7:30am-5pm Monday-Friday | 4300 Creek Road
Blue Ash, Ohio 45241
call us (513) 621-4620
The National Difference: Longest running Bryant dealer in Cincinnati

New Gas Furnace in Cincinnati- Should I Choose Automatic or Manual Ignition?

If you’ve ever had to relight a pilot on your furnace, you may have wondered how to do it, and why it’s so difficult.

There are two types of pilots- an electric ignition pilot, and a hand-light pilot. An electric ignition pilot has a button that you can push to light the pilot. This actually works all the time- the pilot only lights when you call for hot water. A hand-light pilot is always burning (but can be blown out and needs to be manually re-lit).

Typically boilers, furnace and/or hot water heaters have a hand-light pilot. Initially, they are lit by the installing heating technician.

A basement draft can blow hand-light pilots out. If you’ve ever had this happen, you know it’s difficult to figure out how to re-light them if you’ve never done it before. The pilot is always in the flame-on mode, which means that there is always fuel being burned, and of course that has a cost associated with it. Most furnace installation technicians will recommend this option because it’s easy to light the pilot if it goes out, and the cost of the furnace is about $100 less.

Electric ignition pilots spark and light the pilot when you call for heat, automatically and within seconds. This means that ignition is easily done by pushing a button and the flame isn’t constantly burning. If the electric ignition fails however, there is no way to manually light the pilot and you’ll need a technician to fix it.

Of course, the flip side of this is that about 20 yrs after the unit is installed, the electronic ignition will more than likely fail and need to be replaced (this will likely run about $200). However, that $200 can pale in comparison to the fuel expenditure you have from the pilot will be burning fuel for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 20+ years. You have to ask yourself- “Why does my pilot need to be burning fuel all spring and summer when I won’t be requiring heat?”

There are advantages and disadvantages to both- the bottom line is that an electric ignition furnace will cost slightly more up front and may need repair to the ignition sooner, but will save you quite a bit in the months you don’t need heat.

FAQs

What Temperature Should I Set on My Thermostat?

The ideal temperature to set on your thermostat will vary by season. In the summer, it's recommended that you set your thermostat between 70˚ and 75˚ while you're at home. When you're away from home, setting the thermostat nearer to 80˚ can save energy, which will save you money on…

read more

What Size HVAC System Do I Need?

The best size for your new HVAC system will depend on a number of factors, like: The size and layout of your home The number of windows and doors your home has The cooling load required to meet your comfort needs The best way to ensure you select a perfectly…

read more

How Long Does An Air Conditioner Last?

The lifespan of an AC system will depend on various factors, like: The type, brand, and model of the system you have Whether the system was installed properly How frequently it's used How often it receives maintenance service On average, air conditioners can last about 10 to 15 years. The…

read more

How Often Should I Schedule AC Maintenance?

We recommend air conditioner maintenance service at least twice a year, once before you turn your system on for spring or summer and again before you shut your system down in fall or winter. If anyone in your family has respiratory issues or a compromised immune system, more frequent AC…

read more
Affiliates & Certifications:
The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed.
It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.