How to Relight Your Furnace Safely

Published On December 30, 2022

Relight Your Furnace Safely
Some things are just going to happen, and though you know they will, they still come at the most unexpected, inconvenient times—like in the middle of the night on the coldest night of the year, when you wake to the bang of your furnace because the whole system has just shut down

Most homeowners look at their furnace like they’re Kevin from Home Alone—it’s a noisy, untameable, fire-breathing beast. And when their furnace quits, most homeowners would rather take up a sword and fight an actual dragon than do HVAC repair. That’s probably for the best, but just like Kevin, you don’t need to fear your furnace, and you might even be able to fix it yourself if it goes out.

If your furnace suddenly shuts off, the problem might simply be that the pilot went out. This might have happened because of dirt or carbon buildup around the pilot light, or the thermocouple (the metal rod near the pilot) might have gone bad.

To get your furnace going again, first look for the on/off switch near the pilot light and turn off the furnace. Then look for instructions near the pilot light. If they’re legible, follow the instructions in order. If you can’t read them, make sure you’ve turned off the furnace and leave it that way for at least five minutes. Never try to reset and relight your furnace without first turning it off.

When time is up, set the knob to “pilot,” then depress and hold down the “reset” button. With a match or lighter, ignite a flame and get it close to the opening of the pilot. Be careful to not get your fingers and hand too close to the jet of gas coming out of the pilot. If you can, use a lighter with a barrel or a long wooden match. Sudden ignition of a small gas buildup could singe your skin. You can use needle-nose pliers to hold a short match closer to the pilot. Once the flame takes hold, you can let off the reset.

If you’ve tried multiple times to relight the pilot but it still won’t ignite, there may be another issue keeping the furnace from starting up. Reach out to us the moment you need furnace repair, and we’ll get it done. The expert technicians at Colley Refrigeration can get your beast breathing fire again in no time.

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