How to Light the Pilot Light on a Furnace

January 10, 2022
Furnace Pilot Light in Orchard Park, NY

You shouldn’t have to worry about how to light the pilot light on a furnace. You should be able to simply turn the gas or electricity on and it will start running – but if you can’t, what do you do? Vastola Heating & Cooling has you covered.

Pilot Light – What It Is and What It Does

A pilot light is a tiny flame that provides fuel to the main burner on a gas furnace or the electric burner on an electric furnace. It is a small, low-pressure flame that provides just enough heat to ignite the main burner.

The pilot light heats up and shimmers slightly as the gas flows through it, and this is all that we need to ignite our gas or electric burner. The pilot light rests on a white or orange flame rod. The function of the flame rod is to give the pilot light an oxygen source. When there is not enough oxygen for the pilot light, it will go out, and you will need to relight the pilot light.

You also need to know where the reset button is located. The button prevents the furnace from staying on when there’s a problem.

Now that you have successfully located the appropriate components let us see how to light the pilot light on a furnace.

Locate the Instructions Label on Your Furnace

Every furnace should have an instruction label attached to the front, side, or top. This label will have the manufacturer’s name, model number, serial number, and warranty information.

Turn Off the Furnace

Ensure that the furnace has been shut off before lighting the pilot light. The pilot light is fueled by propane, natural gas, or electricity. If something is wrong with your furnace, you do not want to start it up and possibly cause a fire.

Locate the Gas Shut-Off Valve

If your furnace is powered by natural gas, locate the shut-off valve, and turn it off. If you have problems with your pilot light, you want to make sure that the gas is completely off before proceeding.

Find Pilot Light and Components

Near the bottom of your furnace is a switch that usually has “Pilot,” “On,” and “Off” settings. Find this switch and turn it to the “Off” position. Wait at least five minutes before turning it or again. This will allow the gas to dissipate, preventing the possibility of catching fire.

Re-Light the Pilot Light

Once the gas has had time to dissipate, relight the pilot light. turn the knob to “Pilot.” Hold down the “Reset” button and bring the flame of a long lighter close to the pilot light opening. This will light the furnace’s pilot light. Once you are sure the pilot is lit, release your pressure on the reset button.

Important Things to Note

Some furnaces will not start up for one or two minutes after the pilot light has been lit. If the furnace does not start, wait a little longer.

Call a professional if you cannot figure out how to light the pilot light on a furnace. Our Vastola Heating & Cooling experts can help you fix the problem and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

You should turn off a furnace before trying to light it. Excess gas can be dangerous and potentially flammable. It is important to light the pilot light when gas is not flowing through it.

Other than the pilot light, do not attempt to fix your furnace yourself unless you know about furnace repair. While the furnace itself may be safe, gas is a very dangerous

If you don’t have a long match or lighter, you can use a tightly rolled piece of paper to put distance between yourself and the igniting pilot will work.

Contact Us Today!

Lighting a pilot light is easy if you have the proper tools and know-how to do it. If you don’t, call Vastola Heating & Cooling for help. Some furnace problems are not as simple as you might think. If the furnace does not turn on at all, call Vastola Heating & Cooling. Let one of our technicians help you. We want to ensure that your furnace is in good working condition, and we can fix it if something isn’t right.

Contact Vastola Heating & Cooling in Erie County today if you need help with your furnace repair. We offer a wide range of heating and cooling services for Erie County and the surrounding NY area.