Patching an Old HVAC System
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Patching an Old HVAC System

When I married my husband ten years ago, I reluctantly agreed to move into the older brick home he already owned. I knew the house was outdated. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any experience renovating an older place. Immediately, I noticed the old central air conditioning unit in the home. After thoroughly inspecting the equipment, I was afraid the ancient unit wouldn’t make it through my first summer in my new place. Thankfully, I was wrong. After ten years, this same air conditioning system is still running smoothly. However, it has received some diligent care from a reputable HVAC contractor over the years. On this blog, you will discover the ways an HVAC contractor can restore an older air conditioning unit.

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Patching an Old HVAC System

Troubleshooting Your Furnace's Pilot Light

Mary Gonzalez

A gas furnace has an ignition system, which contains a pilot light. This small, blue flame stays burning so it can light the fuel and get the furnace started when it cycles on. Issues with the pilot light can lead it to furnace malfunctions and failure to operate. The following guide can help you determine if you have a problem that necessitates repair.

Problem: The Flame is Small and Weak

A weak flame that is small and has trouble staying lit or burning the requisite blue color is an indication that the light is not adjusted properly. Many furnaces have a flame adjuster, which adjusts the amount of gas flow to the pilot light in order to control its size. You can turn a small screw to adjust the flame. Although this is a simple repair, don't attempt to do it on your own unless you have the manufacturer's maintenance guide available to verify the proper setting and size of the pilot light. Otherwise, leave any adjustments to a heating repair professional.

Problem: The Flame Burns Any Color But Blue

Your pilot light should never be yellow or orange. When burning at the proper heat intensity, the light should appear blue, perhaps even white near the base of the flame. A flame that burns yellow or orange isn't burning hot enough so it likely isn't combusting all of the gas being fed to it, which can lead to fumes and carbon monoxide buildup. Often, the cause of a cooler flame is something blocking the pilot light gas valve, such as dust or residue, which your heating tech can safely clean off. In other cases, there could be a problem with the pilot light valve that is preventing sufficient gas from being delivered.

Problem: The Flame Keeps Going Out

A pilot light can sometimes go out, often as a result of a draft or something momentarily blocking the gas flow. If the light goes out repeatedly or if it flickers, then you have a problem. In a modern furnace that doesn't leave the light burning at all times, the problem is likely the ignition switch. This switch sparks the gas to fire up the pilot light ahead of the furnace popping on. If it goes out, the pilot light won't come back on. Another common problem is that the thermocouple has failed. The thermocouple acts as a safety, shutting off gas flow to the pilot if there is a problem. When it fails or malfunctions, it may cut flow for no reason.

Contact a heating repair service for further assistance.


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