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Serving Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Serving Fairfax and Loudoun Counties and the
surrounding area

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Serving Maryland, Virginia,
and Washington, D.C.

Serving Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Serving Fairfax and Loudoun
Counties and the surrounding area

24 Hour Emergency Services, 7 Days a Week


B&B Air Conditioning & Heating Service Blog

Why Won’t the Burners in My Furnace Stay On?


When you set your home’s thermostat to provide heat during the winter, you expect the furnace to turn on, light the burners, and then run for long enough to evenly spread heat through the rooms. That’s what the gas furnace is for, after all.

But you may run into a problem where the burners in the furnace just won’t stay on. Maybe they turn on for a few minutes, or only a few seconds, but they aren’t burning long enough to provide your home with heat. This problem can happen for different reasons, and we’ll look at several of them below.

Please keep in mind that for most gas furnace issues, you must have a licensed professional for repairs. It’s not only an issue of accuracy but also of safety.

Faulty flame sensor

This is a common source of burners that turn off after only a short time. The flame sensor is a safety device in a gas furnace that detects if the burners have lit. If the burners don’t light, the flame sensor will shut off gas flow to them to prevent unburned gas from building up in the combustion chamber. If the flame sensor is faulty, it may not detect the burner flames and shut the gas flow off anyway. Technicians can clean the sensor or replace it, depending on what’s wrong.

Lack of airflow

For the burners to stay lit, they need a steady flow of air pulled in through the return air ducts by the blower fan. If airflow drops because of a problem with the blower fan or a congested furnace filter, the burners will struggle to remain lit and may go out. Changing a clogged filter is a job you can do on your own, but work on the blower fan requires professionals. 

Gas flow problems

The burners may not be receiving enough gas through the gas lines to stay lit for long. There might be a stuck gas valve causing this or obstructions within the gas line. It may even be due to gas leaks. Any work with the gas line for a furnace must be left to a certified professional. We recommend shutting the furnace off at the main furnace switch before calling for assistance.

Dirty or blocked burners

The burners can develop a build-up of dirt or carbon on them, which makes it harder for the burners to both light and stay lit. Cleaning the burners requires professionals to detach the burner assembly first and use special chemicals and tools, so call on experts to take care of this. 

Faulty thermostat

Finally, the trouble may be a thermostat that is incorrectly reading interior temperatures or has a faulty connection to the furnace and is therefore shutting the burners off early. You can have professionals either repair or replace the thermostat to solve this. 

We can handle any heating repair in Bethesda, MD you may need to get your furnace running the way it should. We’re always here to help with 24-hour emergency service, 7 days a week. We operate with professionalism, honesty, and integrity on every job we do, and our team brings over 65 years of experience. 

Trust to B&B Air Conditioning & Heating Service: We are always there when you need us!

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