Furnaces are great things for the average home. They provide crucial heat in the winter, and they may even serve multiple purposes, like being able to act as a water heater to ensure you have hot water on demand. Though by and large, most people aren’t going to run their furnaces during the spring and summer months. However, that doesn’t mean that the furnace isn’t still running. It actually is. While it might not be burning through a lot of fuel, it is still active unless you shut it down.
This brings up a very important question: Is it safe for you to shut your furnace down? There’s no simple way to answer this. It depends on what sort of furnace you have, what else it’s used for, and other situations that may be specific to you and your furnace. If you need professional help, do not hesitate to seek out the pros who handle furnace repair.
Though let’s try to explain this topic in more detail to help people make the right decision.
Different Furnace Scenarios and the Safety of Shutting It Down
To Save Fuel
If you have a furnace that burns with a pilot light, then you are burning fuel all summer. You’re burning fuel every second that pilot light is on, as it needs fuel to feed it to stay lit. Now, for the question of whether or not it’s safe to shut down in the summer to save fuel, it really all depends on how well you maintain your furnace. Make sure that no dirt and debris are getting around your pilot light, and be very careful of the condensation that may take place. Other than that, it should be safe to cut it off. You’ll just have to relight it before use.
Water Heater Setup
Many people have boilers for their furnace that also end up acting as their water heater, or at least supplemental heat lent to pipes that carry clean water for washing and drinking. If this is the case, you’re looking at a process that’s safe, by and large, but also a process you may not want to go through, until which point you have figured out if you’ll have hot water without the assistance of your furnace. So make sure you check up on that before you do anything. Though as to it being safe, the answer is yes.
A Shut-Off Heater Collecting Moisture
One of the things that might not be so safe about shutting your furnace down for the summer is that parts that are typically putting off heat and active are going to sit there and collect a lot of moisture over the season. This is especially true if your furnace is in the basement. That being said, it is most certainly still safe for you to shut it down. You just have to remember here to be vigilant and keep a close eye on your heater’s parts. Give it a check every week to ensure that it’s not collecting a lot of condensation. Maybe put a dehumidifier down there with your furnace to assist. If you need expert help, contact the professionals who handle furnace repair.
Debris Could Gather if You Shut Down
Shutting down a furnace means the pilot light is off. With the pilot light being off, particulate matter and other debris that would typically be repelled by the heat or burned up if they got onto the nozzle will now land there and could accumulate. This more than likely isn’t going to cause such an issue that it damages your heater. However, it could end up clogging your pilot light system and lead you to panic a bit when you try to relight it. So while it’s safe to shut down, just make sure that you’re doing what you can to keep things free and clean of dirt and debris.
To try to put a simpler, finer point on it: Yes, it is safe to shut down your furnace. However, it might not be very practical for you, and you might have to be vigilant in maintaining your furnace if you do so. Though it is going to be safe.