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Shutting Down Your Gas Furnace at the End of the Season

furnace-burner-flamesThe change of seasons is coming up, and I’m sure everyone here in Chicagoland is looking forward to warmer weather. We still have a few more weeks of temperatures in the 40s and possible cold snaps, but this is the time of year to prepare a home for the seasonal shift.

Should those preparations include a gas furnace shutdown? It’s a question people often ask, and we’ll provide you with an answer.

In most cases we recommend shutting off the furnace

If your home manages to stay warm all through the summer season and you don’t recall having to turn the furnace back on again before the fall, then there’s no reason to keep the system running. In fact, you can conserve energy with a system shutdown, especially if you have a furnace that uses a standing pilot light. The pilot light consumes fuel, and you don’t want this going to waste during a summer when you never need it. But even if your furnace uses electronic ignition, it’s better to have the furnace shutdown if it’s going to go for three months of so without ever needing to provide heating.

How do I shut down the furnace?

It’s not as quick a task as just turning off the gas. We recommend you take steps that will help the furnace last longer and be ready to start to work again.

  • Turn off the gas: Always the first step. If you have a standing pilot light, the shut off valve will be near the pilot light along the gas line. Turn the valve until the flame is all the way doused.
  • Clean around the furnace: We hope you’ve kept the region around the furnace free from obstructions (particularly anything flammable, like paint thinner) through the winter. You want it clear for the summer as well to help it from picking up dust and dirt.
  • Put in a new air filter: Your HVAC system is probably the standard type where the furnace and air conditioner are housed in the same cabinet and use a single blower fan. this means they also use the same air filter—and it needs to be a clean filter for the coming summer work for the AC. Put in a fresh filter (or clean the current one if it’s a permanent filter).
  • Check the CO detectors: You must have carbon monoxide detectors in your home if you use natural gas in any capacity. They must be checked annually to see if they work and if their batteries need to be changed. Do this as part of the furnace shutdown for the season so you won’t forget it.

Don’t forget any late repairs

Please don’t shut down your furnace if you believe there’s a malfunction with it. It’s tempting to put off a late season repair issue, but allowing a lingering problem can mean the furnace won’t turn on when you need it again, or it may lead to a pricey repair.

If you need help with your heating in Park Ridge, IL here at the end of the cold season, you can always count on us.

ServiceMax Serves Chicagoland, IL. We’re Available 24/7—All Day! Every Day!

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