If it’s starting to feel like spring in your neck of the woods, you might be ready to turn off your heating system and limit your energy expenses until summer heats up. But when is the right time to flip the switch?
Start by shutting off your heating system when temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. While that temperature might seem cold, it can take days for your whole home to cool down to that temperature. So you can turn the heat off and see how you feel. You might decide to leave it turned off, or—if you get chilly—you could just run your heating system overnight.
You can be even more efficient by using outdoor air to influence the comfort level of your home:
During the Day – Open your windows and curtains so the warmer daytime air and natural sunlight will heat your home to a comfortable temperature.
At Night – Close windows as the temperatures drop. Unless it gets considerably colder overnight, your home should retain much of the heat of the day without getting uncomfortably cold.
When temperatures are above 60 degrees consistently, it’s usually time to turn off your heating system for the season.
What Month Do You Turn the Heat Off?
Because climate varies so much by region, the calendar may not be the best tool to use when determining when to shut off your heating system. Instead, focus on the forecasted high and low temperatures for at least two weeks ahead.
Do I Need to Turn Off My Heating System, Completely?
While you don’t need to turn off your heating system for the season if you don’t want to, there are some important benefits of doing so.
- Turning off your heating system reduces your energy use and lowers your energy bills.
- Turning off your heating system means it can’t kick on inadvertently when someone bumps the thermostat.
However, shutting down your heating system too early can also have a negative impact on its performance. Consider these drawbacks before turning it off for the season:
- It may take more time to restart your heating system in the event of a cold-weather snap. If this happens frequently where you live, wait until later in the season to turn off your system completely.
- An inactive heating system can, in some instances, develop moisture buildup from high indoor humidity. If the problem is persistent, it may lead to rust. This corrosion could shorten the lifespan of your heater and result in the need for emergency repairs.
How to Turn Off Your Heating System
If it’s time to shut down your heating system for spring and summer, there are just a few steps you should follow to ensure the system is prepared first.
- Turn the thermostat to the lowest possible temperature setting.
- Listen to make sure the heating cycle has ended and that no element of the heating system is running.
- Turn the heating systems power switch to the “OFF” position.
- Shut off the supply valve to the pilot light so no fuel reaches it.
- Shut off the supply valve from the fuel tank.
More HVAC Tips for Spring
There are other ways to make the seasonal transition more efficient for your household and your HVAC system.
Run Ceiling Fans – As spring warms up, use your ceiling fans to cycle air through a room. Switch your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise so they push the air down. Most fans have a switch to change the direction of rotation. (When fall arrives and things cool off, you can switch your fans to clockwise again so they pull air up).
Do Housework Later – Here’s a reason to procrastinate some of your chores until later in the evening: you can help heat the home at night when you run the dishwasher or the dryer on the “hot” setting.
Check Your Air Filter – We recommend replacing your air filter every 90 days, which equates neatly to every season. Pick a date in spring to replace your filter, and then mark your calendar 90 days in the future so you’ll remember to replace it during summer too.
Schedule Heating System Maintenance – Get an expert to check your heating system and tie things up before summer. Regular preventative service can prolong it’s and reduce the risk of costly emergency repairs at the worst possible times.
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