There has been a time for each of us when we turn up the thermostat and there is no heat. When this occurs, the problem may be that the standing pilot in your furnace has gone out. Not to worry, it is fairly simple to light your gas furnace standing pilot. By following the steps listed below, you will soon have the pilot re-lit, and your heat back on.
The first step is to make sure your thermostat is set to heat, and not air. Next, you are going to set your thermostat temperature to a setting that will turn the heat on, for example, set it to 78 degrees.
The next step it to remove the vented cover that is on the front of your furnace. Behind this cover you should see a gas valve knob. The color of the knob will vary according to the manufacturer; this knob can be blue, white, or yellow. You are now going to turn this gas valve knob clockwise to the off position, wait approximately 5 minutes to ensure that any remaining gas fumes are cleared from the area. If you can still smell gas after the 5 minutes, do not try to light your furnace standing pilot. Call your local gas supplier for assistance. If you do not smell gas, you can proceed onto the next step.
To locate your pilot look near the gas burner assembly in the furnace. Once you have located the pilot, have a long fireplace match, or long butane lighter on hand to light your pilot.
If your furnace pilot is equipped with a reset button that is red in color, turn the gas valve knob that is in the off position over to pilot. If your furnace pilot has no red reset button, you want to turn the gas valve knob from the off position over to pilot.
Light your match or butane lighter and place it at the pilot, press and hold the button or knob. Depress the button or knob for approximately 30 seconds. This procedure will maintain the gas flow to your furnace pilot until the thermocouple gets hot and opens the main gas valve.
After your pilot stays lit, you can slowly release the button or knob and turn the gas valve knob from the pilot position over to on. This step ignites the burners, which keeps the flow of gas that is needed for the temperature that your thermostat is set for.
If your burner does not ignite, then it is possible that the thermocouple did not reach the proper temperature to open your furnace gas valve. Give it a few minutes and repeat the previous procedure, but this time press the reset button longer for approximately one minute.
After your burners are ignited you can replace the vented furnace cover and set your thermostat to the desired temperature you want.
*Note that if you are lighting a standing pilot on a furnace that is equipped with an electronic ignition, make sure you turn off the electricity to the furnace prior to removing the vented cover. Once your pilot is back on, remember to turn the electricity back on to your furnace.