Fixing Furnace Ignites Then Turns Off Problem

AC is turning on and off

When it happens, you’ll find yourself fully awake at 3 am, worrying about getting through the day without a working heater! This is a simple fix that will make your furnace work again.


It won’t be easy to breathe if your furnace isn’t working. When things happen out of the blue like this, it feels overwhelming and can be difficult for some people to figure out what happened in the first place. The good news is it’s an easy fix.


You’ll need to take the following steps:


1. Take out the tank, furnace, and return vent. Make sure that you have access to your vent using a floor jack. Remove and set aside the quick-release fitting on your furnace lid. Remove the air gap plate on your return duct and insert a 1/2″ diameter hole saw (or similar) into the hole of your return duct. Using it, widen it until you have 24″ all around at least 1 inch in both directions, there should be no gaps between the holes and the duct itself, if there is a gap enlarge that as well. Keep this in place with a screwdriver or nail for now. Then, remove the baffle plate, vent shaft, and furnace cap.


2. Check your return duct to see if it’s clean. If there are any bits of dirt in it, then use a standard vacuum to clean it out most of the way. You can also use a shop vac, but you run the risk of sucking up other stuff in there, too, since it supports your upper return duct. If you don’t have access to a standard compressed air tool or can’t figure out how to do it yourself, have someone at an HVAC repair or service company do this for you (they’ll probably ask for money anyway).


3. Screw a 1/2″ pipe fitting into the hole you just made with the hole saw. You’ll need to cap it off after you slide your new PVC pipe into the fitting so that nothing leaks out of there. Once you’ve done that and screwed it in, you should be able to test your furnace, as long as your return duct is clean and ready for business.


4. Put everything back together again and then turn on your furnace again and see if it sputters when your furnace igniting but then turns off without making any noise at all; if not, then we have a bigger problem on our hands, and I would suggest looking through our HVAC troubleshooting guide for help.

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