Steps to Take When Cleaning a Furnace Pilot LightA broken furnace is the last thing you want as winter’s chill deepens around your Northeast Ohio home. The pilot light is one of the most important components of your furnace, and it’s a common culprit in heating breakdowns. Luckily, cleaning a furnace pilot light is often all you need to do to get your furnace back up and running again. 

Turn Off the Furnace

Never touch a pilot light that still has power and fuel. Follow these steps to turn your furnace off safely:

  • Shut off the breaker that’s associated with your furnace to ensure there’s no electricity.
  • Find the gas shutoff valve, and turn it to a completely closed position.
  • Remove the protective panel to reveal the pilot light, and turn the control knob to “off.”

The gas shutoff valve should be on the wall near the furnace, or on the outside of the furnace body itself. If you can’t find it, contact a qualified service technician. Do not proceed until you know for certain there’s no fuel going to the furnace.

Clean Debris from the Pilot Light

Using a paper clip or wire brush, clear any buildup or debris away from the mouth of the pilot light. Make sure nothing is stuck to the metal. Next, use compressed air to drive out soot and soil that may be deep inside the pilot light. Then, use a handheld vacuum or canister vacuum with a nozzle attachment to remove any remaining particles.

Restore Gas and Relight the Furnace

Turn the gas shutoff valve and the electrical breaker back on. Follow the instructions on your furnace owner’s manual to relight the pilot light, and then set it to run as usual. Turn up the thermostat until the furnace fires to ensure that it’s working properly and that nothing is blocking the flow of gas. If the pilot still won’t light or stay lit, call for professional furnace repair.

For more information about cleaning furnace pilot lights, contact Stack Heating & Cooling. We provide comprehensive HVAC services to the Greater Cleveland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about pilot lights and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ivelin Radkov/Shutterstock”

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