When you have a forced-air heating system installed in your home, a heat pump or a furnace is usually at the heart of it. Forced-air furnaces are quite reliable, but sometimes, the furnace stops working due to many reasons and that is when you have to think of hiring a furnace repair specialist. While these specialists can always help identify the underlying cause and fix it quickly, you can sometimes use your own skills and do basic repairs. Knowledge about how a furnace works and what could keep it from functioning would come in handy in times when you cannot find a repair specialist quickly.

When it comes to furnace repair, one of the most common issues is to have no gas flame. You can fix the issue on your own though. If you have an older gas and combustion-fuel furnace, you may find it with pilot lights. However, some newer versions now come with electronic ignition. You will have to proceed considering what type of furnace you have.

Dealing with a Furnace with a Pilot Light

If you have a furnace with a pilot light, you will have to proceed in a different way, especially if the light won’t stay lit. This could happen when the thermocouple is faulty or loose. It could also be the result of the pilot orifice becoming clogged. Sometimes, the pilot’s flame is set too low and changing its setting would resolve the issue.

In case the pilot orifice is clogged, you can use a piece of thin wire to unclog it. Be sure to turn off the gas before you use the wire. You should also shut off the circuit breaker before going any further. Simply pike the wire into the orifice to get rid of any debris.

In case the flame is set too low, you can fix it easily too. It is easier to correct the issue if your pilot light comes with a flame adjustment screw. You may have to check your owner’s manual before going any further. Usually, you just need to turn the flame adjustment screen to change the flame setting – you should going for a full, steady 2-inch flame in most cases. Ensures there is no yellow in the flame.

In case the thermocouple is loose, it is important to make it tight first. If it is faulty, you may have to replace it to make your furnace start working again.

In case you have a gas-fired furnace, it is important to ensure that you have turned on the valve on the gas pipe. It is equally important to check the fuel supply if you have an oil furnace.

Dealing with an Electronic Ignition Furnace

You should start by turning down the thermostat. Also, ensure that you turned the power switch off as well. Then, turn it on again in order to reset the ignition control module. You may have to clean the flame sensor of your furnace to make it work again. If this does not work, it is better to call a furnace repair technician because the problems with electronic ignition furnaces could be more complicated.