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Should I Turn Off My Furnace in Spring?

MyPlumberCA technician preforming Furnace Repair and Maintenance As the weather changes and the air begins to warm up outside, you might have caught yourself wondering – should I turn off my furnace in spring? By turning it off, we don’t just mean setting the thermostat to the off setting. You can also turn off the pilot light itself, which burns gas as long as it is lit.

So why waste gas (and money) all summer long?

Learn more about the benefits and potential drawbacks of turning off your furnace for spring, and how to turn off your furnace for the season if you choose to do so.

The Benefits

Whether you have an electric or gas furnace, turning off your heater in spring has several obvious benefits.

    1. Save cash.

It costs money to keep your pilot light lit. By turning off your pilot light for spring and summer, you can save $50 (or more if you have multiple heating units) per year. While that might not seem like much, $40 is enough to cover a full tank of gas for your next family road trip. And who doesn’t like free money?

    1. Save energy.

Along with consuming your dollars, your pilot light feeds on a steady supply of gas. One pilot light uses about 900 to 1200 BTUs (British thermal units) per hour. Keep in mind that your pilot light doesn’t turn off and on – it stays constantly lit, and therefore is constantly using energy.

  1. Avoid accidentally heating your home.

Furnace repair and Maintenance by MyPlumberCADoes your furnace sometimes have a mind of its own? Or do your kids think it’s “fun” to play with the thermostat? If you turn off your pilot light and gas supply to your furnace, you don’t have to worry about coming home to a house that has warmed itself up to 90 degrees this spring.

The Drawbacks

One potential drawback of turning off your furnace in spring is that you’ll have to relight it again come fall. If your pilot light is easily accessible, this is no problem. If your pilot light has given you troubles in the past, then you’ll have to contact a professional to come and relight it for you.

I Want to Turn Off My Furnace this Spring – How Do I Do It?

So you’ve decided that you want to turn off your furnace for spring. You’ve come to the right place! Follow these steps to safely turn off your furnace and save some dough this season.

  1. Turn off the gas supply. The shut off valve for your furnace’s gas line is usually located near the pilot light itself. Turn the shut off valve so that it is perpendicular to the supply line, forming an L shape. This means that the gas supply to your pilot light is off, and you should see the flame disappear.
  2. Check your air filters. Now is a good time to remove your used air filters and replace with new ones.
  3. Check the surrounding area. Make sure that the furnace is clear of debris and other fire hazards.
  4. Check your carbon monoxide detector. Make sure it is on and fully functioning to ensure your safety.
  5. Have a professional perform a full inspection. It doesn’t hurt to have a professional come and check to make sure your furnace is in good condition before you forget about it all through the spring and summer months.

Remember – if you need any assistance in turning off your furnace this spring, call your local [heating and air conditioning professionals].

one of our professional Lakeside CA HVAC tehcs is changing the furnace filter one of our professional Lakeside CA HVAC tehcs is changing the furnace filter one of our professional Lakeside CA HVAC tehcs is changing the furnace filter one of our professional Lakeside CA HVAC tehcs is changing the furnace filter one of our professional Lakeside CA HVAC tehcs is changing the furnace filter one of our professional Lakeside CA HVAC tehcs is changing the furnace filter

DIY Heater Checkup for Fall and Winter

Do you want to be fully prepared for fall and winter? Then take a look at our tips below for your DIY furnace checkup for fall and winter.

  1. Do you have extra filters? It’s always a great idea to stock up on filters for your furnace. Depending on the filter type, you should change it every 1-3 months to maintain optimum air quality and reduce strain on your heater.
  2. Have you changed the furnace filter recently? Remember that when you first turn on your heater for the winter season, you should change the filter.
  3. Do you have things sitting next to the furnace? Your furnace needs room to breathe, so make sure that you don’t have any boxes, blankets, clothing items, furniture, or other household objects resting up against your heater. There should be a few inches of empty space on all sides of the furnace, and make sure nothing flammable is stored nearby.
  4. Have you checked the air vents or ducts? The air vents and ducts can become packed with debris when not in frequent use. Make sure to have a professional heating and air technician inspect and clean out your air ducts as needed.
  5. Are all the registers open? Your house won’t get any warmer if you have the registers in every room closed. Make sure to check that the registers are open and to clean off any visible debris from the vents.
  6. Do you have a gas furnace? Make sure you have enough gas for the colder months! Try to fill up far in advance to avoid higher gas prices.
  7. Do you have a hot water radiator? Have a heating technician bleed the valves on your hot water radiator. This gets rid of trapped air, which prevents your radiator from heating your home.
  8. Have you updated the schedule on your automatic thermostat? If you plan on leaving your heater on all day, but won’t be home to adjust the temperature as needed, then having a programmable thermostat is a wise choice. You should set the heater so that it doesn’t go on as frequently at night when you are sleeping cozily in your bed. This will reduce your energy usage and save you money on your winter heating bills.
  9. Are you enrolled in a bi-annual or quarterly maintenance program? We ALWAYS recommend that our customers enroll in a regular furnace maintenance program. Our heating and air technicians can ensure that your filters are changed, ducts are cleaned, and everything is in tip top shape for the cold winter months.
  10. Is your furnace malfunctioning? If you’ve completed your checklist but have found that your furnace is malfunctioning, call our experts at My Plumber. We’ll help you to perform your furnace checkup for fall and winter!
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It’s Time for that Furnace Tune Up!

It’s September and time to get your furnace tuned up so you can comfortably enjoy the winter months without your heating costs burning a hole in your wallet. The average cost of heating a San Diego home runs about $800 a year. A well tuned furnace can significantly lower that cost.

What is a Furnace Tune Up?

Your heating system consists of three different parts, a thermostat, a blower and the combustion chamber. The thermostat measures the temperature in your home and activates the combustion chamber and blower when necessary. The combustion chamber provides the heating needed and the blower pushes air through the system to bring it into the living areas of your home. Having each of these components inspected, cleaned and repaired now will prevent you from having a breakdown during the cold winter months.

Get a Full Inspection

During our furnace tune up service, we’ll inspect your system looking for soot or other combustion residue in the combustion chamber. We’ll turn up the thermostat and check for steady blue flames (yellow or orange flames indicate incomplete burning and the potential for dangerous off-gasing). If there is a problem in the burn chamber, we will clean out the chamber and the gas delivery system.

Checking The Blower Motor

We will also clean the blower motor and fan blades to remove any built up dirt and debris to return it to optimal efficiency. We will also make sure to oil any moving parts (oil cups at the end of the central shaft) so everything is in working order.

Good Air Flow is Essential

We will inspect your fan belt and determine if it needs to be replaced. Cracked belts, or belts that show signs of slack will be repaired. We will also make sure you have a brand new furnace filter in place. This is one of the most important parts of the system. A dirty filter can inhibit air flow and reduce the efficiency of your furnace.

Heat Exchanger Danger

Our team of specialists will also inspect your heat exchanger for rust or deterioration. These issues are serious because they allow dangerous gases, like carbon monoxide, to build up in your living spaces. Any problems with your heat exchanger or chimney system will be addressed promptly. Even if there are not problems, we suggest that you install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home to protect yourself and your family from potentially deadly gas build-ups.

Call us now to schedule your furnace tune-up before old man winter makes his debut in the San Diego area.