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How to Light the Pilot on Your Gas Fireplace

Many of our customers have shut down their fire systems for the off-season, but fireplaces are still the focal point of every home. If you’re like most of our customers, you spend the off-season cleaning up, maintaining, and checking your fire systems to improve efficiency and ensure safety. If you have a gas fireplace or appliance, one of the first things you may try is lighting the pilot light. It is good to check it periodically to make sure it is ready for use in the fall. In our line of work, we meet homeowners that are unsure about their gas appliance, and even afraid of the pilot light. We want our customers to be so acquainted with their system that no fear exists, only comfort, enjoyment, and safety.

How the Pilot Works

Your gas fireplace is powered by gas, which is piped into your home through piping set up by your local gas company. Once the gas at your house is turned on, it moves through the piping and into your appliance or gas log set. The pilot light is designed to use a small amount of gas at a consistent stream to fire a small flame. This little blue flame often is at the bottom of the appliance or beneath the gas logs. It stays lit while the fireplace is turned off. When the fireplace is turned on, a larger amount of gas is pushed through the appliance and lit by the pilot light flame.

This method is more convenient than the alternative—lighting the pilot each time you use the system. Despite the inconvenience, many homeowners prefer to not use the pilot light because they are afraid or misunderstand how to light and use it. We urge our customers, friends, and neighbors to use their appliances according to manufacturer recommendations and guidelines for the best experience. If you’re not sure how to find the information for your furnace model, we are here to help.

Lighting the Pilot

  1. Read the information provided by your manufacturer. Your owner’s manual is likely available online, or if you’re not sure how to find it, we may be able to help.
  2. Locate the pilot and controls which are usually near the floor of the fireplace.
  3. Turn the control knob to “pilot” and use the ignition switch to light the pilot. You can press the ignition switch once per second until it lights. If your model doesn’t have an ignition switch, use a long-stem lighter to light it by holding the flame to the pilot burner with the control knob while pressing the control knob in.
  4. Once the pilot is burning steadily, turn the control knob to “on”.

Checking your pilot light periodically during the offseason can help you determine if your system needs service before winter. If you have followed all directions for lighting your pilot with no success, contact your gas company to check your home’s connection. You can also call The Cozy Flame to have your gas appliance or fireplace serviced for good measure.

We are here to help you with your gas fireplace maintenance and repairs. Call us today at 203-283-4459.

How to Light Your Gas Fireplace Pilot

It’s important to understand how your gas fireplace or appliance works to ensure it’s ready for use when you need it. If you’re not sure if the gas is on at your house or not, then you must first call your gas company. You should always check the gas first, next check the flame for the pilot, and then the on/off knob. Gas fireplaces are simple, which is why they are very popular among homeowners, realtors, hotels and inns.

Gas Appliances

roaring fire from a gas fireplace Many homeowners are afraid of gas appliances, sure that the gas will leak into the home. This is possible, of course, but not as likely as many assume. In fact, if you use your gas appliance according to the owner’s manual and have it properly maintained on a regular basis, you shouldn’t have a problem at all. One way that gas may leak into the house is if the gas is on, but the pilot is not lit. Newer models may not make this possible, but it’s important to light the pilot properly on all models to avoid a dangerous problem.

Lighting the Pilot

There are a few types of gas appliances out there. We have gas fireplaces, log sets, and stoves. All of them require a pilot light to work. The good news is that once the pilot is lit, you don’t need to worry about it again until the next spring.

  1. Find the pilot and controls. Ideally, the fireplace controls are out of sight, so you need to find them. This information is in your owner’s guide, but you can also look around. They are usually near the floor of the fireplace, behind the metal grate or plate.
  2. Locate the pilot or ignition switch. If you have an ignition switch, lighting your pilot is as easy as the push of a button. However, if you don’t, you’ll need to light the pilot with a long-handled lighter.
  3. Find the control knob. It should have settings such as “on”, “off”, and “pilot”, like the knobs you’d find on a gas stove. If the control knob is on any setting other than “off”, you must burn it off for several minutes before proceeding to light.
  4. If you have an ignition button, you can press it one time every second until the pilot lights. This process may take several seconds if the fireplace has been off for a long time. If there is no ignition button, hold the lighted flame beneath the pilot burner while pushing and holding the control knob in. When you see the pilot light is burning steadily, turn the control knob to the “on” position.

Once your fireplace pilot is properly lit, you can go on and use your fireplace. There are many benefits to a gas fireplace, such as supplemental heat during the winter. You can have the fireplace of your dreams when you get a gas appliance from The Cozy Flame, call a Comfort Consultant today at 203-283-4459 to get started!

Tips for Gas Fireplace Maintenance

A gas fireplace is a great option for the home fireplace because of its high efficiency and low maintenance. Its often confused with no maintenance though. This leads to problems in the long run. Homeowners should always follow the recommendations of the manufacturer and installer, when it comes to routine maintenance and upkeep of a heat appliance.

Tips for Gas Fireplace Maintenance Image - Milford CT - The Cozy FlameCheck Out These Tips

  1. Schedule an annual inspection for your gas fireplace – even if you don’t use a chimney. The vent will need to be assessed as well as the appliance. All major gas fireplace manufacturers recommend an annual inspection by a certified technician. This is to insure safety and proper operation of the appliance. A certified technician can assess the fireplace and make recommended repairs before use.
  2. Check your fireplace for proper operation monthly.
  3. Even if you haven’t used your fireplace, clean the inside and outside of the glass with a glass cleaner monthly.
  4. Leave glass open and check the fireplace for debris, dirt, dust, trash, or insects. You can clean this best with a small broom or a vacuum extension.
  5. Check the hinges and bolts that hold your glass in place. Afterwards, check the gasket that gives it an air tight seal. Look for cracks or depressions in the gasket that may allow carbon monoxide through the opening. If the gasket is badly damaged it will need to be replaced. You can schedule a professional inspection at this time. Also, you can have the gasket replaced by a gas fireplace expert, if you’d like.
  6. If your gas fireplace is vented, check the vent opening outside. Make sure it’s free of leaves and other debris and is venting properly. You can hold a piece of paper in front of the vent opening when the fireplace is in use to see if the paper flutters. This will mean it is venting.
  7. If your gas fireplace is vented through an existing chimney you should have it cleaned regularly. Although gas is an efficient heat source, it can still produce soot and creosote in the chimney. If left unchecked, these chemicals can become corrosive to the chimney lining and lead to damaged masonry and carbon monoxide intrusion. During a chimney sweep your technician will also clean your gas fireplace, removing any dust, debris, or insects that may exist there.
  8. Use your gas fireplace correctly to avoid problems. you should always follow the manual that came with your appliance. If you’re uncertain or think your gas fireplace has a problem, do not hesitate to call your local chimney sweep company.

The Cozy Flame works with our sister company, Total Chimney Care!

This gives all of our customers the best chimney and fireplace service in Milford and surrounding areas. Total Chimney Care offers chimney sweeps and inspections for all fuel sources, whether they use a chimney or not. When you’re ready for your preventative maintenance, give them a call. If you have a question about something you found during your monthly assessment of your fireplace, an expert can answer your questions today!

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The Cozy Flame | 116 Research Dr. Suite Q, Milford, Connecticut 06460