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All About Pilot Lights—or lack thereof

All About Pilot Lights—or lack thereof

A pilot light is the true marker of a gas furnace unit. If your furnace doesn’t have one, your unit is an electronic ignition furnace. Now, gas furnaces are by far the most popular in Colorado homes and across the country, so understanding the pilot light is essential to understanding exactly what makes your home heating system’s powerhouse tick.

What is a Pilot Light?

The pilot light is essentially the furnace unit’s ignition. For the pilot light to ignite, the gas valve supplying fuel to your furnace unit must be on. It’s a small flame that burns constantly to ignite larger flames when needed. In this case, the need is to heat your home. The flame is fueled by gas coming through a pipe that’s connected to your furnace from a gas line. The amount of gas is controlled by the valve.

What if the Pilot Light goes out?

Re-lighting a pilot light is a simple process, but anyone who is inexperienced or uncomfortable doing so should call a Right Away technician to get their furnace unit back up and running as soon as possible. All it takes is the flame from a match or lighter and the pilot reset button.

Are they Wasteful?

In some cases, yes. Simply put, pilot lights are the cornerstone of a gas furnace, and using natural gas can increase your home’s carbon footprint. However, all modern furnace unit models do meet federal energy efficiency standards. Gas furnaces are still very common and effective in heating homes, but electric options also do the job. Since electric furnace units have a different ignition mechanism, they won’t feature a pilot light. Ask a Right Away expert about the furnace units we install and which one might be best for your home and family’s needs. We install and replace all types of units on the market, including the most up-to-date models for energy efficiency standards.

Why do Pilot Lights go out?

Oftentimes, a draft can be the culprit for a pilot light’s flame suddenly going out. Other times, the problem could lie in a faulty or damaged thermocouple, which is a panel connected to the pilot light burner that helps the flame burn constantly. These are the kinds of heating system problems that our expert technicians at Right Away Heating & Cooling can diagnose with a simple maintenance inspection or service call. We’ll spot the problem and move to fix it and restore your system as soon as possible. And don’t worry—if a pilot light goes out, the valve will cut gas to the furnace and prevent any potential fire hazards in your home.

If you’re having problems with your furnace unit or believe the pilot light may be causing the issue, call us at Right Away Heating & Cooling today and we’ll make sure your home’s system is back up and running in no time.


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