Why Does My Furnace Pilot Light Go Out After Heating?

image of a heating system depicting a furnace pilot light and furnace fuel supply issues

Imagine this – unlike times before, you wake up in your room shivering with cold. It isn’t a great start to your day, to say the least. You walk over to your furnace and notice that the pilot light isn’t lit. The heating system isn’t going to run until the flame is back, but your efforts to relight it don’t work. The pilot light might come on but only for very short stretches of time. This article will talk about why the furnace pilot light goes out after heating and how you can solve the problem.

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Why Does the Pilot Light on My Furnace Go Out After Heating?

Pilot lights are essential for ignition. If their flame constantly goes out, homeowners are poised to face many uncomfortable nights during winter. Stop this problem now by taking the right actions. You should hire a knowledgeable and skilled technician to take care of this complex issue. Seasoned technicians can find out exactly why this is happening from a lengthy list of possible causes, including:

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1. The Furnace’s Thermocouple Is Broken

image of an old furnace depicting pilot light problemsThe thermocouple on a furnace opens the main fuel line or closes it as needed. This is a tiny electrical device that can sense whether the pilot light is on or not, and it adjusts access to fuel accordingly. It’s a natural safety feature in furnaces. If the thermocouple happens to be dirty, damaged, or bent, then it isn’t going to function as it should. Issues with thermocouples are fairly common, and thus, it’s often the first thing that HVAC technicians check when troubleshooting issues with the pilot light.

2. The Pilot Opening Is Dirty

Take a look at the pilot light itself. Is there are stable flame? The pilot light should have a conical shape and a steady blue hue. If you’re looking at an unstable flame that waves around a bit before going out, then the pilot opening is likely dirty. Dirt, dust, and all manner of other debris can start to build up here over time, interfering with the pilot light’s functioning. This is an issue that can be avoided with regular HVAC maintenance.

3. Poor Location & Airflow Problems

Is this an issue that recurs often? If this isn’t the first time that your pilot light has gone off, you might have an environmental problem like poor airflow. It may be that your furnace is in a less-than-ideal location, such as in a space that has limited air circulation. In order for flames to burn, oxygen is required. Speak with an HVAC technician about repositioning your furnace and let them take care of this major task.

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4. The Gas Regulator In Your Furnace Has Gone Bad

Are there other appliances in your home that are gas-powered? For instance, do you have a gas dryer or a gas stove? Turn these on to make sure that these appliances are working as they should. If they aren’t, your gas meter could have a bad regulator. You’ll have to contact your utility company to have the gas regulator replaced.

Related Article: Do Leaky Windows Affect How My Home Is Heated?

5. Fluctuating Availability of Natural Gas

It’s also a good idea to find out if your neighbors are having the same problem or a similar one. It might be that the gas grid in your location isn’t able to handle peak fuel demand due to a limited supply. Gas pressure could be erratic and have an impact on your pilot light. This is something that you don’t have the power to control. The utility company should handle the problem. Check to see if there have been any announcements of this sort.

6. The Overall Condition & Age of Your Heating Equipment

image of an old furnace

Pilot lights are a common feature in older furnaces, but they aren’t a part of modern models that are built with electronic ignitions instead. If your heating equipment still has a pilot light, then it’s likely about two decades old. After 20 years of regular use, several of its components are likely worn. The increasing inefficiency of your furnace could be causing the pilot light to go out. An HVAC technician can identify the worn components at the heart of the problem and replace them immediately.

7. Your Furnaces Heat Exchanger Is Cracked

Heat exchangers have the job of heating the air. Within the heat exchanger are metal tubes that are connected to the unit’s burner assembly. If the heat exchanger has a crack, it won’t work as it should. The widening crack will impact the venting inside of the combustion chamber and air pressure, which will ultimately put the pilot light out.

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Related Article: What Is The Difference Between A Portable & Whole Home Air Filtration System?

How to Deal With a Pilot Light That Won’t Stay Lit

It’s pretty clear that this symptom can have a variety of different causes. You need to perform a comprehensive and systematic review of the different factors that affect the behavior of pilot lights to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. This is the only way to identify and apply the right solution. Tinkering with a furnace can be dangerous, so be sure to disconnect all electric cables and make sure that the supply lines are turned off. Better still, hire an HVAC contractor to do the job for a faster and far safer resolution.

Why Furnace Maintenance Is So Important

1. Prevent a Host of Common Furnace Issues

image of a furnace technician tuning up furnace hvac systemExperts are incredibly familiar with common furnace issues. Throughout the years, they’ve seen these problems countless times, so, they’re well aware of the possible causes and solutions for everyone. They also understand how to prevent common issues from occurring. Have a licensed and trusted HVAC company service your home heating equipment once annually. They can thoroughly inspect and test your furnace to make sure that everything is working as it should. They can also clean your heating equipment and take care of other maintenance tasks to optimize its performance.

2. Maintain High Levels of Efficiency

The efficiency of furnaces tends to decrease over time. After years of performance, many systems have faulty components, clogs, and other issues that make it hard for these units to produce heat reliably. Without intervention, you’ll see a progressive increase in fuel use, even if your thermostat settings and usage patterns remain the same. Rather than waiting for your furnace to completely break down, call an HVAC technician first. Scheduling routine maintenance will keep efficiency high. It will also lower your monthly home energy bills.

Related Article: What Is A Variable Speed Furnace?

3. Extend the Lifespan of Your Home Heating Equipment

Your furnace will reliably serve you and your household for between 10 and 15 years before it’s time to replace it. Given that the costs of purchasing a new furnace are considerable, you should extend your heating system’s lifespan as much as possible. Limit how much you use your furnace, use moderate furnace settings, and perform routine maintenance to keep this unit operational for up to two full decades or more.
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No one really wants to spend the winter months freezing indoors. HVAC systems, like furnaces, are capable of providing warmth, but only when they’re working as they should. If the pilot light on your furnace continues to blow out, go over the list of possible reasons why that has been shared here to identify the culprit. Get professional help from a licensed HVAC contractor for maintenance and repairs.

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Point Bay Fuel offers superior heating and cooling services in Ocean and Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Our certified technicians can provide you with excellent HVAC services, including heating and cooling tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each technician has outstanding knowledge and experience to serve your HVAC system needs correctly the first time around.

Point Bay Fuel guarantees to provide the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services ensure to improve your comfort, increase your system’s energy efficiency, and reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs.

Need your system repaired or replaced? We’ll recommend the best solution that works well within your budget. The best part is all our work is backed with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. If you wish to schedule a service appointment, give us a call today!

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