During the cold winter months, it's important to keep your furnace in prime working order. Among the many faults that people find with their furnace, consistently keeping one's pilot light on is one of the primary issues. Throughout the course of this brief guide, you will learn about a few of the reasons that pilot lights tend to go off quite often.

Gas Control Valve Issue

There are a number of issues revolving around the gas control valve which will impede gas from directly flowing to the furnace itself. As such, your pilot light will not turn on. Before addressing any issue related to your gas control valve, make sure that the gas supply to your furnace is off. After turning off the gas, check the gas control valve itself. Is it able to turn adequately? Was it previously simply turned to the off position? If you know that the part is broken, it is generally an easy fix. Gas control valves are not too terribly expensive and the only tool required to replace one is a screwdriver.


A thermocouple is a mechanism that consists of two different conductors that will basically monitor the heat of your furnace – they are also quite prominent on hot water heaters. A thermocouple device might be malfunctioning, which can cause your pilot light to not turn on due to the fact that the device may be "tricking" your furnace into believing that the current temperature of your home is warm enough. A malfunctioning thermocouple can basically cause the entirety of your furnace to cease working because it will not allow gas to be supplied to the pilot light. A malfunctioning thermocouple usually warrants a call to a HVAC repair professional.

Too Breezy!

Over-ventilation can cause conditions in which your pilot light will simply not light. Namely, if you have windows open in your basement area or have strong fans running in the area of your house where your furnace is located, this can cause your pilot light to continuously blow out. Fixing this issue is quite simple. Make sure that there is no direct air path from your windows or fans to the furnace itself. Make sure during your furnace's installation that it is not placed too close to any basement windows.

Hopefully, this brief guide has given you some idea why your pilot light keeps going out or why it refuses to stay lit in the first place. Contact a heating and air specialist for more information.