When Should I Turn On My Furnace?

Now that fall is here, how do you decide when to turn on the furnace? In an effort to save money, you might be tempted to leave the furnace off for as long as possible. However, it’s wise to switch over to your furnace sooner rather than later. Here are some tips for making the transition from air conditioning to heating.

  • Test your furnace early in the season. Even if you don’t plan to run it all day, take the time to turn on your furnace for a few minutes just to make sure everything is working.

  • Schedule maintenance for the furnace. Even if it appears to be in working order, it’s important to tune up your furnace yearly to promote efficient performance and help prevent a mid-season breakdown. Schedule the visit as soon as possible to beat the rush of people scrambling to have their furnaces tuned up on the brink of a winter storm. The technician can also conduct any necessary repairs at this time.

  • Power down the A/C. If you have central air conditioning, turn off the power switch to the outdoor condenser unit once you’re fairly certain you won’t need the air conditioner again until spring. Don’t fully cover the outdoor unit since this could create condensation and corrode sensitive metal parts. However, you can cover the top of the condenser with a board weighed down with bricks to prevent leaves and debris from entering the unit. 

  • Improve home insulation. To delay turning on the furnace, make sure your home’s insulation is up to snuff. The best place for a boost is the attic, where heat can rise and escape out of your home. By ensuring you have several inches of insulation on the attic floor, as well as insulation surrounding exposed stretches of ductwork, you keep your home warmer and save money on heating this winter.