How to Turn Off a Pilot Light in a Furnace

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Turning off your pilot is one of the best kept secrets in money savings. It's so easy that there is almost no reason why you can't do it yourself. Most gas furnaces run a continuous flame. That means in the summer, when you don't need the heat, your furnace flame is still running. You can save money by taking a couple minutes out of your day and shutting it off. Before you call your heat company to send somebody over, look into doing it yourself. Most heat companies charge a standard rate just for showing up. So when all they have to do is flip a switch, they couldn't be happier to come over.

Locate your furnace. Most furnaces are located in the basement. There are building codes that each state has to abide by, so it isn't hard to find your furnace.

Find the gas line on your furnace. This is going to be a pipe or rubber hose with a valve on it. The valve will be parallel with the gas line if it is turned on.

Turn the valve so it is perpendicular to the gas line. The valve and the gas line should form a 90 degree angle. This is the off position.

Tips & Warnings

  • You will have to relight the pilot when you turn the valve back on for the winter months.
  • It isn't a good idea to turn off your pilot if your hot water is heated with gas.
  • In some cases, ice could form and break some of the smaller pipes in the furnace. Keeping the pilot light on will cost money, but it can also melt any ice around the heater.
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