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Bryant Furnace Not Igniting or Lighting? Top 4 Causes (+ Fixes)

One of the most common mishaps with gas heating systems is the failure to ignite. You’ll be left with a chilly home if your Bryant furnace doesn’t fire up. The situation probably isn’t dangerous, though, as these systems have built-in safety features that keep unburned gas from accumulating if the burners don’t ignite.

Your Bryant furnace isn’t igniting/lighting because of a defective ignition system, a tripped circuit breaker, dirty burners, or a clogged air filter. Fix the problem by replacing the ignitor, resetting the circuit breaker, cleaning the burners, and cleaning or replacing the furnace filter.

Luckily, you can resolve most of these problems without involving an HVAC specialist. I have provided a couple of DIY solutions below that you can easily apply to get your Bryant furnace working again.

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 the furnace on, the ignitor produces a spark that lights the gas flowing to your heater. 

Some ignitors can ignite without sparking. Instead, they heat up and touch the gas to ignite it, leading to warm air blowing through 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 your Bryant furnace uses, it won’t ignite if the ignitor is faulty. Dust build-up is a common reason why ignitors malfunction, and it’s usually caused by dirty air filters. Sometimes the ignitor is too old and might have cracks. Other times, it’s just the wrong model for your Bryant furnace. 

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 needs 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 still isn’t working, check to see whether you have the right one; maybe the previous ignitor is incompatible with your furnace. This can be tricky if you don’t know what type of ignitor your model uses, and the owner’s manual doesn’t mention it.

If you have attempted all troubleshooting steps, and the only thing remaining now is to identify whether you have the right ignitor, I recommend working with an HVAC expert. They’ll know which ignitor works with Bryant furnaces and know how 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 can 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. For instance, if the heat registers are blocked, the blower motor will be forced to work harder to remove the heated air from the system. As a result, it’ll 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 won’t 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 the 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, flip it back on. 
  5. Turn the furnace power back on and see if it’ll ignite. 
  6. If the switch trips again immediately, have your HVAC system examined by a professional. There could be a more complex issue going on with your Bryant furnace. 

A tripped circuit breaker is a common yet overlooked issue that can lead to your furnace and other electric appliances not working. If you have a tripped HVAC circuit breaker, this video can help you attend to it safely: 

Dirty Burners

The furnace burner is a component that sustains the flames in your furnace. Gas combines with air and burns to produce heat. 

Over time, dirt, grime, rust, and soot build up on 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. You can prevent this failure only by regularly maintaining your furnace. 

If you don’t routinely clean your burners, the clog will completely shut them off, causing 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’re typically located above the blower motor. 
  3. Unclip the burners and remove them from the furnace. 
  4. Using a can of compressed gas, blow out any elements from the inside of the burners. 
  5. Run a soft bristle brush over the burners’ surface to break hardened pieces of dirt and corrosion. 
  6. Suck the dirt off the burners’ surface using a vacuum cleaner or use a compressed air duster to blow the dirt away.
  7. Place the burners back into place, open the gas control valve, and switch the furnace back on.

An HVAC expert can remove your furnace burners and clean them for you. But if you want to do the job yourself, here’s a short video to guide you through the process:

Clogged Furnace Filter 

As mentioned above, gas has to mix with oxygen to ignite. 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 30–90 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 right 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 if followed correctly. You’ll 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.


  • 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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