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What’s Causing the Pilot Light in My Gas Furnace to Go Out?

During the winter in Oak Forest, IL, you rely on your furnace to keep you warm and safe. You might wake up one morning to a freezing house. You’ll check your furnace only to find that the pilot light is out once again. Here are five things that can cause a pilot light in a gas furnace to go out:

Age of the Heating System

The age of your heating system plays a significant factor in how well your pilot light functions. If your heating system is 20 or more years old, other components become worn out or dirty, leading to pilot light failure. While preventive maintenance extends the life of your heating system, the equipment will need replacing eventually.


If it’s easy to restart your pilot light after it blows out overnight, it’s possible you have a draft you don’t know about. You may also have a leak in the furnace’s output duct that causes air to blow the pilot light out. To prevent this from happening, keep all the air registers in your home open and clear.

Broken Gas Regulator

A broken or bad gas regulator could affect not only the furnace but all the other gas appliances in your home as well. This may indicate that your furnace isn’t getting enough gas to keep the pilot light lit.

Dirt Buildup

Dirt buildup is another thing that can cause the pilot light in your gas furnace to go out. A buildup of dirt in the intake valve restricts the oxygen your furnace needs to keep your pilot light going properly. To clean debris from the pilot light, use a wire brush, a paper clip or something similar to brush dirt and dust away from the pilot light mouth.

Thermocouple Fault

A thermocouple is a safety device on your heating system that’s close to the flame and determines if your pilot light is lit. If a thermocouple is dirty or broken, it’ll shut off the gas supply.

Don’t let your gas furnace leave you in the cold. Contact Climate Master Mechanical Contractors, Inc. today to have our friendly, professional staff help you with your HVAC needs.

Image provided by iStock

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