Should I leave my furnace on all the time?
Nowadays, the vast majority of people across Canada have a common question: should they run their furnaces 24/7? Of course, with winter days around the corner, you need to keep yourself and your loved ones warm and stay indoors comfortably.
To do this, while some run their furnace continuously, others may leave it on occasionally. But think if it’s good for your furnace to last all day. We all are aware that any appliance can become more prone to malfunctions and wear and tear with constant usage.
Now, our homeowners have a dilemma about whether this practice has any benefits or downsides. According to some users, keeping the furnace running all day is an informer sign of a faulty unit. However, this doesn’t always alert you that something serious is going on with your HVAC unit.
Keep scrolling to dig into the upsides and downsides of consistently leaving on your furnace during winter weather.
Should you leave your furnace on all day?
Running your furnace on all the time is usually not suggested for most central heating and cooling systems. Using a thermostat at home helps control the temperature while maintaining indoor comfort and air quality, making it more practical and energy-efficient. Set your thermostat to the temperature you need when you’re awake and lower it when you’re traveling or sleeping to prevent high utility costs.
What does furnace “on” mean?
When the furnace setting is to the “On” option, this means the furnace fan will be working all the time.
The furnace fan, also known as a furnace blower, is a key part of a furnace system and is designed to pass air within the property where heating is required. In modern furnaces, these fans come with a motor that is less than one horsepower. Depending on the size of the furnace unit, the exact size of the associated motor varies.
The furnace fan in your property is often running 24 hours a day according to the current setting of your thermostat. On most thermostats, there are two fan settings: On and Auto. The previous setting strengthens the furnace fan to operate continuously without interruption, while the second will control your furnace unit to turn on the fan when it needs to circulate hot air.
A fan limit switch set on manual override or a fan limit switch may be malfunctioning due to the furnace running 24 hours a day. If a similar kind of technical issue is found in your furnace, you’re recommended to call a professional HVAC technician like Smile HVAC.
The upsides of leaving the furnace on all the time
In fact, modern furnaces are designed to run continuously. This is because running your furnace all the time is not a completely dangerous task. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the fan tearing or breaking down. Check out the benefits associated with it, which include:
Helps save money on electricity bills
In this modern world, a brand-new furnace with an Energy Star efficiency rating usually includes a variable-speed motor, and this motor is designed to run for long periods of time. Well, Energy Star appliances fulfill the stringent energy efficiency guidelines provided by the US Environmental Protection Organization.
That being said, your home’s furnace will take less energy to circulate hot air, which will help reduce your electricity bill and eliminate energy wastage in the long run.
In addition, a highly efficient furnace also brings many exclusive benefits, including reducing demand for energy imports, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing costs to the economy and household.
Better air circulation
Compared to cool air, warm air is extremely light and naturally rises through the attic and roof. On the other hand, the cold air drops down to the floor. This procedure is known as the stack effect.
And most houses always have cold basements and warm upper rooms. A furnace that operates in and out throughout the day can help by regularly drawing warm air from upper levels and cooler air from lower levels and combining them together. Subsequently, this will spread an even more stable temperature within the home.
Improves indoor air quality
A furnace with a fan keeps air moving continuously through the furnace filter. By having UV light and highly efficient filters, you also constantly clean and filter home air, resulting in less debris accumulating on your items and furnishings.
Moreover, it will keep the indoor environment healthy and fresh. Another big advantage of running the furnace fan throughout the day is that it can help reduce the humidity levels in the winter season by continuously circulating air through the evaporator. As a result, this allows the unit to draw more moisture over time.
Extends life shelf of the furnace unit
Even after reading the above benefits, many homeowners will still be under the misconception that leaving their furnace on all the time will soon cause it to stop working. But our experts say that this is different.
As discussed earlier, the latest furnace fans are designed to work longer. Assuming your furnace unit is adequately installed with correctly sized ductwork. By doing this, the life of the fan will be increased. The trickiest part of any motor’s life is when it starts to turn.
The downside of leaving the furnace on all the time
In numerous situations, you should not turn on your furnace all the time. These are:
Leakage in ductwork
Modern-designed homes require all ductwork to be tested and sealed for air lockage. Ducts in an earlier or older home may have leaks; if this is the case with you, be sure to get an evaluation from your HVAC technician to avoid severe problems in the future.
The ductwork in the attic location or summer is at its peak
It’s natural for temperatures in the attic to reach 140 degrees during the summer. It doesn’t matter how well-insulated your ductwork is, it only works well against that type of temperature. Keeping the furnace fan on when the AC is off will eventually move more heat out of the attic and into the main components of the house.
What happens if my home furnace is on a lot?
It is not necessary that your furnace will get damaged soon. Since furnaces are built with reliability in mind, they will undoubtedly encourage consistent and long-term use. However, wear and tear can occur, eventually leading to breakdown or malfunction if the unit is not operating with maintenance.
Even though your furnace is designed to run 24/7, it should still be inspected at least every six months to make sure it is in superior working conditions. SmileHVAC experts will help spot problems during inspections and prevent them before they become critical conditions that cause your unit to malfunction.