Understanding 3 Common Furnace Pilot Light Problems
If your home has a gas furnace, its steady operation relies heavily on a pilot light that remains lit at all times. Specifically, a pilot light provides the "spark" that is needed to ignite the burners each time your furnace needs to kick on. Unfortunately, problems with your pilot light can result in poor operation or even a lack of heat to your home.
By having a better understanding of common pilot light problems in gas furnaces, you may be able to more easily identify issues when they arise. From there, you can act quickly in contacting a reputable HVAC repair service.
Lack of Oxygen
A healthy pilot light flame should be mostly blue in color, although some may have a slight yellow tip. If your pilot light is burning mostly or completely yellow, there's a good chance there isn't enough oxygen getting to the flame itself. In turn, the flame will not get hot enough, which can cause your furnace to work much harder than it should have to. As you might imagine, this could lead to premature wear and tear on your furnace.
In some cases, a yellow flame could also indicate the presence of too much carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous to you and your loved ones. For this reason, it's a good idea to contact an experienced HVAC repair shop if your furnace's pilot light is anything other than blue.
Pilot Light Is Out
If the pilot light on your furnace is completely out, you won't have any heat at all. Depending on how comfortable you are with re-lighting your own pilot light, this is something you may be able to tackle without help from a professional. Just be sure to use your furnace owner's manual and follow all safety instructions for re-lighting it. If the pilot light continues to go out, however, it's important to call a professional for further evaluation.
Dirty Intake Valve
Over time, debris and dust can build up on your pilot light's intake valve. This can result in a lack of oxygen getting to the flame itself, which may cause the light to go out or to burn inefficiently. The best way to keep the intake valve clean is to schedule annual tune-ups, as a cleaning of the valve is typically included as part of your tune-up. You can also cut down on debris around this valve by changing your furnace air filter regularly.
Pilot light issues are relatively common in gas furnaces, but the good news is that they're usually a relatively easy fix. Just be sure to turn to a professional furnace repair expert to address these problems.
To learn more, contact a resource like Powder River Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.