Why Is Your Furnace Experiencing Delayed Ignition?

October 20, 2022
Furnace Issues in Martinsville, VA

Temperatures around Fieldale have started dropping, so you decided to turn your furnace on. This time, however, it started making a banging sound as it started up. A buildup of fuel in the ignition chamber may cause this sound, which is known as delayed ignition. Discover why your furnace may experience delayed ignition, why it’s dangerous, and how to prevent it.

Contaminant Buildup

There are several types of contaminants that build up within the burn chamber, including dust and lint, moisture, sulfur, and even rust. All of these can create a problem by blocking the gas ports that lead to the burners. The result is a delay until there’s a high enough accumulation of gas in the chamber to ignite. However, it doesn’t actually light the burner but keeps exploding in the chamber as long as the ports remain blocked.

Electric Ignition Problems

Electric igniters eventually wear out and need replacing. This is especially true if you have a hot surface igniter rather than an electric intermittent pilot light. A connection problem to the igniter can prevent it from achieving a high enough temperature to ignite the fuel.

Why Delayed Ignition Is Dangerous

Delayed ignition causes more than a simple banging or booming sound. Rather, a small explosion causes the sound in the first place, and that explosion can be dangerous. The amount of built-up fuel will determine how dangerous it is, but it could result in a flash fire or worse.

Preventing Delayed Ignition

Preventing delayed ignition isn’t difficult but entails testing and cleaning your system. This is where annual fall furnace maintenance becomes important. One of our technicians will clean your system to prevent the buildup that can cause delayed ignition. They will also test the entire system, including the igniter, to ensure everything is operating optimally. If they find the igniter isn’t functioning properly, you can have the igniter repaired before it results in a potentially dangerous delayed ignition.

For more than 45 years, people around Fieldale have turned to McKinney Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve heating problems. Our NATE-certified technicians provide AC and heating installation, maintenance, and repair, along with hot water heater and indoor air quality services. Call McKinney Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your furnace repair and resolve your delayed ignition problems today.

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