It’s 20°F outside and our furnace won’t stay lit

Woke up a little while ago and realized that it was really cold in the house.  I heard the furnace running but it was blowing cold air again.  This has been an intermittent problem since the furnace first turned on for the Winter season. 

When I looked at the thermostat on the wall, the temperature in the house had already dropped 10°F and so it was roughly 58°F.

I had to go downstairs into the basement and physically kill power to the furnace to shut the blower off.  Then I turned the power back on and waited for it to light.  The problem is that while the furnace will ignite each time, it goes out after a few seconds. 

It will cycle through this a few times and then the blower kicks on.  The blower doesn’t care if it’s blowing warm or cold air. 

After a few power cycles, the furnace took and the house is now warming up.  I’ll have to pull some of it apart and try to clean it in the morning. It probably just needs cleaned a bit and I can do that on my own without having to call anyone. 

That would be the best case scenario because I can’t afford to call an HVAC company at the moment. 

Thankfully, my Dad is a Jack of all trades and is always willing to lend a hand if I need it. 

It’s actually not doing this all the time.  In fact, I haven’t had to fix this in a few days.  However, as the temperature is getting colder and colder, I need to try and stay on top of this until I can more permanently address it. 

No one was cold tonight either.  Everyone is buried under blankets and even weighted blankets. 

When they wake up in the morning, they’ll be none the wiser.  🙂



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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Do you have to relight the pilot every time?  If it’s gas, you may need a new thermocoupler…we had that problem a few times in our old house (gas furnace and gas wall heater). If so, it’s a pretty cheap fix. If it were just burners, the pilot should still stay lit.

Clementine Kruczynski

Been in that situation before….no heat for the winter with the furnace….space heaters….landlord was my sons uncle…yeah….I had to fix the furnace….ugh. Hope you get it figured out cheap and soon

Lost and Tired

Kathy Brower technically you are correct. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Kathy Brower

we went without heat for a winter; it’s not easy. however, don’t you rent from family? if you rent, it’s not your responsibility,

Clementine Kruczynski

It may the burners…which honestly isn’t a crazy expensive part. Hopefully it isn’t the igniter…. not staying lit our normally the burner though

Lost and Tired

rjones22 no kidding.  I mean where’s the gratitude…. 🙂


dont mean to say stupid but”stupid furnace”. unfortunately it doesnt realize what you had to do to get gas to it!!!!!!!!!