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Furnace Help Please! Going to 11 degrees tonight


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Looking for help on our furnace. Suddenly it only blows cold air. It worked perfect a few hours ago. It is an Atwood furnace. We have plenty of propane 3/4 of a tank. I checked the manual, no trouble shooting ideas. Of course it is going down to 11 degrees tonight!!! We at least gave a space heater.

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Propane produces less vapor when the tank temperature drops - you just might have a blend that doesn't produce enough vapor at very low temperatures to run the furnace.


A fast way to check if your tank is supplying enough vapor is to light a stove burner, then watch it as the furnace tries to light, If the burner flickers or goes out, you have a supply problem. If it burns steady, the problem is in the furnace itself.


Propane can be blended many ways, and the amount of butane in the mix sets the limit of how cold it can get before the liquid propane refuses to boil into the vapor that runs your appliances. If you got a warm weather mix and then went into much colder weather, your furnace may be fine and is just not getting enough vapor from the tank.

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To me it sounds like an ignition problem, which is fairly common with the symptom that you have. If this were my furnace, I would replace the ignition probe as a per-emptive strike.


You can find one at most RV parts stores or from Amazon, but make sure that you get one for the model of furnace that you have since they have changed over the years. What I suspect happened was that it failed to light in the three allowed tries and went into lockout. When you reset it to try again, it worked. That isn't unusual for an aging probe and particularly if the ceramic has a hair line crack in it. The crack can open when it is hot and the get well for a time once it cools again.

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As Kirk says, those little electrical bits can cause problems. I always carry a spare board for my hot water heater and for my furnace. In the past 12 months I've had to use both of them - I can tell you when you are boondocking and can't make hot it sure is nice to be able to swap the board and make your wife happy again.

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