Furnaces are designed to keep your house warm and in winter. However, just like other household appliances, furnaces also experience some hiccups such as the pilot light going out all of a sudden. Although this can be a frustrating situation, you should be able to figure it out. Let’s understand why this might happen and how to fix it. However, in some cases, you may have to hire furnace repair services.

Drafts And Ventilation

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding heating appliances such as furnaces is that they will warm up the place regardless of the leaks and poor ventilation. In both cases, the furnace might be able to do so but not without using extra energy and overburdening itself.

During the winter season, your house should be able to keep the warm air in without letting it escape. This helps maintain the temperature and the furnace works efficiently as well. However, if the air is escaping or outside air is making its way inside, it will cause the temperature to increase and the furnace will simply increase the energy bills.

Furthermore, strong drafts of air can also extinguish the pilot light. This means that if your house has cracks, leaks, or damage in the window seals, doors, etc. you need to get them checked and repaired. Plus, the windows near the furnace need to be checked to prevent the pilot light from going out.

Dust And Debris

With time, dust and debris might accumulate near the pilot light assembly, obstructing the flame. You need to keep in mind that furnaces like other household appliances need regular professional maintenance. If that is not possible, you should perform regular inspections on your own and prevent the accumulation of dirt and dust.

Plus, furnaces are designed to last for years until needing replacement. However, that depends on the way they are maintained. Some homeowners install furnaces and then forget about them. This way, the furnaces start experiencing problems way before the end of the lifespan.

Fortunately, cleaning and maintaining furnaces is not a big deal. However, you should make sure to only clean it when cold and not hot.

Thermocouple Malfunction

The thermocouple is an important component of a furnace. Its purpose is to sense the status of the pilot light if it’s on or off. If it notes that the pilot light is off, it turns off the gas supply. Plus, if the thermocouple is malfunctioning, it can shut off the gas supply prematurely even if the pilot light is lit.

In the case the thermocouple is bad, you can’t do much than to replace the thermocouple. If the unit happens to be new, it may be covered under warranty. However, if the unit old, it’s still a good idea to get it replaced by a professional because it doesn’t cost too much.

This is because older units tend to experience problems more frequently. If you observe your furnace running into complications more often, it means it is near the end of its lifespan. Therefore, instead of spending money on expensive repairs and replacements, you should invest in a new unit.

Gas Supply Issues

If nothing else works, you might want to check for gas supply issues. Sometimes, a malfunctioning valve might also lead to the pilot light going out. If you can’t check it yourself, consult a gas furnace expert. If the valve is malfunctioning, you will need to replace it.

However, if it is working fine, you will need to contact the relevant department for gas supply. It might be that a pipe has leaked or cracked causing the gas to leak. As a result, the furnace will not be able to receive a sufficient amount of gas to warm up the house and the pilot light will shut off as a result.

Dirty Or Worn Components

Furnace components like the burner assembly or pilot orifice can temporarily malfunction due to being extremely dirty or covered with layers of dirt, grime, and dust. No matter how much it is stressed, most homeowners still ignore this factor. Accumulation of dust and dirt can take a toll on the furnace components and may even lead to expensive repairs and replacement.

In other cases, components like the gas valve can give up due to a variety of reasons. While some components can be repaired, others will need replacement. Make sure you get the right component made for your furnace’s model. And if you have already hired an expert for furnace maintenance or repair, they tell you the name or number of exact replacements. Sometimes, their service includes providing the replacements as well so you won’t need to buy them yourself.

How To Maintain A Furnace?

Maintaining a furnace is not rocket science. Most people ignore maintenance assuming it is a very complicated process. The best way to keep your furnace healthy and strong is by performing weekly inspections and maintenance. However, you need to cover yourself with protective gear to prevent injuries.

To maintain a furnace, you will need to access it using the user manual. If you do not have prior experience, you will need to invest in some tools and watch videos on the internet. Make sure the furnace is not hot while you work on it. Let it cool down before making your move.

When it comes to maintaining a furnace, you should not only clean it but also inspect it for wear and tear. To clean a furnace, all you need is a cleaning agent, a soft brush, and a cloth. Simply, inspect the areas and clean the components.

At the same time, check the components for damage, leaks, or cracks. If you come across any, you should take note and consult oil burner repair services Port Jefferson. Additionally, you should also hire an expert to inspect and maintain the furnace at least once a year or more depending on the usage frequency.

What Should I Call A Professional?

While we have discussed some important troubleshooting tips, there might come a time when you will need to call a professional. Sometimes, furnaces fail to turn on or perform and there are no signs of leakages or damage. In such cases, it’s better to get help from an expert and avoid playing around with the furnace.

Furnaces are not cheap units and they do last for 15-20 years. At the same time, you must consider professional maintenance so you can extend the life of your furnace. Many people find it a scam and maintain the furnaces on their own unless they run into a complicated problem.

Household appliances like furnaces will only be effective and efficient as long as they are taken care of. If you do not have the tools or skills to look after them, you will not be able to maintain them properly either. This is why, instead of saving a few hundred bucks, invest them in the unit to keep it running smoothly.


Now you know the tips for troubleshooting pilot light issues. In addition to following the tips mentioned above, make sure your furnace receives proper care and attention. This way, you get to keep the headaches and breakdowns at bay. And if the furnace shows signs of trouble, hire furnace services Huntington for inspections and repairs.