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.
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.
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.
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.
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,