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Troubleshooting Furnace Ignition

Cincinnati Ignitor Troubleshooting | Nelson Comfort

No heat in your Cincinnati home is a Halloween horror we’d all like to avoid! If you find your furnace isn’t running, and isn’t turning on when you signal it to, there could be an issue with the system’s ignition. The following troubleshooting steps will help you overcome issues hindering ignition, and fire up your heating system without the need for a service call to us.

Troubleshooting furnace ignition issues

If your furnace won’t fire up, start by checking all power sources and switches.

  • Check the power: If the furnace’s power switches or breakers have been turned off or tripped, the system won’t ignite. Make sure the thermostat is set to ‘heat’ and is set at a temperature lower than the current room temperature; check the power switch near the furnace and make sure it is on; check your electrical panel to make sure all breakers are set appropriately.

Issues causing ignition failures

Various issues can prevent your furnace’s ignitor from working correctly. Some of the most common issues include:

  • Too much condensation: If your system’s condensate pan is full, its float switch will stop the furnace from coming on. Check for clogs which prevent the pan from draining, causing it to fill up. Drain and clean the condensate pan, and reset the pan’s float switch, which will resolve the ignition issue if to blame.
  • Clogged vacuum tube: If the system’s filter or vacuum tube (also called a pressure switch tube) becomes clogged or moisture has built up within it, it will trigger safeties within the system that will prevent it from turning on. Clean the tube to see if this solves your ignition problem.
  • Faulty ignitor: A broken ignitor will prevent the furnace from firing up. White residue on the cracked area of the ignitor is a sign of a broken ignitor. Unfortunately, if the ignitor is causing the system not to turn on, it will need to be replaced by an HVAC technician.

If your Cincinnati furnace won’t ignite, taking the simple steps above can restore your heating system quickly. If you are uncomfortable performing such steps, contact your trusted HVAC technician for assistance.

If the troubleshooting tips above don’t solve your ignition problems, the NATE-certified furnace technicians at Nelson Comfort can! Contact us today to schedule service right away.

About The Author


Dan Detmer

Dan Detmer is the owner of Nelson Comfort. Dan was born into the heating and cooling industry, coming from a family of well respected HVAC contractors in Dayton, Ohio. After working in the family business, Dan decided to work for a local HVAC wholesale business helping local contractors grow their business. When he felt his heart moving him back into the residential and light commercial business, Dan joined the Mortimer Heating & Cooling team in Cincinnati, where he had called home and become part of the community for several years. After a short period of time Dan purchased the company and created what is today, Nelson Comfort. Today he operates a company based on integrity, honesty, and stellar customer service. If you have any questions feel free to tweet (at sign) NelsonComfort and we will get right back with you!

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