in different types of furnaces.

Gas Furnace

Most gas furnaces come equipped with electric ignitors where a small spark or flame is produced by an electronic unit. this causes the gas to ignite and flames to be created. And, there are several different points along the furnace where the gas ignites, creating individual flames much like a gas grill does. And if you have ever used a gas grill, then you know that a malfunctioning ignition or a weak spark can cause only one or two of the flames to ignite. This same sort of thing can happen in your gas furnace. 

When only a portion of the furnace is working, then you will notice poor output or a lower temperature in your home. You may also hear your furnace constantly cycling on to warm up the house, but it simply will not be able to keep up. And, as the ignitor further begins to fail, your furnace may stop lighting altogether. 

Sometimes a gas furnace will have certain safety features to keep gas from building up when the ignitor fails to work. Typically, your blower fan will turn on to assist with this, so if you are hearing your fan turning on without your furnace running, then this is a sign of an ignition malfunction.

Oil Furnace

Oil furnaces often have electric ignitions, much like a gas furnace. However, the device works much differently with one of these heating units. Basically, a sprayer forced oil out into the sealed boiler to create a mist. The ignitor sits above the sprayer and a spark is created, igniting the mist. Two electrodes assist with the spark creation.

When a spark does not form like it should, then the sprayer can release large amounts of oil into the boiler. When the limited or smaller spark finally alights the fuel, you may hear a pop or boom. At the same time, you may see a puff of smoke coming out of your chimney. These minor explosions can get bigger and bigger as the ignitor malfunctions. This happens as the ignition is delayed further, so speak with a furnace repair professional as soon as possible to prevent safety issues in the home.