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How To Light A Pilot Light On A Furnace

If you have a gas furnace, then you know that these heating systems tend to have an important component known as the “pilot light.” Sometimes, this flame can become extinguished — making it impossible for your furnace to turn on and, in turn, heat your home properly. It can be beneficial to find out how to light a pilot light on a furnace so that you can prevent this problem from disrupting your daily routine.

Lighting the pilot light on your furnace can seem impossible if you’ve never done it before. Knowing the proper way to light the pilot light can make turning on your furnace a breeze, however.

The good news is that learning how to light a furnace pilot light doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you get the job done in a snap.

What Is a Pilot Light?

Before we discuss how to light a furnace pilot light, it’s crucial that you understand how these components work. In short, a pilot light is a tiny blue flame that is found in older gas furnaces. This flame is used to ignite natural gas.

As you can probably imagine, this component plays a critical role in your furnace’s ability to produce heat and keep your home at a comfortable temperature. At the same time, there are various factors that can cause this flame to wink out. Let’s go over some of these reasons in more detail below.

What Can Cause a Pilot Light to Go Out?

If your pilot light has gone out, there’s a chance that the problem is caused by a buildup of dirt or grime on the light’s shaft. When there is a great deal of dirt on the shaft, it won’t be able to hold a flame for very long — as a result, the flame will be weak and go out easily.

The pilot light can also go out due to strong breezes and drafts, a malfunctioning thermocouple, or an issue with the gas supply. In the end, you can end up encountering this frustrating problem for a wide variety of reasons.

Fortunately, relighting the pilot light isn’t as difficult as it might seem. We’ll discuss everything you need to know in our step-by-step guide.

1. Examining the Label of Instructions on Your Furnace

Check all over the outside of your furnace for a label that contains instructions. These instructions should help you find where your pilot light is and give you specific information that relates to your brand and model of furnace. You may also see specific instructions there on how to light the pilot light on your furnace. Refer to these steps if at all possible.

If you’re not able to locate these instructions, don’t worry. Contact Johnson & Johnson Heating and Air Conditioning in Martinsburg, WV, and we will do our best to help you get your furnace pilot light lit. When learning how to light a furnace pilot light, always remember to keep your safety in mind.

It’s always best to reach out to an HVAC professional for assistance if you’re unsure what’s best for your furnace. If you have your instructions or are ready to continue onward in the process, move on to the next step below.

2. Set the Furnace Pilot Light to the “Off” Position

If you can’t locate the instructions, that shouldn’t be a problem. You can still learn how to light a pilot light on a furnace if you follow the right guide. Look near the lower part of your furnace, and you will likely see a button that says “Pilot” or “Off.”

What you want to do is set that button or dial to “Off.” Next, wait at least 5-10 minutes so that any gas in the area clears out sufficiently. If there is still a little gas, you may have an accidental fire near your furnace.

3. Use a Lighter to Light Your Pilot Light

Did you wait at least five minutes to give the natural gas a chance to dissipate? If so, it’s time to move on to the next step: actually lighting the pilot light.

Finally, turn the dial from “Off” to “Pilot.” Then, take your lighter and light the pilot light within the pilot opening of your furnace while holding the “Reset” button down. You will see the “Reset” button near the “On/Off/Pilot” button.

After you have lit the pilot light, you can release the “Reset” button.

During this process, it’s important to hold the long lighter close to the pilot light — or as close as possible. If you hold down the “Reset” button and release it but notice that the light won’t stay lit, there’s a chance that something more substantial is wrong with the furnace.

Although it’s fairly easy to learn how to light a pilot light on a furnace, you might encounter a problem with your heating system that makes this simple task difficult or impossible to accomplish. If you believe this is the case with your gas furnace or you’re struggling to relight the pilot light, don’t hesitate to call your local HVAC contractors in Frederick, MD, for assistance.

Need Help With Your Heating System? Turn to Our Experts!

Hopefully, you now understand how to light a furnace pilot light. As you can see, there are some problems that can make it difficult to maintain a pilot light flame. You might need to schedule a furnace repair or replacement, depending on the issue at hand.

Whatever the case may be, you can rest assured that our HVAC professionals are here to help. We’re proud to offer a wide range of services to homeowners in Martinsburg, WV, from furnace solutions to IAQ duct cleaning.

At Johnson & Johnson Heating and Air Conditioning, we can help you with everything related to heating and cooling for your residential or commercial property. These include seasonal tune-ups and indoor air quality services.

Although it can be helpful to understand how to light a pilot light on a furnace, sometimes the problem calls for professional assistance. Get in touch with us right away to schedule an appointment!

Pilot light burning strong in Martinsburg, WV, home.

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