How to Properly Turn Off Your Heater in the Summer
When that summer heat rolls around, it can be tempting to go straight for the thermostat to switch off the heat. Your head would be in the right place, but this is actually the wrong move for the outcome you want. Simply strolling over to the thermostat and turning if off can prevent the furnace from running, but it will not turn off a furnace that uses a pilot light. Some newly installed furnaces use an electric ignition, but if you have a furnace that uses a pilot light, this next part is important for you to know. Furnaces that use pilots to start the burners waste energy if they are left on during the summer. If your furnace is not in use, there is no benefit in continuing to burn the light.
If you have an electrical furnace, you are more likely to encounter equipment that utilizes energy from your home to activate sensors. Even homeowners who have these newer models will need to carry out an extra step after turning off the thermostat. To reap the full benefits of turning off the heater in the summer, it is best to turn off the electrical power to the furnace completely. You can do this on the breaker panel. It is also important to check the functionality of the carbon monoxide detector. These steps will ensure that your furnace arrives safely to its summer vacation.
Benefits of Turning Your Heater Off in the Warmer Months
During the cold winter months, those who are fortunate enough to have a furnace in their homes can count their blessings. We have our furnaces to thank for keeping us warm and cozy during those cold months when we need them the most. Plus, the furnace protects the home from damaged or frozen pipes. Even beyond that, we have our furnaces to thank for protecting us.
Without the furnace, we would risk the temperatures in our home decreasing to dangerous levels during the winter months. The majority of cold-related sicknesses occur in temperatures at 32°F and below. At these rates, hypothermia, frostbite, and the viruses that cause the flu are likely to flourish.
There comes a time when we must say goodbye (or see you next season) to all good things, and that includes the heater. As the temperatures rise, we simply do not need the same heat generation we may have needed before. When this occurs, turning off the heater altogether is a smart move. Homeowners who turn off their heaters properly are able to experience the following benefits:
- Saving money
Although this is usually the initial reason homeowners flock to turn off the furnace, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Still, it feels good to know you are saving money you can use to invest in your future. Turning off the furnace when you are not using it is one way to achieve this feeling.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a statement noting that, on average, lowering your heat 10-15°F for eight hours a day could save about 5-15% of your energy cost every year. The exact amount of savings can change depending on the insulation of the home and the outdoor temperatures. However, this statistic shows us how lucrative turning down the heater can be.
- Saving energy
When you turn off your heater in the summer, not only are you doing good for your wallet, but you are doing wonders for the environment as well. Both raising the thermostat in the summer and turning it off will use notably less energy, which will limit emissions.
How to Prepare Your Furnace for the Summer
Just before you leave for vacation, we bet you want to make sure the house is in order, your emails are all checked, and everyone important in your life knows you will be gone. While your furnace might not have quite as many working parts, it does need some final TLC before it checks out for the summer. This will save you from costly repairs down the line and make sure your furnace is ready to go when the winter approaches once again. Some steps we recommend taking to prepare your furnace for the summer include:
- Cleaning the unit
It is always a good idea to clean your unit at the start of a new season. When the seasons change, so do the environmental factors that come along with them. The last thing you want is for the debris from the winter to leak into your house during the summer. Avoiding regular cleanings can also make it more difficult for your system to operate at peak efficiency. This means that even if you make the effort to turn your heater off during the summer, if you do not clean the unit, you are still not saving as much as you could be.
- Performing electrical checks
Conducting formal inspections of an electrical system is a job that should be left up to the professionals. We do not recommend dealing with electrical parts you are unfamiliar with, but you can still do a visual inspection to catch glaring red flags or signs that you will need repairs. To protect the safety and functionality of your furnace, you should be scheduling annual inspections. This can help to identify malfunctions before they become a major issue. In between these periods, being proactive with visual scans will only help you. Maintaining a furnace is supposed to be simple, and following proper protocol will help take away any complications.
To learn more about how our heating services can benefit you, call Meyer’s Companies, Inc. at (219) 240-0610 or contact us online.