If you have a gas furnace in your home, chances are you'll have to light the pilot light at some point. Carrier is a common manufacturer of residential furnaces that use pilot lights to ignite the main heater coils. Although newer models use an electronic ignition system or induced combustion, older models that use a standing pilot light may need to be manually lit from time to time, especially after the unit has been turned off during the warmer months. Relighting your Carrier furnace can be a relatively simple process.

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Knowing how to light the pilot light will keep your home warm and comfortable.

Step 1

Remove the furnace cover to expose the burner unit and pilot light assembly. Turn off the electrical power source, if any, to the furnace and switch the thermostat off.

Step 2

Locate the pilot light assembly and familiarize yourself with the other pertinent parts of the furnace, such as the gas line, valve, control knob, burners and any instructions posted on the furnace itself. The pilot assembly is located close to the valve and burner unit. It will have a knob with an "Off," "On" and "Pilot" setting. The pilot light itself should look like metal cylinders, with a small pipe resembling a candlewick. This is often to the right of the burner unit.

Step 3

Turn the gas valve off and wait three to five minutes. The gas valve looks like a water faucet handle and runs perpendicular to the gas line when in the off position. Turn the valve one-quarter turn to open the gas line. Smell for gas, especially near the floor. If you smell gas, there could be a leak and you should not proceed any further. Call a heating technician. If you do not smell gas, proceed to the next step.

Step 4

Turn the control knob off, wait a few minutes, then turn it to the pilot setting. You should hear a faint hiss, indicating gas is flowing to the pilot light. Some control knobs require you to push in on the knob while turning, so having a second pair of hands might be helpful. Hold a lit match or lighter up to the pilot light until the flame ignites.

Step 5

Set the control knob to the on position once the pilot flame is burning brightly. If the pilot won't stay lit, it may need to be cleaned. Turn the gas valve off and use a piece of fine sturdy wire to clean the opening so that you can see light through it. If this doesn't fix the pilot light, the unit may need more repairs.