When your heating system powers on, a lot goes on to deliver heat to your Dayton home. An ignition system generates the heat that’s then blown into your home. How this heat is generated depends on the type of ignition system your furnace uses. Here’s a look at the HVAC ignition systems commonly found in heating units.
Standing Pilot HVAC Ignition
The standing pilot ignition was first used in the 1920s. Some gas heating systems still use it to heat homes. This ignition system utilizes a small pilot light that’s always lit. Fuel is burned to maintain the flame, making it inefficient compared to other ignition systems. When there’s a call for heat from your thermostat, the main gas valve is activated, allowing the pilot to light the main burners for heat generation.
Electronic HVAC Ignition
Nowadays, modern furnaces employ electronic ignition. Two types are available: intermittent pilots and hot-surface ignition.
- Intermittent pilot. With this ignition system, a spark lights the pilot only when the thermostat signals your furnace to cycle on. A flame sensor lets the main gas valve open if there’s a viable flame. The pilot lights the furnace burner once gas flows from the valve. The pilot’s small gas line then closes, which extinguishes the pilot.
- Hot-surface ignition. The system lights the burner directly using a metal probe. When the thermostat signals your heating system to start ignition, an electric current causes a silicone filament to heat up to the point that the gas ignites and lights the burner. This system is easier than the intermittent pilot-ignition system, making it more popular. The hot surface igniter may require replacement every few years.
HVAC experts recommend replacing older furnaces that use standing pilot-ignition systems. That can help you save in the long run. If you have a problem with your HVAC ignition or any other heating issues in the Dayton area, please get in touch with us so the pros at Detmer and Sons can help.