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A Common Heating System Misconception: Standing Pilots No Longer the Norm

Lighting the gas furnace pilot light before the winter began used to be an annual ritual for most homeowners. But today, fewer and fewer people have to deal with this task. In fact, for the most part, heating systems are no longer manufactured with standing gas pilots, and it would be tough to find one even if you really wanted it. Learn why the standing gas pilot has been largely phased out in this guide, and find out how replacing a furnace with this feature is a good choice for your home.

Standing Gas Pilots: Inefficient, Inconvenient, and Unsafe

The main issue with a standing gas pilot is that it must remain lit at all times so that your furnace is always available when the thermostat calls for heat. A small burner is continuously lit, which means it’s always using fuel and costing you money. Lighting the pilot each year can be a struggle for some. And if the light were to go out, there could potentially be a gas leak in your home. However, even very old furnaces usually have safety switches to prevent this.

Electronic Ignition: A More Efficient Process

Today’s gas furnaces use electronic ignition to ignite a gas burner only when heat is needed, which saves you money in the long run. So if you don’t already have a heating system with electronic ignition, it’s time for an upgrade.

Most modern furnaces use an intermittent pilot, in which gas is fed to the burner assembly as needed, and it is lit via a spark or hot surface ignition. Hot surface ignition uses silicon carbide, a material that reaches extremely high temperatures when energized, up to the ignition temperature of gas. Either option is both efficient and safe.

ACI Northwest is here to help with your home comfort needs or concerns in Coeur d’Alene, ID. Please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful advice.

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