September 22, 2021
Furnaces

When the heat goes out, it’s never a good situation. During the winter here in Austin, it can get pretty cold, especially when the sun goes down. You’ll want your heat back on as soon as possible so that you can stay warm and comfortable.

In some cases, not having heat is an indication that there’s a major problem occurring. In other cases, the solution may be as simple as re-lighting your pilot light. Below, we’ll give you instructions on how to safely relight the furnace and restore your heat.

Safety First

Before doing anything else, check for any signs of a gas leak. Companies that deliver natural gas and propane have added a component called mercaptan that gives it a sulfur-like odor. If an odor is apparent, call for assistance.

If no odor of gas is detected, you can proceed with the steps below. Make sure that you have enough light to see what you’re doing, and be sure to have a long lighter or a long match with you.

You may have the instruction manual for your furnace in a convenient location. It would be best to use that manual since various models can be slightly different from each other. Additionally, you could look up your unit’s manual online if you no longer have the hard copy or if the furnace was in the house when you moved in. If you can’t find the manual, follow the steps below.

Follow These Steps

Take off the furnace cover panel. With most furnaces, it can simply be lifted off without the use of any tools. On some units, it could be latched in using a set of clips, and in others, it may be held in place with a couple of screws.

The next thing to do is to locate the gas valve control knob. Usually, it can be found somewhere near the bottom of the furnace. The knob will have three positions: On, Off, and Pilot. Switch the knob to the Off position.

Wait for five minutes before proceeding to the next step. It’s really important that you wait the full five minutes because this allows any gas in the chamber to dissipate. If you don’t do this, there may be a large spark or even a small explosion when you light your match or turn on your lighter, so don’t rush this part.

Turn the control knob to the Pilot position. Ignite a lighter or light a match, and hold the lighter or match in one hand. With your other hand, press and hold the Reset button. This button is typically located near the gas valve control knob. Place the flame near the pilot light’s opening. It should light fairly quickly if everything is working properly. Once the pilot light is going strong, take the pressure off of the Reset button.

If you’re having trouble identifying where the pilot light opening is, don’t worry. Take a look at the three tubes that come out of the gas valve housing. The larger one leads to the gas burners. By following the track of the two smaller ones, you’ll find the pilot light. Sometimes, the pilot light is tucked away behind another component. You might have to use a flashlight and adjust your angle in order to see it.

Turn the gas valve control knob back to the On position. The pilot light should remain lit at this point. Finally, replace the furnace cover. This can keep any debris from getting in the compartment, and it can work to prevent any drafts from blowing the pilot light out.

Supporting Our Local Community

Totally Cool Heating & Air has been helping people in the Austin region since 1982. We support efforts to enhance efficiency, and we’d be glad to speak with you about modern, innovative approaches to residential climate control. Feel free to reach out for more information about our installation, repair, and maintenance services. We work with heating, cooling, and air quality units, and evening and weekend appointments are available in case of emergency. We service all makes and models. In addition, we offer services related to attic insulation and solar window screens. The parts we use often carry a manufacturer’s warranty, and our service labor comes with a 30-day guarantee. Contact us with any questions you may have or to set up an appointment.

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