Learning About Residential Furnaces

2 Problems Caused By A Yellow Pilot Flame In Your Home's Gas Furnace

The last time you went to check your furnace's pilot light, you may have noticed that the flame is no longer blue. Rather, it is now burning a bright yellow, leading you to wonder if the change in color is a cause for alarm. If so, below are a couple of problems that are caused by a yellow pilot flame in your home's gas furnace.

1. Furnace Is Using More Natural Gas than Usual

One problem that a yellow pilot flame in a gas heater indicates is that the furnace is using more natural gas than usual. Normally, before the gas reaches the flame, it is mixed with air in the thermocouple to give the flame oxygen.

When the gas is mixed with the right amount of air, the oxygenated flame is allowed to burn hotter, which increases the combustion rate of the gas. The gas is burned as efficiently as possible.

However, if there is an issue with the thermocouple and not enough air is reaching the gas, the combustion rate goes down. The flame will not burn as hot as it should, which is indicated by the yellow color.

If the flame is not hot enough, not all of the fuel passing through it will burn. This increases the demand for fuel, and the increased consumption will result in higher gas bills.

2. Flame Releases High Amounts of Carbon Monoxide into the Air

The next problem caused by a yellow pilot flame goes hand-in-hand with its increased demand for fuel. Since the natural gas that passes through the flame is not being burned off as cleanly and efficiently, the pilot will release high amounts of carbon monoxide into your home's air.

If this is the case, you will see more than the change in the flame's color. You may also see black charring directly above the tip of the flame. There may also be black smoke coming from the fire, which is the excess fuel being released.

If your furnace's pilot light is burning yellow or any other color besides a pale, cool blue, there is most likely something wrong with the air and gas exchange, a block in the gas line, or an issue with the thermocouple. As soon as you notice the difference in color, contact an HVAC contractor who offers heating repair services to have them determine the cause of the flame's change so that they can fix the issue.

For more information, contact a heating service today.


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