If you have lived in your home for several years and have an older style furnace, you are probably used to using a pilot light. If you happen to be in the market for an upgrade, you may want to consider an electronic ignition system. Pilot lights may have been around for years. Still, they come with some disadvantages, including the fact that they will occasionally go out, and you will need to relight them to get your furnace up and operational again. It’s relatively simple when you think about it – a pilot light requires a steady supply of natural gas to keep it burning throughout the cold winter months. Because the pilot light burns continuously, it can also lower your furnace’s energy efficiency and cost you your hard-earned dollars.
Benefits of Electronic Ignition Furnace
Electronic ignition systems require very little energy to work optimally. There are several different types of electronic ignition systems available on the market; even one uses a pilot flame to light the gas burners. The difference between electronic ignition and traditional pilot lights is that electronic ignition only needs to turn on for a short period before shutting off instead of traditional pilot lights that burn continuously. Another advantage to electronic ignition is they are much more reliable than standard pilot lights.
Types of Electronic Ignition Systems
There are two different types of ignition systems – Hot surface ignition and intermittent pilot light.
Hot surface ignition: think of how an incandescent lightbulb works, and you will have a great understanding of hot surface ignition. Electronic current flows through the filaments, literally heating them enough to light the burners.
Intermittent pilot light: Rather than gas, an electric spark is used to ignite the pilot light. The pilot light only stays on long enough to turn on the burners, and then it turns itself off, making the cost of using natural gas less expensive and more efficient.
If your furnace is getting up in years, you may want to consider getting a new furnace installed. The experts at Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning recommend getting your furnace replaced every 15 years.
Furnace Ignition Troubleshooting
Electronic ignition systems use a circuit board to control the ignition process of your heating unit. One of the most significant advantages of the circuit board is pinpointing furnace problems when they occur. Many circuit boards use LED lights to highlight error codes, which can be cross-referenced with your furnace manual to provide the information needed to troubleshoot minor issues. For example, you can begin by turning off the ignitor, wait five minutes before turning it back on to see if the problem resolves itself. Other areas you should pay close attention to include your furnace filter. A clogged filter can cause your furnace ignition to cycle itself on and off until it causes your system to malfunction.
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Regardless of how your furnace ignites, if your burners are malfunctioning or won’t turn on, contact the experts at Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning today for professional residential furnace inspections, repairs, troubleshooting, and replacement, and more.