pricing for a thermocouple

What Is a Thermocouple and Why You Need It in Fairfax, VA?

February 22, 2021

Gas furnace owners in Fairfax, VA, know that furnaces need periodic maintenance to ensure safe, efficient performance. Several working parts inside the furnace need periodic inspection, maintenance and replacement. One of the more critical parts that may fail is the thermocouple.

But What Is a Thermocouple?

The thermocouple is an important safety device for your furnace. It detects whether the pilot light is lit and shuts off the gas supply if it’s not. Checking this part is a crucial aspect of furnace maintenance.

How Does a Thermocouple Work?

Thermocouples use the differences in temperature between two different types of metal positioned in the flame of the pilot light to create a thermoelectric effect called the Seebeck effect. The temperature differential creates an electrical current. If the pilot light goes out, a current drop in the thermocouple shuts off the gas valve, stopping the operation of the furnace.

Why You Need One

When a thermocouple fails, it usually shuts off the gas supply to the furnace, leaving the homeowner with no heat, requiring an emergency service call. Sometimes, however, the unit may fail in an open position. When this happens, if the pilot light goes out, the gas will continue to flow, causing a dangerous leak, risking the health and safety of those in the home.

Natural gas leaks can cause health issues by reducing oxygen levels in the home. Further, gas may concentrate inside the home, leading to fires and explosions.

Don’t live with the associated health and safety risks of thermocouple failure. If it’s been a while since your last furnace maintenance, schedule an appointment with Vernon The Heating & Cooling Specialist today to have a professional inspection. Our professional technicians will ensure your thermocouple and all furnace parts are safe, functional and efficient.

Image provided by iStock

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