Furnace poll

Since I doubt there is an actuall GQ answer to this I’ll ask it here.
It came up as a bar argument, so in the interests of of objectivity I’ll ask it this way:

How common are pilot light gas furnaces today?

Not as a matter of new installed , but as existing for fixity-type guys?

Anything older than 5 years could have a standing pilot, if older than 15, it’s almost sure to be standing pilot. Darn near everything new is HSI or intermittant spark.

What him said.

My gas furnace, installed last August, has a standing pilot.

It’s a boiler furnace for a baseboard hot water system. It also has a domestic hot water coil, which was not easy to find in this day and age.

I am in people’s homes every day looking specifically at furnaces. I also have employees who do the same.

In general (and in my* experience) about 10-20% have standing pilots. The majority have ignition systems of some sort other than a standing pilot.

The urban areas that we serve have a higher percentage of standing pilots than suburban areas. I can’t think of any manufacturer that still sells a standing pilot furnace. (as opposed to boilers, or unit heaters etc) To increase efficienies standing pilots went away. In the urban areas the percentage may be 40% or so.

I don’t think we’ve bought a standing pilot furnace in 5 years or so, and possibly longer. If you find an older community, you’ll find a higher percentage of standing pilots as the average lifespan of a furnace is 20+ years. If an area (more often suburban) has newer developments you’ll see mostly non-pilot.

What he said.

The heating element lightbulb thing died in our furnace last week. We woke up and we were cold as hell, so I went down to the basement to check it out and it took a good bit of puzzling and then a reading of the manual to find out that we don’t have a pilot light on our furnace. Learn something new every day. Like you have to pay a guy $300 to replace a $30 part that takes all of 5 minutes to do. :smiley:

Cool, thanks guys I’m vindicated.

I was just talking about general home repair,with a guy who is a handiman and the subject of furnaces came up and I mentioned relighting the pilot. He completely went into an “I’m calling your bullshit mode” and basically called me a liar because no house since the 60’s has had anything other than electric ignition, and there is no way I have ever seen one.

Other than the fact I know I have relit a pilot at my last 4 places, I was wondering if it was a freaky coincidence(I havn’t exactly lived in the most up to date places), or if they were still pretty common like I thought.

Actually, the part costs us around $20. And, we charge $179. But it takes 10 minutes to replace, not 5.
I love this country!*

We call those guys, “Light Bulb Changers.”

Haha, when the guy was done I opened the garage door and was peering out into the darkness. The guy asked what I was doing and I said “Looking for your Bentley”.

Since we’ve got a real live tech guy here, really honestly, how often do you need to change your furnace filter? I was on a 3 month program, but the tech said every two to three weeks. The filters that my girlfriend likes are $15 or so, and that gets a bit spendy.

There is no answer here, except I can’t think of any residential application that would require a 2-3 week interval.

The factors that “pollute” your indoor air environment (and filter) are:

  1. Kids (the more the merrier)
  2. Pets (see above)
  3. Smokers
  4. Urban or suburban or rural (think dust, exhaust etc etc)
  5. Age of house (older houses seem to have more accumlated dust/grunge etc)

How would you answer above?

What type of filter are currently using?

  1. Kids - Nary a one
  2. Pets- Nope
  3. Smokers - Yes, but never in the house.
  4. Urban or suburban or rural - Suburban
  5. Age of house - 5 years

We use a Filtrete Ultra Allergen Reduction, like the one here just in different dimensions.

My furnace was installed in 1954. The union sticker with the date hand-written on it in pencil is still attached. Standing-pilot, of course.

This post in this thread will give you some more information, but from [extensive] experience I’d say 3 times a year with a decent to good pleated filter, like the 3M Filtrete.

I don’t know what filter you’re currently using, but a good pleat in that environment probably doesn’t need it much more than every 3 to 4 months.

ETA: I overlooked your hyperlink. That’s a good filter. Three times a year (every 4 months), and I wouldn’t be surprised if you could do just every 6 months (twice yearly) If so, April 1 and October 1 are the best dates,

Excellent, thanks man.

You’re welcome.