Should I Turn My Furnace Off When I’m Out of Town?

Since 1950, Heatmasters has provided the very best furnace installation in Wilmette for countless satisfied customers, both residential and commercial. In addition to installation services, we also like to provide our professional advice so you can get the maximum service out of your furnace, and we’re often asked, “Should I turn off my furnace when I’m out of town?”

Our answer

We understand why you’d ask that question. After all, you don’t run your lawnmower when you’re not cutting the grass, so why not turn off the furnace when you’re not home?

A major difference between your lawnmower and your furnace is the furnace doesn’t run nonstop. The temperature in your Chicagoland home is regulated by a thermostat. When the thermostat detects a drop in the indoor temperature, it switches the furnace on. And once the temperature reaches the desired setting, the thermostat turns the furnace off.

With all that in mind, our best answer is that when you’re going to be away from home, you should dial down the thermostat but leave the furnace on. That’s called a “temperature setback.”

If you turn the furnace completely off in winter – especially if you’re going to be away for an extended time – you run the risk of frozen pipes that can easily burst when they thaw.

Temperature settings

We recommend setting your thermostat at 68° F when you’re home and awake and lowering it to 60-65° when you’re asleep or away. You may need extra blankets at night, but the lower settings can save you up to 10% a year on your energy bill.

Finally, when your old furnace finally gives out, be sure to contact Heatmasters for the very best furnace installation in Wilmette.