Now, during the early part of heating season, is when you should pay special attention to the operation of your gas furnace. You want to detect any early indications of malfunctions so you can have them repaired before the serious cold weather strikes. After all, you know that when a furnace breaks down, it will probably happen on the coldest day of the year!
One thing you should check on your furnace is the pilot light (if your model uses one; some now use electronic ignition). Make sure that it is burning steadily, and also that it’s the right color.
Blue = Situation Normal
The pilot light should be a bright blue. The reason for this color is that natural gas consists primarily of the chemical compound methane, which burns blue. You might notice some slight red or yellow at the tip of the flame, but this is perfectly normal.
Anything Else = Call for Repairs
What if your pilot light is red, orange, green, or some other combination? That means that something other than methane is burning. This indicates the presence of tar, oil, rust flakes, or dust. The danger here is that burning any of these condensates isn’t “clean” and they will give off harmful chemicals. Don’t try to clean the pilot burner yourself. Shut off the furnace and the gas line to it, then call for professionals to investigate the matter.
This sort of trouble with the pilot light is a good reminder about why regular maintenance for a heating system before the winter is so important. Technicians will always check the pilot light and perform combustion analysis. If they detect anything amiss, they can arrange to have it fixed before the furnace needs to start doing its winter heavy lifting.
Contact Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration when you need furnace repairs in Lorton, CA. We’ve served North Virginia since 1998.
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