With summer just around the corner it is time to shut down the furnace for the season. The following are the necessary shut down tasks for your specific type of furnace.
Electric furnaces do not need to be completely shut down in the summer. In fact, it may not be possible since AC units are often on the same circuit as a furnace and may even share central blower systems. You do need to turn the thermostat over from heating to cooling, though.
If you only have a furnace and no central air conditioner, then it may be necessary to turn the blower off completely on your thermostat to ensure that the furnace isn't accidentally turned on during hot weather.
Gas and Oil Models
Whether there are shut down tasks for gas and oil furnaces depends on the ignition type. Furnaces with electric ignitions do not need to be shut down beyond turning off the heat on the thermostat. Models that use a pilot light should have the pilot light turned off at the end of the heating season. The shutoff valve is fairly easy to find on most furnaces, but your furnace repair tech can also handle this task during your annual spring furnace tune-up.
There is an additional step for shutting down an oil furnace for the season. Unlike natural gas, which is delivered as needed through gas lines, homes with an oil furnace have a storage tank to hold the fuel. Don't run the tank dry at the end of winter, as this can result in sludge collecting in the bottom and clogging oil lines. Further, it's a good idea to shut down the fuel lines by turning off the tank's shutoff valve.
Electric radiant heating systems typically don't require any shut down tasks for summer beyond turning off the heat at the thermostat so that it doesn't accidentally come on during summer.
Systems that use a boiler and water lines for heat, such as some radiators and in-floor heating systems, can be shut down for the summer. Like any heating system, begin by switching the thermostat off or by adjusting it from the heat to the cool setting. The other task is to turn the boiler valve settings so that hot water is only supplied to the potable system and is not being routed to the heating system. This only applies to systems that used a shared boiler for both heat and tap water.
Contact a furnace repair surface for more assistance.