Updated October 2023
Homeowners with older gas furnaces know that the first thing to check when their heat’s not working is whether their pilot light’s gone out. If it has, they know to relight it, and their furnace should go back to working as it should. However, lots of homeowners in Lincoln, IL that have newer furnaces do this, only to discover that they can’t find their furnace’s pilot light at all. The reason is that many newer furnaces don’t rely on pilot lights to function. Here’s why newer furnaces often don’t have pilot lights.
It’s All About Efficiency
The main reason that newer furnaces don’t have pilot lights is that they harm efficiency. If you think about it, it’s easy to understand why. A pilot light means using a tiny amount of gas at all times, even when you don’t need heat for your home. By eliminating that constant gas usage, a newer furnace saves you money on your energy bills.
What Replaced Pilot Lights
In place of pilot lights, newer furnaces use electronic ignition systems. Such systems started to appear in high-efficiency furnaces around 2010. So, if your furnace is newer than that, there’s a good chance it has an electronic ignition system instead of a pilot light. There are two easy ways to confirm this. Either look in your furnace’s operation manual or look for an ignition reset switch on your furnace. If it has one, your furnace has no pilot light.
Types of Electronic Ignition Systems
If your furnace has an electronic ignition system, it’s likely one of two major types. It could be something called an intermittent pilot. That’s like an on-demand version of a traditional pilot light. Instead of running at all times, however, your furnace will produce a spark to light its pilot when necessary and turn it off when it’s not.
The other type of electronic ignition system your furnace could have is a hot surface pilot. They use a heating element powered by an electric current to ignite the furnace’s burners. Once the gas ignites, the furnace turns off the power to the heating element.
Now that you know about electronic ignition systems in modern furnaces, you should have an easier time troubleshooting your own. And if your home has an older furnace with a pilot light, you now know one of the reasons newer furnaces are so efficient. Either way, the experts at Quick Comfort can help you with all of your heating needs. We can install a new high-efficiency furnace or help you maintain the one you have to keep it running well. We also offer a variety of other services like air quality testing, air purification systems, and more to improve the comfort of your home, so contact Quick Comfort today for all of your home’s heating needs, including furnace installation!