6 Things to Check When the Furnace Burner Won't Stay On

Man repairing a furnace
  • 1-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-1,200

It’s never a good time for your furnace to take a vacation. When it happens work on it as soon as possible. Here are some things you can check to make your furnace churns out much needed heat.

1. Electrical Connections

If your furnace burner is powered by electricity, check the electrical connections such as the plug and the power cord. Make sure it is unplugged from the socket before even attempting to do this. Look for any cracks or cuts on the cord that may be causing the erratic behavior of the furnace. Also check your circuit breaker since you might have a blown or faulty fuse.

2. Thermostat

Check the thermostat and make sure it is set correctly and is on the “heater” option. Turn it up a little more than it is presently. You have to make sure the setting is set higher than the current temperature of the room. This should then bring your furnace burner to life.

3. Pilot Light

blue flame of a pilot light

Check the pilot light if it is lit or if it has enough capacity to even power your furnace. Remember the heat will originate from this and if it is not sufficient, your furnace may indeed experience problems and may not work to its full potential. If it is out completely, you have to light it back on.

4. Gas

Check the gas as well, since this is where the pilot light gets its fuel. Bend down near the location of the gas lining and check for a faint scent of gas. If you can smell something, or hear something leaking, check the contact points and secure them. If the gas lines are still faulty or leaking, you may need to have them changed immediately by the manufacturer or get a professional to repair them. This could be a safety hazard so attend to this quickly.

5. Filter

Removing a furnace filter

In some cases, the filter could be dirty and has already clogged up everything, meaning it isn’t able to do its job correctly. Remember the filter is supposed to clean the cold air that goes into the furnace burner. A dirty filter means there is a possibility it might be sending the wrong signals to the other parts of the furnace such as temperature and airflow, causing it to turn on and off erratically. A filter should be replaced every so often in order for the furnace to be working at optimum level.

6. System Error

It could be a system error so try and hit the reset button. The whole system may just need a restart in order to get all its bearings straight. Similar to a computer or even a human brain, if your furnace burner has been working non-stop and has been abused day-in and day-out, a simple flick of a switch may be able to do it.