When the furnace in your Mineral, VA home turns on, it relies on its pilot light to ignite the fuel that produces heat. However, it’s not uncommon for a furnace’s pilot light to fail, leaving the system inoperable. Here are four causes of a failing furnace pilot light.

1. A Persistent Draft

Sometimes your furnace’s pilot light isn’t broken but still won’t stay lit, causing your heating system to fail. Most of the time, that’s due to a persistent draft that’s blowing it out. Drafts may come from nearby doors and windows or from leaks in your ductwork that let air reenter the system.

2. A Faulty Thermocouple

Your furnace’s thermocouple, also known as its flame sensor, shuts off the gas if the pilot light goes out. It’s an important safety mechanism that protects your home from gas leaks. If it malfunctions, though, it may turn off the gas when it shouldn’t, extinguishing your pilot light in the process.

3. A Dirty Intake Valve

Your furnace’s pilot light needs two things to stay lit—natural gas and oxygen. If your furnace has a dirty intake valve, the pilot light won’t get enough oxygen to stay lit. Often, cleaning the valve will restore it to working order, or you might need a replacement to fix the problem.

4. A Malfunctioning Gas Regulator

Homes with natural gas service have gas regulators that control the pressure of the incoming gas supply. If your gas regulator malfunctions, it may not be allowing enough gas to reach your furnace’s pilot light. However, if your home has this problem, it will affect all of your gas appliances, not just your furnace.

If you’re having trouble with the pilot light in the furnace of your home, don’t wait for it to fail completely. Instead, call Ultimate Air, Inc. and we’ll arrange a heating repair appointment with one of our expert technicians!

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