What’s the biggest difference between your parents’ gas furnace and your own?
The obvious answer is that one belongs to you and the other doesn’t, but there’s another difference as well: the ignition system. As new and innovative ways of heating the home have come about, so too have changes to existing systems and with an electronic ignition system, you get a better, safer upgrade to the traditional gas appliance.
With standing pilot ignition systems your pilot flame had to remain lit in order for the gas appliance to work, but not with electronic. Electronic systems use controls that only ignite the flame when it’s needed and not before. This makes it saver, and also more efficient. Special sensors replace traditional gas appliance components and although maintenance is still necessary, the electronic ignition allows for more control. Plus, with this type of ignition kit, there are different types.
Types of Electronic Ignition Systems
While all of these systems have the same purpose and do the same job, there are four different ways that an electronic ignition system goes about getting the job done. The same basic idea applies: mount the hardware near the valve and then the hardware controls the valve or ignition (versus a thermostat in a standing pilot system).
First up is the mercury bulb. Or rather, last up because this type of ignition system is actually banned now in HVAC equipment. All around mercury is very hazardous and typically mercury bulb electronic ignition systems aren’t used by anyone, but you can still find them in older systems. This particular ignition system uses a spark ignition and then mercury to get the flame going.
Hot Surface Ignition
This type of ignition can be direct or indirect. In the case of an indirect hot surface ignition, the igniter receives a voltage and then heats up to be red hot. Once it reaches the appropriate heat level the gas strikes and then your gas appliance is lit!
Direct Spark Ignition
This particular type of electronic ignition system doesn’t have a pilot at all. Instead, it lights the main burner on its own and if it can’t ignite the burner it’ll shut down after so many attempts. This is a built in safety feature designed to make sure that gas doesn’t build up. Built up gas can not only be a safety hazard, but also a health hazard as well.
Even with safety measures in place, however, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your direct spark ignition and do regular maintenance tasks. Like with other types of electronic ignition systems, you have the option to use a fireplace remote control with the direct spark ignition.
Unlike the Direct Spark ignition, this one does have a pilot light and it lights when needed. When there’s a call for heat, the module opens the pilot valve and initiates a spark to light the pilot light. Like other ignition systems, if the sensor doesn’t detect a flame it’ll repeat the action a certain number of times before the ignition system is locked for at least an hour. This is a safety feature essential for keeping your family and belongings safe.
Upgrading your home to gas appliances is a wise, cost effective choice; so is learning as much about electronic ignitions as you can! Knowing how your gas appliances work can better equip you to perform maintenance and ensure that your ignition system is healthy and most importantly, safe.
And, it isn’t limited to just a gas fireplace. HPC ignition systems can go on log lighter kits as well as your gas furnace and gas fire pit. And, many HPC gas products also feature a remote control for the fireplace, allowing you to have full control over your gas appliance at anytime—from anywhere in the room.
HPC is a leading supplier of gas products and it is because of their dedication to quality. Take a look at some of the HPC products we carry and see how Fireplace Doors Online and HPC can help improve your home today!
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