Faulty Ignition or Pilot Light?

Having issues with your gas furnace? It might be due to ignition problems or pilot control problems. Pilot lights do go out occasionally. But if your pilot light goes out more than once per season, this could indicate a problem. Along with other mechanical parts, your furnace’s ignition control could be malfunctioning causing intermittent or no heat.

Your pilot light is an important element to your furnace’s operation. A furnace inspection by Meyer Air can ensure your pilot light is operating properly.

Troubleshooting – Rooms Not Staying Warm

  • Physically Check the Pilot Light – The pilot light should be near the front of your furnace, usually visible through a grate on the front of the unit. If you see the flame burning, then you’re all good. If it’s not, then call us and we can come figure out what the problem is.
  • Replace the Thermocouple – The thermocouple is a small device that lets the furnace gas supply know if the pilot light is lit. If you have a faulty thermocouple, then it may be telling the furnace to shut off the fuel supply and turn off the pilot light. Call Meyer Air and we can come ensure your thermocouple is functioning properly.
  • Eliminate Drafts – If there are windows or doors near your furnace, it may be possible for a small draft to blow in around or under windows or doors and blow out the pilot light. Consider investing in properly insulating the windows or doors to prevent air blowing on the pilot light and snuffing the flame.

How does it all work?

The hot surface ignition system uses resistance heating element (somewhat like a filament in a light bulb) controlled electronically to ignite the gas burner. The intermittent pilot system is also electronically controlled but uses a high voltage electrical spark to ignite the gas pilot and then the main burners. When you have a faulty furnace ignition, there are many reasons that could explain the issue. However, checking items such as a faulty thermocouple or pilot flame height is best left to the experts.

For more help with your faulty furnace ignition, contact the HVAC experts at Meyer Heating and Cooling. We’ve proudly served homeowners in and around the St. Louis area for many years.


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