Do Natural Gas Furnaces Have A Pilot Light?

Do Natural Gas Furnaces Have A Pilot Light?

The phrase “pilot fire” frequently appears when reading about gas furnaces. A pilot flame is a traditional method of igniting a gas furnace’s heat exchanger. However, do all-natural gas furnaces include a pilot light? We’ve looked into the answers to this question and will reveal them in this post.

There are no lights that run continuously in new systems. These systems have an electrical ignition system with either an intermittent pilot flame or a hot surface pilot flame in place of the pilot flame.

Understanding how your furnace works can assist you in troubleshooting. Due to a variety of issues, traditional pilot lights are becoming obsolete. One of the most severe problems is the need to relight the pilot lights. Continue reading to learn more about modern gas furnaces’ new pilot ignition system.

Also check: Does A Propane Garage Heater Need To Be Vented?

What happened to the standing pilot lights?

Traditional indicator lights are less commonly used for a variety of reasons.

A traditional pilot light always on necessitates an additional 4-5 runtimes. That costs about $45 per month, plus an extra gas bill. Every furnace is different, but traditional pilot lights can occasionally go out. This could be due to a dirty flame sensor, draughts near the furnace, or a gas supply line problem.

However, with electronic ignition systems, these issues appear after a long period and only if the device has a control lamp.

How do I know if my furnace has a pilot light?

If your device has a pilot, you can find it on the control panel of your furnace. In front of the heat exchanger is an indicator light inside the control panel.

Unscrew the front panel of the furnace and slide it up and out of the unit to gain access to the control panel. To select on, off, and pilot, the furnace should have a round knob near the gas ball valve. This is referred to as a standing pilot gas furnace.

What if your furnace lacks a pilot light?

While standing pilots (also known as “constant flames”) are still widely used in homes today, many new systems are on the market. These newer furnaces do not have the traditional always-on pilot lights, which can be very confusing if you’ve never owned one. If you experience problems with your heater unit and cannot access the control panel or locate the pilot light, you most likely have an electronic ignition system. Before attempting to troubleshoot, we recommend checking the manual to ensure this is the case.

Most electronic systems have an ignition kill switch if you don’t have a pilot light. Let’s go over both types of electronic ignition systems in greater detail.

Pilot furnaces that operate intermittently

The most common type of new model kiln is the intermittent pilot kiln. The pilot light is not always turned on on this type of furnace. On the other hand, the lights only burn during the ignition process. As a result, rather than consuming gas continuously, the gas is only used for a few seconds to spark the heat exchanger.

When a home thermostat reaches a specific temperature, it tells the furnace to start heating up. The pilot then generates an automatic spark to activate the heat exchanger burners.

Once activated, the pilot turns off to complete the ignition of the heating cycle. This method allows the pilot to use less fuel and save energy overall.

Hot surface ignition furnace

A hot surface ignition device is used in the second type of electric ignition furnace. This furnace does not have a pilot light and operates similarly to a regular light bulb. The heat cycle process works as follows: the thermostat will drop to a lower temperature based on its current setting. Instead of the pilot light igniting the flame, an electronic current is transferred from the igniter to the bulb-shaped heating surface.

The gas valve opens as soon as this occurs, allowing gas to accumulate around the burner. When the burner reaches a specific temperature, the igniter is activated, which turns on the heat exchanger.

How do you start a natural gas furnace?

You should read the instruction manual before attempting to light the gas furnace for the first time. It will show you how to safely access and turn on your pilot light. It also advises on safety precautions to take. Each brand and model of a gas furnace is unique. Here is a general overview of how most pilot lights on these furnaces work.

Natural Gas Furnace Relighting Procedures

Begin by unscrewing the furnace’s front panel. Unscrew the screws on the sides with a screwdriver or pocket knife. Then, lift and slide the front panel off the device.

A pilot light button will be visible on the device’s front left or right side. Turn the valve to “off,” then wait 3-5 minutes for any remaining gas around the device to dissipate completely. Rotate the valve once more to ensure it is in the OFF position. You should not be able to turn the knob once it is in place. This step is critical for completely turning off the gas to avoid potential explosions.

Then, turn the valve to “pilot.” To change the setting, press and turn the valve. This step necessitates some tinkering, grabbing an electric lighter, and physically lighting the pilot sensor. Place the lighter in the pilot hole and hold it there until the flame ignites and burns brightly. After about 5 minutes of boiling, press the knob and turn it to the “on” position.

Then start the furnace and check to see if the heat exchanger comes on. Suppose that’s the case, no worries. If not, there could be an issue with your gas valve, blower motor, or heat exchanger. In that case, you should call an HVAC technician.

Does Gas Still Flow When The Pilot Light Goes Out?

This is determined by whether the furnace’s pilot knob is set to “on” or “pilot.” The gas will continue to flow; in this case, no gas flows when the switch is turned off. The thermocouple may be defective in this case and should be replaced as soon as possible. This is a critical safety issue.

Also check: Do I Need A Special Thermostat For Gas Fireplace?

How do I turn off my gas furnace?

There are several methods for resetting your gas furnace. Some furnaces have a reset button that can be pressed to reset the unit quickly. However, some furnace units hibernate to turn off the entire system and reset the breaker.

Know If Natural Gas Furnaces Have A Pilot Light!

I hope this post helped you understand the difference between using the gas furnace and not using it. Before turning on the pilot light, always consult the owner’s manual.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

About the author

Gulzar Abid

Gulzar Abid is a passionate entrepreneur with a thirst for knowledge and yearns to help empower people to initiate their journey of growth and success.
Chief Executive Officer K2 Groups
Chief Executive Officer
K2 Heating & Air Conditioning