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Furnace Repair FAQ: Is the Pilot Light Out?

furnace-flameWhen your furnace won’t work the way you need it to, you might look to the usual suspects. Hopefully, you check the thermostat first, ensuring that you’ve got it set in heating mode with the right temperature set. Then, you start to troubleshoot the system by asking questions that may help you to get to the bottom of the problem before you call in a technician.

You may have heard that a simple solution to a furnace that won’t turn on is that a pilot light is out. Maybe you even have some experience relighting a pilot light in the past. However, this isn’t always the issue.

Signs the Pilot Light Is Out

First, you’ll need to find the access door for the burner chamber, located on the front side and at the bottom of most furnaces. Open up this chamber and find the pilot light tube, a small tube that’s an extension of the gas line. Don’t see this part? Then you have an electronic ignition furnace, which we’ll get to later.

You should see a small blue flame coming from a standing pilot furnace. If not, then the pilot light is indeed out.

Relighting a Pilot

We strongly recommend that you call in professionals to light your pilot for your own safety. However, if you do decide to light it on your own, be sure to follow instructions on the label, which should be kept aside the furnace.

You should always turn the furnace switch from “on” or “pilot” to the “off” position. Leave it off for about five minutes before setting it to pilot, so there is no dangerous gas buildup. Then, turn the knob to pilot, hold down the “reset” button (if applicable) and light the gas with a long lighter.

Additional Issues

There are many issues that could cause the furnace pilot to go out in the first place. If it relights on the first attempt and stays on, some likely culprits are drafts or even the city, which may shut off the gas supply to do work near your home.

If the pilot won’t ignite, or if you’re faced with the same problem again a short while later, then there are bigger issues within the burners that need to be checked ASAP by a furnace professional.

Today’s Furnaces Often Use Electronic Ignition

If you have a newer furnace, with an AFUE rating of over 80, then it likely does not have a standing pilot at all. Electronic ignition is common in gas furnaces today. An electronic spark or electric heat are what allow the burners to light, rather than a standing flame (which saves a ton of fuel!).

When a furnace with electronic ignition won’t turn on, there’s no way to remedy the issue with a lighter. Something else is wrong, whether that is a broken safety switch, dirty burners, or a problematic blower fan. In any case, be sure to hire expert technicians to get to the bottom of it.

Take action today! Schedule your furnace repair in Richmond Hill, GA with AAction Air Conditioning & Heating Co. Inc.

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