There’s nothing worse than waking up to a cold home in the morning. A broken down furnace could be detrimental to the comfort of you, your family, and even your home. However, there could be many culprits as to why your furnace isn’t working. One of the most common issues we come across as HVAC professionals is a failed pilot light. The pilot light provides the small flame that ignites the gas to your furnace. It is essential to ensure that it is running and running safely. Here are 5 reasons why your pilot won’t light.

Gas Furnace

1. Faulty Thermocouple

The 1st of the 5 reasons why your pilot won’t light is the most common culprit–the thermocouple. The thermocouple, often referred to as the “flame sensor” is the copper rod the pilot flame hits. It exists primarily as a safety mechanism to tell the furnace to shut off the gas if the pilot goes out. Ensure that the thermocouple isn’t bent or dirty. If it is, give it a cleaning or replace it alltogether.

2. Bad Burner

The burner that provides the flame to the pilot light can go bad. Dirty burners can restrict airflow, causing burners not to light. If the burner looks dirty, a simple cleaning can get them to ignite again. A hard-wired brush and a can of compressed air can do the trick.

3. Inadequate Gas Pressure

Although rare, there could not be enough gas supply going to the furnace. The furnace needs a sufficient amount of gas supply in order to light your pilot–and this is out of your control. Utility companies cap off the amount of gas consumptions. So, if you notice another appliance struggling with gas output, it’s time to call your gas company.

4. Drafty Airflow

If the pilot is lighting easily, it could be getting blown out by a draft. This is common during windy days and nights, or if there’s a leak in the output duct. Any extra airflow is enough to blow out the light.

5. Dirty Pilot Light

Last but not least, the pilot light itself may be dirty. The light shaft may contain some debris, which affects the light’s operation. If it struggles to light or flickers, there may be a blockage that is interfering with the light.

Furnace Maintenance Is Important!

You can prevent further wear and tear with regular maintenance. Poorman’s offers a Preventative Maintenance Agreement to ensure you are getting regular maintenance at a fair price for all your HVAC systems. Our maintenance agreement comes with a 10% off parts discount AND waived emergency fees. You can check out our maintenance agreement benefits here.