Mountain Home Blog

Heating Season: Time to Change Your Batteries!

Never fails – as soon as it gets cold enough to turn on the stove or fireplace that worked just fine last spring, you find that something changed and there’s no fire…. could be something as simple as a set or two of batteries. Changing out batteries in your heating appliance control system once each year at the beginning of heating season is a good habit to get into – like changing the smoke detector batteries when the time changes – a small thing can prevent a great annoyance.

If your gas stove or fireplace has a standing pilot (“millivolt” in the industry) and it has a wireless thermostat or remote control, there are batteries in two places that now need to be changed. (If it has a wired thermostat, there are no batteries – just wires that a mouse or vacuum might have chewed on.)

If you have an electronic or intermittent ignition appliance, there are batteries in the remote that now need to be changed.

The device that has the up-down button for the temperature is called the remote or transmitter – it transmits the air temperature to another device called the receiver. The photo below shows a very common set up.

The receiver is wired to the appliance gas valve, so it’s located where the pilot knob and gas valve are – usually underneath. It can have a 3-position switch: set to ON the appliance will operate until you reach in there and turn it to OFF. Set to REMOTE, the appliance will automatically operate to meet the set point of the remote/transmitter (or thermostat). Note the LEARN hole – sometimes after changing batteries you must resync the system by setting the switch to REMOTE, bring the remote close to this black box, and use a sharp point like a pen to press in the LEARN button, which is recessed. You should hear a beep.

The batteries in the black box receiver in this photo are 4 AAs; the transmitter/ thermostat take 2 flat round CR2032.

These are remotes from two different brands of electronic or intermittent ignition appliances. Check the back of your remote for a battery compartment.

If you always have to light a pilot light at the beginning of the heating season, and it stays on all the time, there’s a good chance you have another box in the system with a set of batteries.

If this seems all too daunting or you’d rather not be groping around the guts of your appliance, just call us, we’re here to help!

How to Light a Pilot Light

  1.  Find the control area on your fireplace or stove (or water heater). Look at the bottom – usually behind a louver or screen. Pilot lighting instructions may be in this area.
  2.  Set main burner switch, thermostat or remote control to OFF; turn thermostats down below room temperature to keep the unit from calling for heat.
  3.  Locate the gas shut off valve on the gas line to the unit and confirm that it is in the on position. When on, the valve’s handle will be in line with the gas pipe; when off, the handle is perpendicular to the gas line.
  4.  Find the gas control knob. It will have 3 markers: Off, Pilot and On.
  5. Locate the pilot ignition/sparker button – usually cylindrical.
  6. Turn the gas control knob to the Pilot position by pushing it in and turning it so “Pilot” lines up with a mark or arrow.
  7. Push the gas control knob in – you should hear the hiss of gas – and hold it in while pressing the igniter button. The hiss is gas flowing through the pilot assembly. You may be able to see a small spark at the pilot assembly. If you don’t hear gas or don’t see a spark at the assembly, the main gas supply may be off or the system may need servicing.
  8. Once the pilot lights, continue to hold in the pilot knob for one minute, the slowly release it. At that point, the pilot should continue to burn on its own. If pilot goes off, it’s likely you need to repeat and hold the gas control knob in longer – count to 60 seconds. If it still goes out, call for service.
  9. Now that the pilot is burning, turn the knob to the ON position.
  10. Now you can operate the fireplaceor stove by thermostat, switch or remote. Note – this is counter-intuitive: If you operate a millivolt (standing pilot) appliance with a battery- powered wireless remote, the main switch on the appliance (lower right in photo above) must be in the OFF position.

Why choose us?

“Whether you are looking for a contemporary gas fireplace or rustic wood stove, we have plenty of options for you to choose from. With over 15 years of experience under my belt, I can confidently guide you in selecting the right fireplace for your home or business.” –Wolf Bennett, Owner

About Us

A family-owned and operated local business, Mountain Home Stove & Fireplace has been keeping the Yampa Valley warm and happy since 2002. Our mission is to be the Steamboat Springs area’s go-to resource for safe, quality products and services, with a personal touch.

Our Location

Address: 1890 Logger’s Lane, Unit H, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487


Phone: 970-879-7962

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