Why Is Gas Fireplace Pilot Light Always On?

Keeping your gas fireplace pilot light always on can save you a lot of time and energy during the winter months. It allows you to quickly and easily start your fire. However, it can be an unnecessary added expense in the summer when you are less likely to need the fire.

You should always make sure that your fireplace is in working order, and if you notice any problems with it, you should call an expert immediately and follow their advice to the letter. This may include leaving your home if there is a gas leak.

Here we will tell you everything that you need to know about gas fireplace pilot lights, from costs to safety and the advantages and disadvantages of leaving them on.

Should the Pilot Light Always be on in a Gas Fireplace?

Whether you keep your pilot light always on or you occasionally turn it off is entirely up to you. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. However, we recommend that you always leave your pilot light on in your gas fireplace except in the warmer months.

By adjusting your pilot light according to the seasons, you can save yourself a lot of money and energy. This is because, in the winter months, you are significantly more likely to use your gas fireplace, meaning that the pilot light will come in handy and serve its purpose. 

However, in the summer, the chances are that you will not want to light your fireplace (even if you do want to in the evenings, this is more likely to be a rare occurrence). 

So, there is little to no reason why you should always leave your pilot light on for this period. Turning it off will be cheaper and use less energy, and you will not lose any of the advantages of leaving on due to decreased need.

However, you should note that there can be side effects of turning your pilot light off, especially for long periods of time. One of the advantages of leaving your pilot light always on is that it will prevent moisture from building up and help prevent any corrosion in the pipes. 

Another reason is that spiders tend towards your pipes thanks to the smell of the gas. Their webs can quickly build up in your pipes and cause many problems for you in the long run. If you choose to keep your pilot light on, this will solve the problem before it can begin.

If you do indeed choose to leave the pilot light on, you should make sure that you are aware of the costs associated with this and the extra heat that it will put out. Although it is a small flame, it is still aflame putting out heat. Any extra heat is the last thing that you will want on a hot summer’s day!

Why you should Turn off your Gas Fireplace Pilot Light

The main reason why you should turn off your gas fireplace pilot light is to save yourself money. Keeping the pilot light on requires energy and gas – it is a constant flame after all. So, this can make it a very unnecessary expense in the summer when the chances of your turning on and using your gas fireplace are very low.

Another reason to turn off your gas fireplace pilot light, especially if you have not turned on the main burner, is that it will cause a buildup of a sulfur byproduct which will appear as a white film over your glass. Although this is not a massive problem, if the film is not cleaned off of the glass, then it can lead to etching, which is not ideal.

Reasons Gas Fireplace Pilot Light is always on

Your gas fireplace pilot light will not stay on by itself – it needs gas. You can normally quickly and easily turn your pilot light off yourself, but if you notice that you have switched the knob to the “off” position and that your pilot light is still not going out, you may have a problem. 

It is impossible to tell precisely where the problem lies, but the chances are that it is either with the switch itself or the valve on your gas. This means that even though you have technically turned the gas “off,” it is still coming through, and the pipe is not closed. 

If you have tried turning the switch on and off again, you will need to call an electrician. Do not mess around with the pilot light or the gas fireplace itself as an exposed flame and a gas leak can, unfortunately, lead to very serious consequences. Instead, wait for an expert who will correctly identify the problem and replace the faulty parts. 

Is it Dangerous to Relight a Pilot Light?

Before you do anything, if you can smell gas, or you know that there is a gas leaking from your fireplace, do not relight the pilot light. In this instance, yes, it would indeed be dangerous to relight the pilot light as any gas in the air will easily ignite and cause serious damage to you and your home. 

If you can indeed smell gas, get you and your family out of your home and call for help. Do not light anything until you have been permitted to do so.

Otherwise, it should be safe to relight a pilot light. First, you should ventilate the room by opening up all windows and doors and leaving them open for at least five minutes. Instructions for relighting the pilot light are usually in the manual or written on the appliance side.

How Much does it Cost to Keep the Pilot Light on a Gas Fireplace?

Although keeping your gas fireplace’s pilot light on is significantly cheaper than keeping the fire running, it is still an added expense. If you have a natural gas fireplace, you should expect to pay anywhere between $8-10 per month. However, if you use propane to fuel your gas fireplace, this can be approximately $20. 

How to Relight a Gas Fireplace Pilot

How you relight your gas fireplace pilot will depend on the type of fireplace that you have. If you have a very modern fireplace, you may be able to light a gas fireplace with electronic ignition

However, if you have a non-electronic ignition for your pilot light, you will need to do it manually. Firstly, remove the grills and glass panel, push the gas control knob halfway, and turn it to the pilot position. Push the gas control in entirely and push the ignition button at the same time. This will relight your pilot.


Whether you choose to keep your pilot light always on or turn it off periodically is entirely up to you. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Turning the pilot light off can save you money and energy but can be a hassle if you decide to light the fire. It would help if you always were very cautious of safety when relighting the pilot light.

If you turn the pilot light off, this can save you anywhere from $8-20 per month, so it is worth considering. If you notice any problems when turning it back on, call an expert for help.