The igniter in your heating system is responsible for starting the combustion process that ultimately heats your home. It’s an essential component that must function properly for your heating system to work efficiently. However, over time, igniters can wear out and fail, leading to decreased performance and potentially dangerous situations. In this blog post, our HVAC experts discuss how to tell if the igniter on your heating system is failing.
First, it’s important to understand how an igniter works. There are two types of igniters commonly used in heating systems: hot surface igniters and spark igniters. Hot surface igniters consist of a silicon carbide or silicon nitride igniter that heats up as electricity passes through it. Once it reaches the appropriate temperature, it ignites the gas in the combustion chamber. Spark igniters, on the other hand, use an electric spark to ignite the gas.
One of the most common signs of a failing igniter is a lack of heat. If you notice that your heating system isn’t producing enough heat, or if it’s taking longer than usual to warm up your home, it could be a sign that the igniter is failing. This is because a worn-out igniter may not be able to heat up enough to ignite the gas, leading to a lack of heat production.
Another sign of a failing igniter is a clicking sound. If you hear a clicking sound coming from your heating system, it could be a sign that the spark igniter is failing. This sound is caused by the spark igniter repeatedly trying to ignite the gas but failing to do so. Eventually, this can cause the heating system to shut down completely.
If you have a hot surface igniter, you may notice a white or yellow discoloration on the igniter itself. This is a sign that the igniter has become worn out and may no longer be functioning properly. Additionally, if you notice that the igniter is cracked or damaged in any way, it’s important to have it replaced as soon as possible.
Another sign of a failing igniter is a strong odor of gas. If you notice a strong gas odor coming from your heating system, it could be a sign that the gas is not being ignited properly. This can be dangerous, as a buildup of gas can lead to an explosion. If you smell gas, turn off your heating system immediately and contact the professional heating technicians at Maffei Services.
Finally, if you have a furnace with an electronic ignition system, you may notice an error code on the control panel. This code can indicate a number of different issues, including a failing igniter. If you see an error code on your control panel, consult your owner’s manual or contact Maffei’s professional technicians for assistance.
In conclusion, a failing igniter can lead to decreased heating performance and potentially dangerous situations. If you notice any of the signs discussed above, it’s important to have your heating system inspected by a professional technician as soon as possible. Igniters can typically be replaced relatively easily, but it’s important to have the issue addressed promptly to prevent further damage to your heating system. By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can help ensure that your heating system remains safe and efficient for years to come.