Does My Furnace Have a Pilot Light?

furnace flame

If you’ve ever owned a home with an older furnace, chances are you’ve noticed a small flame burning near the base. This is called a pilot light and serves a very important purpose in your furnace system. It’s essential to understand why your furnace has a pilot light and how it works so that you can keep your home warm and safe this winter season. Let’s dive into the basics of furnace pilot lights.

What Is A Pilot Light?

A pilot light is a small flame that stays lit constantly on many older furnaces. This flame provides heat to the thermocouple (a metal sensor) so that the device can sense when enough gas is present for the main burners to ignite. When the thermocouple senses enough gas, it sends an electric signal to open up the gas valve and allow fuel to enter the main burner, where the spark from your ignition system can ignite it.

Why Do I Need One?

Pilot lights are used as part of safety measures in many old furnaces because they provide an additional layer of protection between you and potentially dangerous amounts of fuel. The thermocouple senses when there is enough gas present during ignition, but if there isn’t enough fuel present, then it won’t send an electric signal; thus, preventing any excess fuel from entering the main burner, where it could become hazardous if exposed to sparks or flames. Without this extra layer of protection, large amounts of fuel could potentially build up in your furnace before being ignited, which could cause explosions or fires if left unchecked.

How Do I Maintain My Pilot Light?

The best way to maintain your pilot light is by checking on it occasionally throughout the year. You should also check it before turning on your furnace for each heating season since sometimes these lights can go out over time without regular use or maintenance. If you find that yours has gone out, extinguish all other sources of fire in your home and try relighting it with a long-handled match or lighter following instructions provided by your manufacturer or local HVAC company. Additionally, be sure to check for any excessive buildup around its base since this could indicate another issue with its function or placement within your unit itself; if this is the case, contact a professional immediately for assistance!

Having a pilot light within your furnace system helps add an additional layer of safety against potentially dangerous amounts of fuel being ignited within your home environment during ignition cycles, making them essential components in many older units today. Be sure to check on yours periodically throughout each heating season and contact a professional if you find any issues with its function or placement so that you can rest easy knowing everything is functioning properly! By understanding why these devices are so important —and taking good care of them—you will have peace of mind knowing that all possible steps have been taken to keep yourself and others safe during the cold winter months ahead!

Are you trying to make your water heater more effective and efficient? Reach out to our team online or at Medley Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.