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Should You Shut Down Your Heater for the Middle of the Year?

natural-gas-furnace-burnerWhen the summer weather finally settles in and we know we’ve seen the last of the chill for the season, you’ll face a decision about your heating system. Should you shut it down entirely for the summer until it’s needed again in the fall? Or is it better to simply keep it on, but not in use?

The answer to this question varies depending on the type of heating system you use, and it’s not always an absolute “on” or “off” distinction. We’ll go into the details for the different types of systems you may have:

Heat Pump

No, you don’t want to shut down your heat pump for the summer—because the heat pump is also your air conditioner. When the warm weather starts, you’ll simply switch the heat pump into cooling mode and it will continue to work like it always does, except now it’s moving heat out of your house rather than inside it.

Electric Furnace

To shut down an electric furnace, you have to switch off the circuit breaker for it at your electrical panel. But this is also the same circuit the AC uses, since it’s housed in the same cabinet as the furnace. Besides, an electric furnace uses no power at all when it’s not running, nor does it offer safety hazards.

Gas Furnace

Now we’re getting to the more complicated issues. If you have a gas furnace that uses a standing pilot light (usually a furnace 10 years old or more), the pilot light will consume energy throughout the summer if the furnace remains on. Shutting off the pilot light, which prevents the furnace from turning on, is recommended. Find a small valve on the gas line near the pilot light and turn it to cut off the gas and douse the pilot light.

For newer furnaces, you can choose to shut off the gas to the unit at the main gas valve on the furnace. However, it isn’t as urgent and you won’t face any energy loss. If you aren’t certain about whether it’s useful or not to shut down a gas furnace, call for our professionals to assist you.

Gas Boiler

Your boiler may be part of your hot water system. If it is, then you can’t shut it off during the summer because it will affect your hot water supply. If the boiler is separate from the hot water, shut off the pilot light (if it has one) or you can shut off the main gas line, much like the case with a gas furnace.

Be Cautious of Malfunctions

Finally, an important caution. If your heating system needs a repair of any sort, do not shut it down for the season until the repair is done. Even if you don’t plan to shut it down, you must have professional heater repair in Cincinnati, OH to ensure the system will be in the best shape when you need it again. If you have a gas-powered heater, these repairs are also essential to maintain safety.

Rely on Bartels Heating & Cooling “For a Comfortable Way of Life.” We offer service in Hamilton, OH and the surrounding area.

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