Delayed Ignition In Your Furnace: Is It Dangerous?

Did you know that any time you turn on your furnace, a small fire is ignited? Typically, this is a very normal process and is nothing you should worry about. However, sometimes the ignition can become delayed, and if that’s the case, you should seek help. If you hear a ‘boom-type noise when your furnace starts to kick on, don’t ignore it; it could mean your furnace is suffering from delayed ignition. Delayed Ignition is very dangerous and can cause damage to your furnace and even fires in your house. Read through our guide below to learn more about delayed ignition.

What is Delayed Ignition?

Delayed ignition is the term for when the gas in your furnace isn’t ignited immediately upon turning on the furnace. When the gas is not lit immediately, it builds up in the furnace. After a while it will reach a flame and ignite, causing a small explosion within your furnace.

This phenomenon could happen in your home due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • Lean Mixture: This means there is not enough fuel or too much air. If the furnace is taking in more air than there is enough fuel for, delayed ignition may occur.
  • Inactivity: If you don’t use your furnace for a period of time, moisture buildup can restrict gas flow to the furnace. This means that the burners will not have enough fuel to ignite, and the gas will build up.
  • Age of Furnace: If you have an older system, as with aging equipment, you may see problems including delayed ignition. For example, an older system could have a dirty, restricted, or weak pilot light which can be a cause of delayed ignition.

Other problems include burner issues, such as clogged or dirty burners, and ignition issues, such as electrical problems. If you suspect your furnace has any of these issues, it is best to call an HVAC professional for help.

Why Is Delayed Ignition Dangerous?

So, what are some specific issues that delayed ignition can cause, and the dangers associated with them? Well, there are quite a few issues that you should be aware of and on the lookout for. These include but are not limited to:

  • Fire Risk: There is a high risk of fire when your furnace is experiencing delayed ignition due to accumulated gas. If there are other problems with your furnace, like ignition malfunctions, etc., this risk becomes even higher.
  • Damage to Your Furnace: Mechanical damage to your furnace can occur when there is delayed ignition. Loosened vents, cracks in your exchanger, and more can happen. This can fill your home with anything from soot to dangerous fumes.

The Verdict

Overall, delayed ignition is quite dangerous and something you should always be aware of as a homeowner. With the proper maintenance and upkeep of your furnace, however, you can rest easy knowing that your furnace and home are safe. If you have any questions about your furnace or want to schedule a furnace tune-up, visit us today! Any of our HVAC professionals are always happy to help!

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