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Furnace FAQ: Why is My Pilot Light Out?


In Bergen County, furnace issues can mean big trouble, especially when the snows of winter start to fall. A reliable furnace means everything to northern New Jersey residents. Gas furnaces depend on a pilot light to ignite the gas in the combustion chamber and warms the air to be blown into your home through the ducts. When the pilot light goes out, the gas can’t ignite and you can’t get heat: hardly an ideal situation when the latest cold front is barreling down on us. “Why is my pilot light out?” It’s a good question, and the answers can make all the difference when it comes to providing you with heat. A few of the most common are listed below.

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  • Draft. In some cases, the cause of an extinguished pilot light may be nothing more than a draft in your home. Many times, the furnace cover will protect the pilot light, but if it doesn’t, then the breeze can snuff it out. It should be a fairly easy step to reignite it, though if you don’t address the draft, the same thing will happen again.
  • Thermocouple. The thermocouple sits next to the pilot light and regulates the flow of gas into the igniter. It serves an important safety function by preventing gas from leaking out when your pilot light isn’t lit. If the thermocouple is malfunctioning, on the other hand, it may interfere with the pilot light as well.
  • Soot and corrosion. If your furnace isn’t well maintained, then soot and grime can build up on it. Over time, that may prevent it from lighting. A professional knows how to clean the pilot light apparatus without damaging it. More importantly, he can establish a regular maintenance schedule to make sure the entire furnace is always kept clean.

Asking “why is my pilot light out?” is the first step towards getting the issue corrected. The next is to contact a qualified professional to help. The professionals at Design Air Inc. handle Bergen County furnace problems, and can address your pilot light problem quickly and professionally. Calls us today to set up an appointment.