When Should I Turn My Furnace On?

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Weather in the greater Toronto area is often unpredictable as the seasons change.

When the temperature goes up and down like a yo-yo, you do your best to keep your home as comfortable as possible.

Mother Nature presents you with an interesting problem to solve: when should you turn up the heat, and when should you turn it off?

You Should Turn Your Furnace on When It’s Less Than 18°C

You shouldn’t just look at the outside temperature when deciding whether you need your furnace or not – you should look at the temperature inside your home.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the ideal indoor temperature range for winter is 18°C – 21°C. It is recommended that homes with children or elderly residents stick closer to 21°C for optimal health and comfort.

Of course, the outside weather does have an effect on how warm (or cold) you feel inside. Based on historical weather data for Brampton, it’s normal to need your furnace at the end of September/early October.

If you’re a home of healthy adults you can go a little lower to save money on your heating bills. Many Canadians set their thermostat as low as 16°C at night!

But if your home’s indoor temperature is lower than 10°C, you begin to run the risk of frozen pipes, so don’t set your furnace too low.

Maximize Your Savings by Programming Different Settings on Your Thermostat

Turning on your furnace doesn’t mean setting one temperature and forgetting about it. By using a programmable thermostat and setting up a schedule for your home, you can actually save yourself some money on your next heating bill.

For example, you can set up a schedule for your weekdays and your weekends – lower the temperature for the times you’ll be out of the house or asleep, and higher for when you’re home snuggled on the couch drinking hot cocoa and watching good movies.

Depending on how actively you use your programmable thermostat all year, you could save between 10-23% on your heating and cooling costs.

Want some more tips to help you maximize your savings? We’ve got them >

Turning Your Furnace On for the First Time?

If you’re turning your furnace on for the first time, there are a few things you should do to make sure it’s ready to go.

1. Test Your Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is only effective if it’s actually working properly. The easiest way to test your thermostat is to flip your fan setting to ‘Auto’ and increase your set temperature 4-5°C above your current room temperature.

You should hear the furnace turn on, and feel warm air coming out of the vents a few minutes later.

2. Change Your Filter

This is a super easy and affordable task for homeowners. Simply make sure your furnace is off, remove the filter from the blower, and dispose of/clean it as required.

This is something you should be doing about once every 3 months at least, not just when you first turn on your furnace.

3. Book a Dr. HVAC Furnace Tune Up

A furnace should receive a comprehensive tune up once a year, preferably before you use it for the first time.

A tune up is what will give you the peace of mind that your furnace is ready for whatever winters throws at us. It’ll also increase your furnace’s efficiency: this means you won’t dread those winter heating bills as much.

Our talented technicians can perform a thorough tune up for you and walk you through the process step-by-step you’ll have complete confidence in your furnace this winter.

Find Out More About Tune Ups >