4/1-4/30 Triple-O is donating 5% of all installs to Autism Up! Schedule Now Read More

Skip navigation

Serving the Greater Rochester Area


Triple O Heating, Cooling, Electrical & Plumbing Blog

Electronic Ignition and Your Furnace: An Important Story

When you think of gas furnaces, what comes to mind first? It might be the pilot light, that steady flame that stays ready throughout the winter to light burners as soon as the gas starts to flow…

But the standing pilot light is (mostly) a relic of the past. Modern furnaces have jettisoned the pilot light in favor of electronic ignition systems. We work with furnaces in Batavia, NY of all types, including older furnaces that use pilot lights. We can explain to you why electronic ignition took over and why it’s beneficial. Since you probably have an electronic ignition furnace, you’ll learn some important facts about it.

The furnace igniter change

Electronic ignition is not only safer and more reliable than using a standing pilot light, but it helps improve energy efficiency to save on bills. That’s the short version for the change. The slightly longer version…

The change from standing pilot lights to electronic ignition in furnaces was part of a significant advancement in both energy efficiency and technological innovation. Standing pilot lights, which continuously burned a small flame to ignite the main burner, had been the standard for furnaces since the start of the 20th century. However, standing pilot lights have inherent drawbacks. The biggest is how they waste energy: the constant flame of a standing pilot light consumes a significant amount of natural gas, no matter if the furnace needed to be running or not. This leads to an increase in energy bills and negative environmental impact.

Electronic ignition systems, on the other hand, introduced a more sophisticated and economical approach to furnace ignition. These systems use electronic components to ignite the main burner only when the thermostat requests heat for the home, eliminating the need for a standing pilot light. 

This on-demand ignition not only lowers energy consumption but also enhances overall furnace efficiency by making sure that the furnace only burns fuel when it’s needed. As a result, homeowners have enjoyed cost savings and a decrease in their carbon footprint, making electronic ignition a more sustainable and responsible choice for modern heating systems. 

Additionally, electronic ignition systems help make furnaces safer. Without a constantly burning flame in the furnace, there’s a reduced risk of a potential accidental combustion explosion. Electronic ignition is not only safer and more reliable than using a standing pilot light, but it helps improve energy efficiency to save on bills.

What if you don’t have electronic ignition?

It’s easy to tell if you have a pilot light or electronic ignition furnace: simply go and look at the furnace! Even sealed combustion furnaces have a glass eye-hole to let you look inside the furnace. You’ll be able to see if there’s a standing pilot light or not. 

If you do have a standing pilot light, then we advise you to start thinking about having the whole furnace replaced. The furnace is probably already quite old, and making the change to an electronic ignition furnace can help you save money and increase home safety. Our technicians are glad to help you with making this choice, so get in contact with us today.

Call Triple-O Mechanical: Your One-stop Shop for HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical. 

Comments are closed.