I've had several minor problems with the pressure switch on my furnace. I checked for obstructions and found none. A technician came out and found the problem pretty quickly... it was a loose wire on the pressure switch. Eventually, the switch was replaced. Last winter, the furnace quit on one of the coldest nights - as they always do. While the technician was there, he mentioned that the igniter would need to be replaced soon, within a year or two. The technician said that it's a big job because the entire furnace has to come apart to do it. I do work on my house and my car all the time so I'm not afraid to dig in and get dirty. I'll crawl through the ductwork if I have to. I'm a mechanical engineer in HVAC, but I'm also new to it so I haven't had time to play with furnace controls. I'm just starting to the learn sequence of operations. I understand the principles, but I don't have much experience with this kind of stuff. So far, I've mostly done building heat loss calculations. It's great to figure out how big my furnace needs to be, but it doesn't help me trouble shoot it when it breaks down. Bummer!
My question is: Can I replace the igniter myself, and how do I know when it needs replacing ... before it quits? Will it run poorly and give me some kind of a warning? Or will it just not fire at all?
Thanks in advance for the help.