How do I relight the pilot light for my gas furnace?

It’s no secret that your gas furnace might act up more in the winter, due to this time of year being the time that it’s used the most. One of the most common issues is when the pilot light goes out. This could be due to something as simple as a gust of wind blowing it out.

While it may be aggravating that your furnace isn’t keeping you warm when it’s turned all of the way up, this is something that comes with a simple solution. Here’s a quick rundown of how to relight your gas furnace pilot light when it goes out. Feel free to print out these instructions and put them in an area near your furnace so that you can have them when you need them in the future as well.

1. Locate the pilot light as well as its switch.

At the bottom of the furnace, you should notice a know as well as the pilot light. The knob has 3 different settings (ON, OFF, & PILOT). Some gas furnaces might make it hard for you to locate the knob and pilot light, in which case you will want to refer to the owner’s manual. If you don’t have the manual, you can always search for it online as most gas furnace manufacturers make their manual available via the internet for situations like this.

2. Once you know where the switch and pilot light are, turn off the pilot light.

You may have to push down and turn the knob, but switch it to where it’s positioned in the OFF position. The purpose of this is to clear the lines and furnace of any gas that may have been left standing. All of the gas flow will be stopped in its entirety once you turn the knob to the OFF position.

3. Give some time for the gas to be cleared out.

Now that you have stopped the gas flow, you will want to give it about 5 minutes to ensure that all of the gas has been cleared out before you do anything else. If you fail to do this, it could put you in a rather dangerous position. So make sure that you take the time to do this before you relight the pilot light of your gas furnace.

4. After waiting, go ahead and relight the gas furnace pilot light.

Now that you have waited for the gas to clear out, you can proceed with lighting the pilot light so that you can get your home warm. Just turn the knob to the PILOT position and depress the reset button. While doing this, take a match or long light and light the pilot light. Once it’s burning steadily, you can release the RESET button and it should stay lit.

5. Keep your eyes open and pay close attention to ensure it’s working properly.

Don’t get your cart ahead of the horse, because you’re not done yet. Your gas furnace should fire right up on its own, but when it does make sure that the pilot light stays lit. Another step you should take it to see where the air gust was able to come from and seal the area so that this doesn’t end up happening to you again.


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