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“When Should I Turn On My Furnace?” Your Primer for the Heating Season

We can all tell when summer is giving way to the slight chill of fall. We need only step outside or open a window to decide it’s time to exchange shirts and shorts for jackets and jeans.

Some of us might also ask ourselves, “When should I turn on my furnace?” Do we fire it up as soon as it hits the mid-to-high 60s outside, or should we be more conservative about our energy use and utility costs?

It’s good to know the answer, especially as you prepare for fall and winter in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield.

When You Should Turn On Your Furnace

When the weather changes, we should be mindful of the outdoor air temperature, which will influence how warm or cold we feel when we’re inside.

Just as important, we need to pay particular attention to indoor air temperature. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, indoor air during cold weather should be between 68° and 75°F, so if it ever drops below that range, it’s time to turn on the furnace.

If your spaces are occupied by healthy adults or young adults, the indoor temperature can float between 68° and 75°F and possibly be set a few degrees lower at night while sleeping at home. Spaces with children, elderly residents or someone who is ill should remain closer to 75°F for optimal comfort, safety and health.

You can also set your thermostat a few degrees lower if you’ll be away from your home or office for an extended period, beginning with several hours. This can help you save on energy bills.

Tips for Turning On Your Furnace

Beyond being aware of when to turn on the furnace, you can take a few other steps to prepare to stay warm in the months ahead. 

Check the filter.  If your furnace’s filter is old or clogged and dirty, it will hinder the unit’s performance. If needed, replace the filter and then check it again every three months. 

Test your unit as soon in the fall as you can. To ensure the furnace and the thermostat are functioning properly, turn them on and let the furnace run for a few minutes. You’d be amazed by how few calls for repair we get until the air becomes bitter – then the phone rings off the hook and our schedule backs up. Just a few minutes of double-checking now can help avoid discomfort later while you’re trying to find available service. 

Arrange for furnace maintenance. Making sure your furnace appears to be working is the right start. However, we still never know if a problem might be developing in the system. Annual furnace maintenance supports top performance while helping prevent an inconvenient and stressful malfunction. Planning for furnace maintenance is smart and proactive, and the earlier you schedule it, the warmer you’ll be and the less you’ll wait for service.

Check your insulation. You might be able to delay having to turn on the furnace a bit longer if your spaces are well insulated. Proper insulation also keeps more heat inside. Consider inspecting your insulation to ensure it’s still sufficient, especially if your home has an attic, where heat can easily rise and escape. Examine the insulation around visible ductwork as well.

Other ways to limit heat from escaping are sealing windows and doors and hanging heavy curtains around the windows. Close the curtains at night and then open them during the day to let in the sun if it’s shining.

Contact Us Today

Now that you can answer the question “When should I turn on my furnace?” you’re well on your way to safer, warmer and more comfortable fall and winter seasons.

If you ever have questions or concerns about furnace function, repair or maintenance, just call the Air Dynamics team at (630) 731-1550. We’ll be glad to speak with you and provide you with the service and support that you need in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield.

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