It’s a nice feeling knowing you won’t need to turn your furnace back on for several months—it means the warm weather and summer have arrived. You’re coming closer to the day when you’ll turn off your home’s furnace and leave it off.
But should you do more than just turn the furnace off? What about shutting it down entirely for the season? We’ll take a look at whether this is a good idea or not.
What it means to shut down the furnace
Adjusting the thermostat so the furnace won’t turn on during warm weather isn’t the same as shutting down the furnace. To shut down the furnace, you must cut off all its power supply so it won’t come on unless you take steps to restore the power. For a gas furnace, you must shut the valve on the gas line for the furnace and then flip the breaker switch in the electrical panel to cut off voltage to the furnace. (Gas furnaces do use electrical power. Electricity controls the blower fan motor and a number of temperature sensors.) For an electric furnace, you only need to flip the breaker switch.
We recommend shutting down the gas flow to a gas furnace
Yes, we think it’s best to turn off the gas flow to your gas furnace for the season. This will prevent it from wasting any power on a standing pilot light. Leaving the pilot light to burn all through the summer can drain about $50 worth of natural gas, and this will add up over the lifetime of the furnace.
A newer furnace that uses an electronic ignition system won’t present this same energy waste problem, but it’s still wise to shut down the gas flow so the furnace will stay off in case someone plays around with the thermostat settings (such as a child) and to improve safety conditions.
Shut off the electrical power if you don’t have central air conditioning
If your home doesn’t have central air conditioning, shut off the electrical power to the furnace at the breaker once you’ve turned off the gas. This prevents the furnace’s electrical sensors from uselessly draining power.
However, if you have a central air conditioner housed in the same cabinet as the furnace, leave the electrical power on—otherwise the air conditioner won’t work! This applies to both natural gas and electric furnaces.
We’ll help you change from heating season to cooling season
Heating in Burlington, VT is a necessity—you can’t get through the winters here without a solid central heating system such as a natural gas furnace. Our technicians are experienced with handling all types of heating systems, and they also know all about working with air conditioners. If you’re looking for late-season repairs on your heater or you’re ready to schedule maintenance for your AC, call us and we’ll take care of you. Our technicians are NATE-certified and take pride in the work they do.
Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York. Call us for late-season heating and early-season air conditioning help.