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The two copper wires inside our furnace, that are supposed to ignite the gas, get too dirty to do the job about twice a year... We then have to go there -- always at inopportune times -- remove two screws, pull the thing out and apply sandpaper.

Can anything be done to solve this problem once and for good (or, at least, for some years)?

Should I, for example, try to gold-plate the copper after cleaning it again with something like this? Or will the deposits simply settle on the gold just as they currently settle on the copper?

The device is a Peerless PureFire, about 9 years old. This is a "high efficiency" unit -- there is no "pilot light". Instead, the fuel (natural gas) is ignited by electrical spark.

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    What do you mean you have to go there? Who is using the furnace? What kind of fuel does this furnace use? It is recommended for this and for safety reasons to have your furnace cleaned at least once a year before the season starts. This includes for burned gas chambers, as well as mechanics and overall condition. I suspect there is something else at play here that you havent mentioned yet. Please tell us the model of the unit, its age, how it is drafted/vented, where in the world you are, and what is it heat temp set to – noybman Jun 24 at 3:57
  • Go into the room, where it is located. It is a natural-gas burning one... Updating the question. – Mikhail T. Jun 24 at 14:33
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There are other types of igniters but a plating will not help. Contaminants build up on the electrodes and this reduces the ability to create the spark. Dust and smoke in the air are the big sources. Since you know it needs to be maintained 2x per year the best option is to preform “preventive maintenance” clean the contacts prior to the heating season and maybe 1/2 way through. If the electrodes are cleaned when the time is better for you it would not happen when you need heat. 2x a year is more often than I have normally experienced, you may need a service on your burner to make sure it is burning clean and not part of the problem, electrostatic air filters also help to filter out things that can pass through most furnace filters but these need regular cleaning also (some monthly during heating / cooling seasons).

  • I'm wondering if you have the wrong kind of filter installed, one that is letting too much dust through. If it is one of those "washable" filters, those things are useless, get a good HEPA filter. – JRaef Jun 25 at 23:22
  • Thanks. Yes, this is what we are doing, but it is still annoying... It pulls the air from the outside. I'm sure there is a filter, but I have no idea, what kind - the installer said, 2x a year is normal. They used to come to clean it, while it was under warranty. – Mikhail T. Jun 27 at 3:12

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