Maryland’s fall weather has been enough to give whiplash to many of us in the Minnick’s family! One day is beautiful, clear, and sunny; a week later the weather is gloomy, with cold rain and freezing temperatures. Who knows what your thermostat will be asking your furnace to do from one day to the next?

Along with the up and downs of temperature can come some mysterious bangs and booms from your furnace – especially if there has been a long delay between uses.

Those loud noises shouldn’t be ignored. They often indicate that your furnace is experiencing delayed ignition.

Delayed ignition is caused by moisture building up in the furnace over a period of inactivity. The moisture begins to corrode the firebox which blocks the ports that feed gas into the burners. Should the ports get blocked, the burners down the line fail to light promptly. Hence, the loud bang you hear of the excess gas that builds up when the burners finally ignite. It sounds like an explosion because that’s exactly what it is – excess gas catching fire inside your furnace, and it’s just as dangerous as it sounds.

Moisture isn’t the only culprit that can cause delayed ignition in your furnace. Sulfur build-up left behind by burning natural gas is another; sulfur build-up will appear as a layer of white substance on the surface of the burners or the pilot light.

Rust and corrosion in older systems can also lead to blocked gas ports or misaligned pilot lights. But probably the most common cause aside from moisture is household dust and lint, especially if your furnace is located in the basement. The little cobwebs that cover overhead beams and pipes eventually fall to the ground and can easily get into your furnace.

If you hear any kind of booming or banging when your furnace fires up, contact Minnick’s service team immediately at (301) 605-9112. Don’t investigate the source of the problem yourself. Minnick’s expert furnace technicians have the training and technical skills to repair any furnace ignition problem quickly and safely.