If you find yourself shopping around for a new furnace, you will discover there are a wide range of furnace types. One of the major distinctions is the furnace’s starting system. Some furnaces will use a pilot light to heat up the burner and begin a heating cycle. Then there is an electrical igniter that is used to light or heat the burners. When looking at the two different starting systems, you may wonder which is better in terms of cost, longevity, energy efficiency, and reliability. Hal Mechanical would like to share the difference between the two starting systems to better help you find the right furnace for your home or business.
Furnace Energy Efficiency
A furnace and even a water heating system has used a pilot light for years and for the longest time it was the most energy efficient method. Even though pilot lights are considered more energy efficient, it is actually very wasteful. Pilot lights use gas that requires a slow but constant flow of gas. This means even when the furnace is not running a cycle, gas will still be used. Even though it is not using power like an electrical igniter, it is using gas constantly which is costing every second of every day.
Types of Electric Ignitors
When comparing an electrical ignition system, there two types of electrical igniter. One is a hot surface ignition and the second is an intermittent pilot. The most common type of electrical igniter system is the hot surface which uses an electrical current to heat up and ignite the burners. Unlike a gas fueled pilot light that requires a constant supply of fuel, the electrical ignition only turns on when starting up a heating cycle. This means there is no waste when using an electrical furnace. An intermittent pilot is a blend of a gas fuel pilot light and an electrical ignition system. An intermittent pilot uses small gas power flame to ignite the burners. It burns when the furnace is starting up a heating cycle. If you want the benefit of both types of ignition systems, an intermittent pilot is one of the best types when it comes to energy efficiency.
Cost to Replace Furnace
If you want to know which type of furnace is cheaper to buy, the standard pilot light system is still one of the more cheaper units. However, one of the major considerations is if your furnace system is designed to use gas or electricity. If want to convert your furnace to a gas fueled pilot system, you will need to invest in installing a gas supply line to your furnace. Eventually, the cost may end up about the same. If you already have a gas supply but want to save money over the longer term, the intermittent pilot system is ideal, but more expensive to install.
Most Reliable Ignition System
For the most reliability, the electrical ignition or the intermittent pilot system has been proven to be more reliable. Pilot lights can develop a number of problems such as corrosion, the gas supply has been clogged and more. Electrical ignition systems don’t have the same exposure to flame and fumes that lead to corrosion. Since the intermittent pilot doesn’t have a constant supply of gas, they do not develop the same problems as a standard pilot light ignition system.
Forced Air Furnace Heating Services in Aliante, Centennial, Desert Shores, Eldorado, Enterprise, Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, Lone Mountain Village, North LV, Peccole Ranch, Paradise, Silverado Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, Sunrise Manor, Tuscany Village, Whitney, Winchester & Las Vegas Nevada
It can be confusing trying to understand how the ignition system can influence which furnace you will want to buy for your home. If you have concerns or questions which furnace is right for your home, contact Hal Mechanical today.