If you have a furnace in your home, it is important that you become familiar with it. There are certain instances that will require you to perform some slight maintenance if you discover that your heat isn’t working. According to a seasoned furnace repair company, Gillette Heating and Air, the pilot light is a small light that is continuously burning inside of the furnace.
This flame is supposed to stay lit at all times, and though it sounds dangerous, it is monitored by a thermocouple that will shut off the gas valve in case the light goes out or becomes ineffective. No matter how well your furnace is installed, you are likely going to need to relight your pilot light eventually. Knowing how to do this correctly is going to keep you and your home safe.
Why Does the Pilot Light Go Out?
Aging furnaces will often experience their pilot light extinguishing. This means that no heat is being generated throughout your home and that you must relight it in order to get it working correctly again. Age has a lot to do with the light going out, but there are also some other contributing factors.
Insufficient Flame: Your pilot light should burn a blue color. If you notice that it is burning yellow, then you should know that something is causing it to burn insufficiently.
You likely won’t notice this discoloration for long because if it presents any kind of danger, your thermocouple will kick in and shut off the gas valve to the pilot light.
Malfunctioning Thermocouple: If something is going on with your thermocouple, this could cause your pilot light to extinguish. Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do if this happens. Leaving the repair to a professional is the best recommendation.
Dirt Buildup: Your furnace can become dirty, just as every other part of your home can. If too much dirt begins to build up around the area, this can cause an impact on your pilot light.
If dirt gets into the intake valve, this can restrict the amount of oxygen getting to the flame, therefore causing it to go out. Make sure the area is regularly cleaned.
How to Tell if Your Pilot Light is Out
The main thing you will notice if your pilot light is out is a lack of heat throughout your home. While you might not notice the instant it happens, you will definitely begin to see a change in temperature. Before you inspect your thermostat too closely, take a look inside your boiler room to see if your pilot light is still lit.
In order to determine if it is out, the process is going to be fairly simple. You will need to locate the chamber door (near the bottom of the unit), locate the pilot light tube, and look for a flame.
If you do not see a light, then you will be able to clearly identify that it needs to be relit. There is nothing extremely complicated about this process, but what happens next much be taken with caution.
Remember, your light should be burning continuously. The longer you leave it extinguished, the longer you are going to be uncomfortable and cold in your home.
If you do not have the confidence to relight it yourself, then you need to contact a professional to come to light it for you. Just know that it is likely to go out again due to natural causes, so becoming familiar with the relighting process can benefit you.
How to Light Your Pilot Light Safely
The first step is going to be locating the instructions label. This should be attached to your furnace. Following these steps, you are going to be sure that you are relighting the pilot safely.
Near the bottom of your furnace, there should be a switch labeled “Pilot.” Switch it to the off position. It is important that you then wait at least 5 minutes until you take the next step to ensure the gas has fully dissipated.
Next, turn the pilot knob back to its original position and hold down the reset button. As you are holding this button down, use a long grill lighter to relight the flame.
By placing it close to the pilot light opening, it should relight with no problems. Once the pilot light is back on, you can let go of the reset button. Carefully close any doors you have opened, and you should have a functional furnace yet again. It can seem like a scary process, but all it takes is a little practice and some precaution when you attempt to relight the pilot light yourself.
Since this is something that can happen frequently, many homeowners choose to become familiar with the process so they can fix the problem without having to rely on professional help to arrive.