Is There Any Harm In Running Your Furnace In The Summer?

Posted on: 2 June 2021

The arrival of summer usually means switching on your air conditioner, but climates vary widely across the country, and weather can often be unpredictable. Cold snaps during warmer seasons are not unheard of in certain parts of the United States. This situation leads many homeowners to wonder whether you can safely run your furnace even when it's not particularly cold outside.

While you can do this, there may even be good reasons to consider the use of your furnace when it's warm out. Keep reading to learn a bit more about how your home's heating system can benefit you throughout the year.

Heat Exchanger Temperatures and Overheating

Even though your furnace's job is to produce warm air, it can still overheat. Overheating is a dangerous situation for a heater since it can lead to cracks in the heat exchanger that can release harmful gases. Fortunately, modern furnaces include safety switches that automatically shut the system down before the heat exchanger becomes too hot.

Additionally, ambient temperatures are unlikely to result in your furnace overheating. Since the furnace relies on the thermostat to request heating, the burner typically will not turn on when interior temperatures are already very high. In most cases, temperatures only reach dangerous levels when the blower is inoperative and cannot move hot air from the heat exchanger.

This design also means that you shouldn't worry about turning up the heat if you experience an unusually cold summer night. As interior temperatures rise in the morning, your thermostats will stop requesting heat, and the furnace will no longer run. If your home has a newer thermostat, it may even be able to switch between heating and cooling modes automatically.

The Benefits (And Drawbacks) of Summer Heating Use

Even if summer temperatures remain warm, you can continue to use your furnace's blower in fan-only mode to distribute fresh air through your home. If you have a house constructed in the last several decades, your blower may automatically turn on every few hours to continue cycling air through the system. This operation can improve air quality if your home does not have central air conditioning.

On the other hand, you may be more concerned about saving a few dollars on your utility bills. In this case, you can safely turn your furnace off during the summer. Disabling your furnace will keep the blower from running, which can save some money on your electricity bills. Note that you won't need to worry about reigniting your pilot light since newer furnaces typically use electronic ignition.

Ultimately, choosing to use your furnace during the summer is a matter of personal preference. Modern furnaces are safe to operate year-round, and newer thermostats can utilize your entire HVAC system to maintain a comfortable and even temperature in your home. For more information, contact a heating service.