Should You Turn Off A Furnace In The Summer?

The thermostat kickstarts your furnace into action when it reaches a certain point. However, a furnace with the pilot light still on will consume energy even during the summertime. If you were wondering whether you should turn off the furnace in the summer, read on. We researched furnaces, the impact of energy costs, and when it is ideal to have your furnace running. Learn more about how a furnace affects your home if it is on in the summer and why to turn it off.

Unless you live somewhere very cold during the summer months, it is best to turn off the furnace. Even if you rely on the thermostat to influence your furnace's operation, the furnace is using energy as long as the pilot is on. Furnaces left on during the summer use power for electrical components and may waste gas needlessly.

Furnaces are honestly a significant home appliance designed to be used when temperatures are chilly. Now that we know the basics about summertime furnace management, let's continue the conversation. Learn more helpful tips about furnaces, their maintenance, and how to save on energy.

A blower fan and monitor connected to a house furnace for a duct leakage test. Should You Turn Off A Furnace In The Summer

All About Furnaces In The Summer

A furnace is an integral appliance for a home. It is responsible for delivering warm air during colder seasons and keeping indoor air comfortable. However, you may want to turn on the blower fan on a furnace during the summer without the heat.

Believe it or not, operating a blower fan on a furnace without hot air can keep a home from developing cold and hot spots and reduce humidity.

Many furnaces are energy efficient and don't require a lot of electricity to function. This leaves you with a lower bill than expected.

Pipes of a heating system. Should You Turn Off A Furnace In The Summer

If you are using a furnace for its fan without drawing on fuel to heat the air, the energy costs are reasonable. Be careful when choosing to turn on a furnace fan in the summer in the daytime or night because it pulls in outside air. Often, the thermostat and the furnace are equipped with a summer switch to help circulate indoor air.

Turning off the furnace altogether is not a bad idea in the summer. Allowing the furnace a short break when temperatures are between 50 and 90 degrees makes sense. Plus, you can take the time to properly clean furnace filters, check the motor, fan, and other electrical components. Additionally, a furnace that is off will save on energy consumption.

Why Shut The Furnace Down In Summer

  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Reduce energy demand and bills
  • Prevent unwanted additional heat and moisture
  • Prevent wasted electricity and gas usage to operate pilot and components

Even if your furnace and air cooling system share the same air ducts in your home, the appliances are still separate. Some people may desire to keep their furnaces running year-round. But, it is good to shut it down in summer for maintenance and to reduce energy use and costs.

How To Shut Down The Furnace

Save money on electricity and gas and turn off your furnace in the summer. Make sure to safely turn off your furnace to prevent any damage to the appliance or an unwanted accident.

  1. Set your thermostat to the lowest setting.
  2. Wait for the furnace to end the heating cycle.
  3. Switch the power to "Off."
  4. Cut off the fuel supply that feeds the pilot, and ensure the pilot light is out.
  5. Turn off the main shut-off valve for the fuel that feeds the furnace.

If you wish to run the furnace fan to help circulate air and reduce moisture and humidity, you can do so. Make sure to cut off the gas to the furnace so the pilot will not turn on. A constantly running pilot light wastefully burns fuel. Some furnaces or thermostats have a summer switch so that power can run to the blower fan without gas flowing freely to the appliance. Only electricity is needed to power certain components of the furnace, like the fan.

How Do I Run My Furnace Fan In The Summer?

Some people find it beneficial to run the furnace fan in the summer to help distribute indoor air more evenly and to reduce cold or hot spots. You should prevent hot air from blowing around an already hot home and shut off the gas valve and pilot light. As long as electricity is reaching the furnace and the blower fan switch is in the "On" position, the furnace fan should run.

In some instances, a furnace or the thermostat may have a summer switch to trigger the furnace to blow unheated air through air ducts. If there is no summer switch available, you can augment your furnace.

Before using the blower fan, make sure there are no obstructions to the furnace's warm-air register or cold-air return. Ensure all filters are clean and free of blockages, debris, buildup, and the motor and blower fan are in working order before using the furnace.

Ideally, people like to run the blower fan of a furnace in summer to bring cooler air outside inside. But, there is a risk of creating warm air buildup at night, depending on weather conditions.

Can You Run The Furnace Fan Without Heat?

If you are interested in running the blower fan on a furnace without any heat, you can do so without a problem. Make sure to only set the blower fan switch in the on position and cut off the pilot and fuel supply. Running the furnace fan without heat still draws in outside air, pushes air outside of the home, and helps with removing moisture and circulating indoor air.

Operating the blower fan on a furnace usually doesn't leave you with an outrageous energy bill, especially when the heat is cut off.

Will Turning On The Furnace Fan Cool The House?

It may be wise to run the furnace fan to help keep your home cool and comfortable. This is especially true if you are in a single-story home. Naturally, the design of a furnace pulls air from outside and pushes the air indoors outside. Provided that the air outside is cooler than indoors, the furnace fan can lower the temperature inside the house.

Does The Furnace Fan Use A Lot Of Electricity?

There is typically no need to worry about an extraordinarily high energy bill from running a furnace fan alone. If your furnace is efficient, most standard blower motors for the fan require about 400 watts per hour to function.

Variable speed furnace fans may use as little as 75 watts per hour. Inefficient furnace fans may use as much as 1,000 kilowatts per year; however, the energy cost is as much as 10% of total electrical use.

If you want to run an average furnace fan without the heat, you won't need a lot of electricity to power components.

Does Turning Off The Furnace Save Money?

If your furnace is in the "off" position and the electrical and gas delivery is off, it will certainly save money. Most homes will find it unnecessary to keep the furnace on year-round, even if it is triggered to kick on because of the thermostat. Turning off the furnace in the summer gives the appliance a break and reduces the demand for electricity and gas.

If you leave your furnace on, thinking that if the thermostat registers a temperature that won't make the furnace run, it still is using energy. The pilot light will burn small amounts of gas if it is not turned off and the gas valve isn't off. Electrical components like the motor, blower fan and any circuitry to communicate with the thermostat will still use energy.

In some cases, running the furnace fan can reduce energy costs to cool your home. But, you can slash your bills by turning your furnace off when the temperatures are between 50 to 90 degrees. Use the time that your furnace is off during the summer to conduct routine maintenance before cold weather returns.

chamber in an older home furnace showing the motor and blower fan. Should You Turn Off A Furnace In The Summer


We hope you feel more confident about using the furnace fan in the summer. You can save on your energy bill and perform necessary maintenance on your furnace when it is turned off for the summer. However, running the furnace fan without heat may make indoor air more comfortable. Doing so may also reduce moisture from the air and promote circulation.

Before you go, you won't want to skip reading the following helpful articles.

Read More: Do Electric Furnaces Need Yearly Maintenance?

Read More: How Long Can A Furnace Run Continuously?

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