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The Best Time To Start The Heat

The Best Time To Start The Heat

The fall season’s weather can be erratic. You might start to question if you need to turn on the heat when the leaves start to turn yellow and the weather starts to become colder.

Personal preference will play a role in deciding when to turn on the heat. However, authorities advise activating the heating system when the temperature falls below 64 degrees.

You should turn on the heat at 69.8 °F if you live with young children, the elderly, or other vulnerable persons.

But did you know that before the heating season starts, there are a few things you need to check? We’ve provided a thorough list of these crucial responsibilities along with some suggestions for delaying putting on the heat.

Guidelines For Knowing When To Turn On The Heat

Never base your decision to turn on the heat on the weather outside. In the fall, it might be difficult because one day you might be wearing a winter coat and the next, it might be sunny.

The most important thing to think about is the temperature inside your house. When the temperature inside your home falls below 64 degrees Fahrenheit, experts advise turning on the heat.

However, you must switch on the heat when the inside temperature falls below 69.8 °F if you have young children or elderly family members. The same holds true if a member of the family falls unwell.

You might find yourself turning on the heat much later than your neighbors if your home is well-insulated and has energy-efficient doors and windows.

Things To Do Before Starting The Heat

Before turning on your HVAC system, there are a few things you should do to ensure that it will function correctly when the temperature begins to decrease.

Making Ready For Annual Tune-Up

Your HVAC system should ideally be inspected by a professional once a year. The majority of individuals get this tune-up towards the start of the fall, right before they need to start using their heater more frequently. However, you can decide when to arrange an annual tune-up.

A tune-up is necessary because maintenance makes sure that your system will operate as intended and identifies any potential issues that are still reasonably affordable and easy to fix. If a tiny, inexpensive issue is not addressed right away, it could become a large, expensive issue.

Sanitizing The Ducts

The Best Time To Start The Heat

Check your ducts for mold, debris, or any other build-up at least once a year. Clean up any issues straight away if you detect any. If everything is in order, cleaning is not necessary.

Inspect the vents for any leaves, nests, or rodents as well. Additionally, you must pull such items out of the intake and exhaust ports. Additionally, keep in mind that healthy interior air quality is influenced by clean air ducts.

Replacing The Filter

It’s best to replace the filters frequently (at least every three months). If you have allergies, you should change the filter more frequently, up to once per month.

Remember to replace your filter before the heating season begins as well!

You Should Test Your Thermostat

Check the functionality of your thermostat a few weeks before you anticipate needing it. Adjust the thermostat so that the furnace will start to test it.

Replace the batteries in your thermostat if your furnace won’t start.

Filling Up Any Gaps Between Windows Or Doors

Your furnace will have to work harder to keep the rooms warm if your home has several gaps, cracks, or holes, which translates to greater energy costs.

Therefore, filling in any holes beforehand can help you save time and money throughout the heating season.

Raising The Relative Humidity

When the temperature gets colder, the humidity levels will drop. Static electricity can accumulate in your home’s window frames, hardwood floors, and walls due to dry air.

It’s wise to invest in high-quality humidifiers for your home before the cold season arrives to prevent this from happening.

Examine The Carbon Monoxide Detector

This recommendation is for people who use natural gas to heat their houses. A carbon monoxide alarm will make sure there are no gas leaks and, if there are, it will warn you of the danger.

The best time to change the batteries in this essential equipment is right before the heating season begins.

Check The Ductwork For Cracks Or Leaks

A leaking duct loses a lot of heat even though the air is still circulating through the system. 20 to 30 percent of the air passing through the system is lost, according to Energy Star.

Check all ducts for cracks to prevent this by paying close attention to the locations where they connect.

How Can I Put Off Using The Heat?

Running the furnace increases your monthly expenses and has detrimental impacts on the environment, regardless of whether you heat your home with electricity or natural gas.

Because of this, many individuals try to put off putting on the heat as long as they can. You’ll be better off if you figure out how to improve your home’s insulation or employ less expensive heating methods rather to just putting up with the cold.

Here are some recommendations to help you keep your house warmer for longer and delay using your furnace.

Repairing Your Windows And Doors’ Gaps

The Best Time To Start The Heat

You can either use bubble wrap or plastic film to cover your windows, or (if you have the money) you can install storm windows, which significantly improve insulation. Additionally, you can replace the sweeps on the doors.

Fireplace Covering

When not in use, cover the fireplace to stop heat loss through the chimney. Use small doors, a draft blocker, and a magnetic vent cover to help yourself.

Purchasing A Portable Heater

It is ineffective and expensive to constantly use space heaters or try to heat the whole house with only portable heaters.

On the other hand, if you simply spend the majority of your time in one room, this equipment works well as a temporary heating option.

When Should I Start the Furnace?

When the temperature falls below 64 degrees Fahrenheit, which often occurs at the end of September or the beginning of October in most regions of the continental US, most households should turn on their furnace.

If you’re a healthy adult, it’s good to put off turning on your furnace as long as possible in order to save money.

However, you must turn on your furnace if the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit since at that level, pipes are more likely to freeze and burst.

Is A Warm Or Cold Room Better For Sleeping?

The Best Time To Start The Heat

Your bedroom should be between 60 and 67°F (15.6 and 19.4°C) for the best sleep possible. If they are properly dressed, infants should be able to sleep in these conditions.

For newborns, you can turn up the heat a few degrees, but don’t let them become too hot.

Which Heating Schedule Is Best?

Set the heating system to come on 30 minutes before you go home or awake and to go off 30 minutes before you no longer need it.

This is due to the fact that when the heating is turned on, it takes an average home 30 minutes to heat up and 30 minutes to cool down.

Assume you wake up at 7:30 in the morning, leave for work at 8:30, and get home at 6 o’clock. Making the heating come on at 7:00 in the morning, go off at 8:00, then come back on at 5:30 in the evening makes sense.

In the evenings, set the heating to turn off 30 minutes before bed. Additionally, your programmer might be able to designate distinct on/off periods on the weekends.

Should I Always Keep My Heating On Low?

This topic is divisive. It is a myth that it is more affordable to keep the heating on low all day.

They make it quite evident that the best long-term method of energy and financial conservation is to only turn on the heat when necessary. A timer is very useful since your thermostat regulates the temperature by turning on and off the heating.

It is important to keep in mind that what matters is the entire amount of energy required to heat your home.


Choosing whether to turn on the heat now or wait a few weeks is one of the trickiest decisions to make in the fall.

This essay is meant to assist you in future decisions, we hope! In any case, before the heating season starts, be sure you cross everything off the list above.

The Best Time To Start The Heat

What do you think?

Written by HVAC Contributor

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