An essential component for your furnace is the pilot light. It’s responsible for igniting the burners, which start the heating process for your home. From time to time, you may notice that your pilot light has gone out. Knowing how to relight it can save you time and money on those cold winter days.

Locate the Reset Switch

When you’re ready to relight your furnace, you’ll want to start by identifying the pilot light assembly. This assembly is typically located near the bottom of the unit. Depending on the specific furnace that you have, this pilot light assembly may be hidden behind a sliding glass door or a metal panel. If you have trouble locating the pilot light assembly, it’s best to refer to your owner’s manual or contact an HVAC expert for help.

Once you locate the pilot light assembly, you’ll want to look for the reset button. On most furnaces, this button is bright red and is located within a couple of inches of the pilot light. Also, you’ll need to locate a knob that will have three different settings, which include pilot, on, and off.

While the off position is fairly self-explanatory, many homeowners get confused when it comes to the pilot and on settings. The pilot setting allows for a free flow of fuel to the pilot light assembly so that you can light your pilot light. When you switch from the pilot setting to the on setting, it will allow your furnace to kick on and start heating your home.

Turn It to the Off Setting

Next, you’ll want to set the knob to the off position. This turns off the flow of fuel to your pilot light. It’s best to give it a full minute or two for all of the existing gas to dissipate from the area. This helps to ensure that you can safely relight the pilot light without any flaming backlash from excess fuel.

Turn it to the Pilot Setting

Once you’ve given the pilot light assembly enough time to flush out the old fuel, it’s time to turn the knob to the pilot setting. Be sure that you have your lighter ready to go as fuel will start flowing to the pilot light burner as soon as you turn to the pilot setting.

As you’re lighting the pilot light burner, you’ll need to hold down the reset button. It’s recommended to keep the reset button depressed until there is a solid blue flame. Next, you’ll want to switch the knob from the pilot setting to the on setting.

To ensure your safety while relighting your furnace’s pilot light, you should be using a long match stick or grill lighter. You never want to use a small hand lighter or tiny match near the pilot light assembly as it can burn you very quickly when the fuel ignites.

Evaluate Your Furnace

Once you switch to the on position, your furnace should automatically kick back on. You’ll want to watch over your furnace for a few minutes to ensure that the pilot light stays lit.

If you have drafting issues, it’s likely that the pilot light will snuff back out within a couple of moments, alerting you that you didn’t solve the drafting problem. If you can’t seem to get the pilot light to relight or it’s giving off a weak yellow flame, you’ll want to call in an HVAC professional to solve the problem.

A Note About Electric Systems

The instructions above are specifically for standing pilot lights, which are more popular in older furnaces. Newer furnaces tend to come standard with electric ignition systems. Three of the most well-known are intermittent pilot, direct spark, and hot-surface igniters.

The intermittent pilot has a pilot light similar to the standing pilot light. However, it’s lit by a spark or hot-surface igniter. The intermittent pilot doesn’t run around the clock. Rather, it only lights when there is a need for heat. It’s vital that you are able to identify if you have a standing pilot light or an intermittent one as you don’t want to accidentally try to light the intermittent pilot light when it goes out.

Premier Heating Services

AirDepot provides premier heating installation, repair, and maintenance services for the Cypress, TX, area. We’re also here for all of your air conditioning installation, air conditioning repair, commercial AC repair and installation, and indoor air quality needs. Pick up the phone to call us today.

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