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Shutting Down the Furnace for the Summer

furnace-burners-smallAt First Choice, we like to help our customers save money with their heating and cooling systems. Our summers and winters can force HVAC systems to put in an immense amount of work, which can make for steep utility bills. But there are many ways to cut down on energy costs, and one of them is partially or completely shutting down your home’s furnace during the summer.

What a Furnace Shutdown Means

You might be thinking, “Of course I’ll turn off the furnace during the summer. All I have to do is make sure the thermostat is set so the heat won’t come on.” But that’s not shutting down the furnace, that’s just keeping the furnace turned off.

When we recommend that you shut down your furnace once the warm summer weather settles in, we mean for you to cut off the gas line and the electrical power to the furnace. This way it won’t waste any energy over the season.

Why Would my Furnace Use Energy During Summer?

If you have a furnace that uses a pilot light to ignite the burners, the pilot light will waste energy during the summer. You don’t need your furnace to turn on suddenly, so there’s no reason to keep the pilot light burning gas all this time. Shut the valve on the gas line for the furnace and the pilot light will go out and stay out. This will save about $50 a year, and that adds up over the furnace’s lifetime. (Cutting off the gas to the furnace is also a good safety precaution.)

A gas furnace has electrical components in it as well, such as sensors, and these will also needlessly draw on power through the summer. We recommend you shut down the electrical power to the furnace through the breaker panel. This will also prevent the furnace from turning on automatically because of someone playing around with the thermostat settings or because of a brief cold snap.

The Partial Furnace Shutdown

If you have a central air conditioner as part of the HVAC system, then you shouldn’t turn off the electrical power to the furnace through the breaker. In a central HVAC system with a furnace and air conditioner, both use the same blower fan and electrical components. Turning off the electrical power will also turn off the AC! We still recommend you shut off the gas power to the furnace.

A last reminder about your heater before it goes into hibernation…

Although your furnace’s last days of heating your home for many months are ahead, we want to stress that if you still need heater repair in Highland, MI, don’t skip it until fall. The last thing you want to deal with when the cold weather comes back is a furnace that failed because of a malfunction that wasn’t repaired in time. You also don’t want to risk the furnace breaking down during the last cold days of spring! It’s always better to act fast when you have a furnace that isn’t working.

For the best HVAC service, call First Choice Heating & Cooling. If your home had a voice, it would call First Choice!

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