Bryant Furnace Not Igniting/Lighting? Common Causes and Fixes


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One of the most common mishaps with gas heating systems is the failure to ignite. If your Bryant furnace doesn’t light, it will certainly not blow hot air. The situation is probably not dangerous, as these systems have built-in safety features that keep unburned gas from accumulating if the burners don’t ignite, but you still got a freezing house; (and a ‘dead’ furnace!)

Several things can cause a Bryant furnace not to ignite, including a defective ignition system, tripped circuit breaker, dirty burners, and a clogged air filter. A broken ignition system, especially, is the leading cause of gas furnaces, not lighting. 

Luckily, you can resolve most of these problems without necessarily having to involve a heating specialist. I have provided a couple of DIY solutions below that you can easily apply to get your system working again. If you still can’t manage to light your furnace, use the form provided at the bottom of the page to find a local HVAC professional who can fix the problem for you. 

Defective Ignition System

The ignition system is a vital part of your furnace, as, without it, the system won’t provide warm air. When the thermostat clicks to turn on the furnace, the ignitor produces a spark that lights the gas flowing to your heater. 

Some ignitors ‘ignite’ without sparking. Instead, they heat up and touch the gas surface to warm the air blowing to your home. Older furnaces use a pilot light, a small flame that continuously burns inside the unit to ignite the gas burners. 

No matter which lighting system you use, your Bryant furnace will not ignite if the ignitor is faulty. Dust buildup is one of the major reasons ignitors malfunction, and this is usually caused by dirty air filters. Sometimes the ignitor is too old and might have cracked, and other times, it is just wrong for your specific model. 

How To Fix

  1. Turn off the furnace’s power and close the gas valve. 
  2. Remove the furnace panel door to locate the ignitor. 
  3. Unscrew the ignitor and clean the dirt off with a piece of steel wool.
  4. Check to see if there are cracks on the ignitor. If your ignitor is cracked, it will need replacing. 
  5. If the ignitor isn’t cracked but still won’t light the furnace, test it for continuity with a multimeter. If no continuity is displayed, your ignitor is defective and must be replaced. 
  6. If the ignitor has continuity, but it’s still not working, check to see whether you have the right one; maybe the previous replacement was the wrong ignitor. Now, this can be tricky if you don’t know what type of ignitor your model uses. 
  7. If you have attempted all the other troubleshooting steps, and the only thing remaining now is to identify whether you have the right ignitor, I would recommend working with an HVAC expert. They probably know which ignitor works for which furnace model and will be in a better position to fix your ignition problem. 

To better understand how to test and replace a furnace ignitor, watch the following video:

Tripped Circuit Breaker

Modern furnace ignition systems use electricity to light the burners. If one of the furnace components uses more electricity than it should, it can cause the circuit breaker to trip, preventing the igniter from firing the burners. 

An excellent example of a furnace component that may trip a breaker is the blower motor. The blower motor uses an electric current to push hot air out of the furnace through the heat registers. If the heat registers are blocked, for instance, the blower motor will be forced to work harder to remove the heated air out of the system, and as a result, it will use more energy. This abnormal electricity consumption may trip the circuit breaker. 

If the circuit breaker is tripped, the internal furnace components that need electricity to function like the ignition system will not work. This could be the reason for your Bryant furnace not igniting.

How To Fix

  1. Check to see nothing is blocking the heat registers.
  2. Move around your house checking other electronics like the refrigerator, microwave, or kettle heater. If these are working fine, now you know your furnace is the problem. 
  3. Flip the furnace power switch to OFF.
  4. Check the circuit breaker’s box to see if all switches are in the ON position. If your furnace switch is off, it could be that it has tripped. Flip it on. 
  5. Turn the furnace power back on and see if it will ignite. 
  6. If the switch trips again immediately, have your system examined by a professional. There could be a more complex issue with your furnace. 

Tripping circuit breakers is nothing new, especially these days when almost every home appliance uses electricity. If you have a tripped HVAC circuit breaker, this video can help you attend to it safely: 

Dirty Burners

The furnace burner is the component where combustion takes place. In other words, gas combines with air and then burns to produce heat. 

Over time, dirt, grime, rust, and other elements may build upon this crucial part of the furnace, cutting off the oxygen supply needed for burners to light. 

If your Bryant furnace initiates the heating cycle but doesn’t ignite, it’s likely because the burners are dirty or corroded. This level of failure can only be prevented by regularly maintaining your furnace. If your burners are not routinely cleaned, the clog will completely shut them off, and this can cause gas leaks as the unburned gas tries to escape from the furnace. 

How To Fix

  1. Turn off the furnace and close the gas supply.
  2. Open the furnace panel to access the burners. They will typically be located above the blower motor. 
  3. Unclip the burners and remove them from inside the furnace. 
  4. Using a can of compressed gas, blow out any elements from the inside of the burners. 
  5. Run a soft-bristled brush over the burners’ surface to break hardened pieces of dirt and corrosion. Then suck the dirt off the burners’ surface using a vacuum cleaner. 
  6. Replace the burners, open the gas control valve, and switch the furnace back on.

A heating expert can remove your furnace burners and clean them for you. But if you would like to do the job yourself, here is a short video to guide you:

Clogged Furnace Filter 

As mentioned above, for a gas furnace to ignite, the gas has to mix with oxygen. If the filter has clogs of dust, hair, debris, and other deposits, there won’t be enough air supplied to the burners to fire them up. 

So, if your Bryant furnace won’t ignite, check your air filter; it probably needs changing. It’s crucial to have the filter replaced every 30 to 90 days. 

How To Fix

  1. Turn your furnace off.
  2. Remove the dirty filter and note down its size. This will help you buy the appropriate size for your furnace model. 
  3. Once you have the new filter, do the installation using the arrows indicated on the box to position the filter correctly. 
  4. Turn the power back on. 

Here is a video to guide you through the process:

Final Thoughts

There are a couple of reasons why a Bryant furnace may fail to ignite. Luckily, the troubleshooting steps suggested here are easy to implement and followed correctly. You may have your heating system working again in just a matter of minutes. 

However, if the system doesn’t light even after applying these fixes, it’s best to contact an HVAC technician. The form below will help you get in touch with one near you right away.

Vincent Steele

Vincent is a freelance writer based in Santa Ana, California. When he isn't writing articles for Temperature Master, he can be found biking or hanging out with his cat, Shelly.

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