HeatingSome Reasons Why Your Furnace Burner Won’t Stay Lit


Nothing can be more frustrating on a cold winter day than to have your furnace start to heat your home, then shut off due to the burner losing its flame. There are a few reasons why a furnace burner won’t stay lit, and while you shouldn’t endeavor to repair a malfunctioning furnace burner on your own, it is helpful to understand why it can happen.

Your gas furnace is your main heating source, so whenever you experience problems, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., for repair. We’ve been performing heating repair for 37 years, we bring all of this experience, knowledge, and expertise to every job we have.

Reasons Your Burner Won’t Stay Lit

Dirty flame sensor

The flame sensor is a safety component that detects whether or not there is a flame in the combustion chamber. If this sensor is dirty, the dirt can cause the sensor to operate intermittently. When this happens, your furnace will most likely light, but because the sensor can’t properly detect if a flame is present. The sensor may signal the ignition cycle to end, which your furnace won’t stay lit. 

Broken thermocouple 

A thermocouple is a safety component that uses two different types of metal wire to measure the temperature of the flame. This is so it can manage the gas flow to the burner. When the thermocouple senses that the flame isn’t hot enough, it shuts off the flow of gas so that your home isn’t filled with flammable gas. If the thermocouple malfunctions, it can incorrectly shut off the gas, which your furnace won’t stay lit. 

Tripping pressure switch

A pressure switch is another safety device, mostly on newer systems, that will shut your system down if it detects the venting in your system isn’t operating correctly. Improper venting can be caused by dirty air filters, blockages or obstructions in the ductwork, or blocked registers.


Having your gas furnace work properly during winter is critical to your indoor comfort. If you are experiencing problems with your furnace, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical. and schedule service for your gas furnace with one of our experts.


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