Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Furnace’

Combustion Furnace Components: Electronic Igniters

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Furnaces have a process by which they ignite; this ensures safety and correct combustion. Older furnaces have a standing pilot light, but today’s furnaces come equipped with an electronic igniter. There are two types of electronic igniters and each works a little differently, as we’ll explain below. If you are experiencing problems getting your furnace to ignite or stay lit after ignition, schedule an appointment with your Bartels Heating & Cooling specialist today for quality furnace services in Hamilton.

Types of Electronic Ignition

The two types of electronic ignition are:

  • Hot Surface Ignition
  • Intermittent Ignition

Hot Surface Ignition

A hot surface igniter is a metal probe that heats up when the thermostat cues the ignition process. When the igniter becomes hot enough (it will glow like a light bulb), the main gas valve opens, allowing the gas to flow. Once the gas comes into contact with the heat from the igniter, the gas ignites and lights the burner.

The most common problem that develops with a hot surface igniter is cracking. The metal heats and cools constantly, causing the metal to expand and contract; eventually, the metal will wear and crack. A cracked igniter can’t heat up properly, so your system will have trouble igniting.

Intermittent Ignition

With an intermittent igniter, gas flows through a small pilot line when the thermostat cues for ignition to begin. Once the gas flows, a small electronic device creates a spark that lights the pilot. A flame sensor checks to see if the pilot is lit and if the flame is viable; once the flame is found to be viable, the main gas valve opens and the pilot lights the burner.

A few things can cause the intermittent ignition to fail: incorrect positioning of the pilot gas pipe, problems with the electrical supply, and issues with the flame sensor.

Why Electronic Igniters?

With a standing pilot light, a small amount of gas has to flow all the time; this is not the case with either type of electronic igniter. This not only saves you energy, it can also be safer.

Ignition problems with your furnace in Hamilton should always be handled by an expert. Having ignition problems with your furnace? Contact us today!

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How to Tell a Furnace is Your Best Choice for Heating

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

With all the hype around more modern systems like heat pumps and radiant heating, it’s easy to overlook the furnace as a viable heating option. There is a good reason that the furnace remains the most popular heating choice in America, however. Let’s highlight the reasons why a furnace might be the best choice for your home.


The number one reason to choose a furnace as a heating system is that it is the most convenient to install and maintain. Natural gas, the most common furnace fuel source, is readily available in most areas of the country. Because of the popularity of furnaces, it is easy to find an HVAC company that is well versed in installing them. Maintenance is also much easier, as replacement parts will be easy to find.


Furnaces come in a wide variety of types and sizes, making it more likely that you will find one that perfectly suits your home. Keep in mind the way furnaces interface with ductwork, as well. Many homes are outfitted with ductwork for central air conditioning. Oftentimes, furnaces can use this same ductwork without problems. Radiant heating, on the other hand, requires that an entire network of pipes be installed that only that system can use.

Furnaces also tend to heat up faster than other systems, like boilers. Water is a better conductor of thermal energy than air is, but it also takes longer to absorb that energy. A furnace can reach target temperature and begin actually warming the house well before the boiler even begins to approach the right temperature.

Like any system, a furnace has its drawbacks. It isn’t the most energy efficient heating system available, which may result in slightly higher heating bills than if you used other systems. The reduced cost of installation and repairs can often compensate for those factors, however.

If you would like to install a new furnace in your home, call Bartels Heating & Cooling. Our HVAC experts install furnaces throughout West Chester. We’d be happy to help you pick the best furnace for your home. Call us today!

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Furnace Guide: 3 Components You Should Know

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Furnaces don’t last forever, and even the best furnaces break down occasionally. A faulty component can often result in the entire system shutting down, or even worse: can damage to additional components as well. The more you know about how these components function, the better you can understand the ways they affect your heating when they run into problems.

  • Igniter/thermocouple. These two components are basically linked, and sometimes even appear as one conjoined unit. The igniter consists of the pilot light (usually in older furnaces) or an electric igniter (usually in newer ones). The thermocouple controls the flow of gas into the furnace, to ensure that your home isn’t flooded with gas when there’s a problem. If either component is damaged, the furnace simply won’t turn on.
  • Burners. The burners themselves provide the heat, fed by gas that passes through the thermocouple to create hot, intense flames. Burners can malfunction for a variety of reasons, including becoming clogged with dirt and dust.
  • Heat exchangers/venting systems. The heat exchangers transfer the heat from the burners (which often contain toxic gases) into air which can then be blown into your home. The gases move into a venting system which can then safely remove them from your home. The heat exchangers suffer breakdowns when the blowers connected to them malfunction and/or if blockage in the venting system prevents them from releasing the gases.

This furnace guide contains 3 components you should know, but most furnaces contain a great deal more. Hopefully, this will give you a basic idea of how the heating process works and how a breakdown with one component can affect the entire unit. Regardless, if you live in West Chester, OH, furnace repair services can be provided by the professionals at Bartels Heating & Cooling. If you’re experiencing problems with your furnace, pick up the phone and call us today!

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