Should I Turn off My Furnace During the Summer?

Posted: June 24, 2019

Summer indoors

Summer 2019 is here, and with it comes thoughts of finally setting your thermostat for “cool” in your Rhode Island home.

But should you shut off your oil furnace once cooling season begins?

You may be thinking that you are turning off your furnace simply by switching from “heat” to “cool” setting – but’s only partly true: although you are indeed preventing your furnace from actually running, you are still paying to keep the pilot light lit (unless your furnace features electronic ignition, which avoids using a pilot light altogether).

Turning your furnace off, therefore, means shutting down your pilot light, too.

But should you do it?

So should you extinguish your furnace pilot light during the summer? That depends. Here are some thoughts to consider.

First and foremost, it’s important to know if you have a furnace (which heats using air) rather than a boiler (which heats using water).

The easiest way to tell the difference: If you have baseboard heating or radiators, you have a boiler; if you have vents, you have a furnace.

If you have a boiler, DO NOT turn off your pilot light. If the unit gets cold, the metal shrinks, which can cause damage and leaks in the system.

Why keep your furnace pilot light on?

Why turn your furnace pilot light off?

How to turn off your furnace

If you choose to turn off your furnace, simply switch off the furnace’s heating oil supply. If you have any questions about how to do this, contact us today.

Looking for more advice about your propane- or oil-fired furnace? You’ve come to the right place! Contact the experts at Vaughn Oil for questions about furnace installation and heating system service for your Rhode Island home!