Heating / October 5, 2021

When to Start Heating Your Home and How to Test the Furnace

You might waste energy if you switch on your furnace too soon. You might also suffer a cold house if you delay too much. Know when to start heating your house for a seamless commencement of the heating season. And don’t forget to test run the furnace first.

What Factors Determine When to Start Heating?

The ideal time to start heating the house is not universal. Multiple factors determine your best time to switch on the furnace. Below are some critical factors for you to consider.

Indoor Temperatures

Extreme temperatures can harm your health. For example, low temperatures can:

  • Trigger lung inflammation
  • Reduce blood circulation
  • Increase your risk of respiratory conditions health experts recommend a minimum indoor temperature of 64 degrees F for healthy adults. Thus, you should switch on your furnace if your indoor temperature falls below this minimum.

Sleeping Temperatures

Your indoor temperature does not just affect your health; it also affects your sleep quality and quantity. According to, many people sleep comfortably at temperature ranges from 15.6 to 19.4 degrees C, or 60 to 67 degrees F. You can also browse this site to learn more about it in detail.

A slight temperature dip during the night may improve your sleep, but a steep dip will hamper your sleep. The sleep temperature recommendation is a range since the exact temperature varies by person. Thus, turn on the furnace if you need heat to reach your target sleeping temperature.

Household Composition

The recommendations above are for healthy adults. However, people who are disabled, people who are older, and people who are young might be healthier in different temperature ranges. For example, babies require slightly warmer temperatures than adults do. Therefore, the people in your household also determine the temperatures you should maintain.

Personal Preferences

People have different temperature tolerances. Some people are comfortable in slightly colder temperatures, while others start to shiver at the first temperature dip. You should switch on the furnace when the temperature becomes uncomfortably cold for you.

House Occupancy

You can delay heating if your house is vacant. You can afford to have slightly lower temperatures in a vacant house as long as your plants won’t die and your pipes won’t freeze.

How Do You Test the Furnace?

You should give your furnace a test run before you switch it on for the cold season. The test run will help you confirm that the furnace is sound and can provide the necessary heat once the cold fully arrives. Below are the major aspects of this test run.

Run the Furnace for an Hour

Switch on your furnace and let it run for some time. Switching on the furnace and immediately switching it off only tests the ignition system. Run the furnace for several minutes to an hour to understand its condition properly.

Check for Specific Things

Stick around to monitor the furnace during the test run; don’t just switch it on and leave it running in your absence. Below are some of the things to check during the test run:

  • Note how long the furnace takes for each heating cycle
  • Listen to the sounds the furnace makes, especially unusual sounds such as rattling, clicking, or screeching sounds
  • Watch out for unusual smells the furnace might emit, such as burning odors
  • Walk around the house to confirm that the heat reaches all the rooms

Note that a dormant furnace might emit some unusual odors on its first startup. However, the smell should disappear after a few minutes. You should only be concerned if the smell persists to the end of the test run. Hopefully, the test run will reveal the furnace is in good condition. Contact Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar for help if you suspect a problem with your furnace. We can also give your furnace a tune-up to improve its heating efficiency!

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