Post-Winter Furnace Shutdown Checklist

There is a furnace and heat ducts shown. Homeowners can shut down their furnace at the end of the winter to help save energy. The weather has been going up and down and all around in the last month or so. We’ve seen snow, thunderstorms, and bright, sunny days. At this point, the snow should be behind us, with only warm weather coming for the next few months.

As we make the switch outside, many homeowners also make a switch on their thermostat from “heating” to “off” for a few weeks before the summer slam of heat comes. Your furnace can now take it easy after a long winter. Don’t forget to shut down your furnace to keep it running efficiently and safely when you need it for years to come. 

This article will go over shutting down your furnace and how to care for it in the off-season.

Shutting Down Your Furnace

Although many people leave their furnace on year-round, you could save energy and thus money by shutting your furnace down for the season. 

Gas Furnace Shutdown

A gas furnace requires a pilot light to stay on at all times that it is running. Keeping the pilot light on when you don’t need heat ends up wasting a small amount of gas, about $50 per year. Could you use an extra $50?

 Shut down your gas furnace by turning off the gas supply valve. Leave a note on your furnace to remind yourself to open it up and light the pilot again in the fall. 

Electric Furnace Shutdown

Similarly, your electric furnace draws power while still plugged in, as do most electrical appliances. Stop the flow of energy from going to your furnace - and being wasted - by turning off the circuit breaker that your furnace is on. Make sure there isn’t anything else on that circuit. 

Maintenance for Your Furnace

Take the following steps to give your furnace some help in the off months. 

  • Change the Filter: Change the filter if you haven’t in the last month. Debris, dirt, and lint can build up here, causing a fire hazard. 
  • Reduce Fire Hazards: Remove any flammable products from being near your furnace so you can reduce your risk of a fire. Give a two-foot barrier between your furnace and anything else. 
  • Increase Airflow: That two-foot barrier will also help keep air flowing into your furnace so it can run efficiently. 

Get Help with Your Furnace from Professionals

Take the above steps to help your furnace take it easy in the offseason so it can be ready when fall comes. If you noticed a problem with your furnace, now is the best time to get a professional to take a look. During a “between season” time like right now, heating and cooling experts like those at Heaney Plumbing & Heating have more openings in their schedule. Call now to have your furnace looked at by an expert.

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