Gas furnaces make use of a pilot light to ignite their fuel source and provide heat to your home. This means that if the pilot light is blown out, the entire furnace will cease to function. While this is a huge inconvenience and can make your house uncomfortable for a short period of time, relighting a pilot light is a fairly simple process that requires no special tools.
Relighting a Furnace Pilot Light
A pilot light that is not ignited is usually a good indicator of why your furnace isn't working. However, most new furnace models use electric ignition, which do not have a pilot light. Additionally, your pilot light could be on even when your furnace itself isn't functioning properly. However, if you have an older furnace, and can't see the pilot light ignited near the bottom of the furnace, relighting the pilot light is the first step that you should take.
If you can't see the light, use a flashlight or other light source that isn't an open flame to locate where the pilot light is. Most commonly located on the bottom of the furnace, the pilot light is usually next to a switch and reset button. If you still can't find the pilot light, check the owner's manual.
Once you've found the pilot light, check the reset switch next to it. There are usually three settings, though this will depend on your model of furnace (check the owner's manual for specifics). The settings are "pilot," "off," and "on."
Turn the switch to the "off" position. This cuts off the supply of gas to the furnace, which ensures that gas will not leak out into your home.
Now, wait a few minutes. This is an extremely important step: the flow of gas to your furnace was still on, but the pilot light was off, which means that gas has been flowing into your home. This is not normally a hazard unless it has been occurring for an extended period of time: the flow of gas is fairly minuscule. Still, for safety reasons it is best to wait a few moments and ventilate the area if possible.
Turn the switch to the "pilot" setting after a few moments have passed, and press down on the reset button. Then, light the pilot light. A barbecue lighter works best, though any sort of naked flame will do. Once the pilot light is lit, let go of the reset button to start your furnace up automatically.
If the pilot light continues to go out, won't light, or your furnace won't work despite the fact that the pilot light is lit, there may be another issue with your furnace or fuel source. You should contact a professional immediately to have your unit examined.
To learn more, contact a furnace repair company like Bill's Heating & Air Conditioning.