FAQ: Should I Turn Off My Furnace When I Go On Vacation?

As the holiday season quickly approaches, you and your family may be planning a vacation somewhere warmer than Maryland! Whether you are going to visit family for the holidays, New York City for New Year’s, or Florida to escape winter, there are several steps a homeowner should take before leaving their home.

Many homeowners throughout the Maryland and Washington, DC area question if they should turn off their furnaces while they go on vacation. Turning off your furnace can save you money on your utility bills; however, it can cause more harm than good.

To prevent coming home to a disaster, keep your furnace ON. Continue reading to learn why!

Whether you are leaving your home for one weekend or one month, it is important to keep your furnace on to help prevent a costly disaster. During winter, temperatures often drop below freezing. When temperatures drop, your home will become colder—especially in older homes. If your home gets to a freezing temperature, the pipes in your home could freeze and burst! If pipes burst, you could come home to a cold, wet mess.

Depending on the extent of the damage, cleanup costs can cost $5,000 or more! To prevent a costly cleanup, keep your furnace on while away from your home this winter.

Although it is important to keep your home semi-warm while you are away, you probably don’t want your furnace heating an empty house and increasing utility bills! We recommend turning your thermostat down to 60 degrees. At this temperature, your furnace will turn on when needed but will not over-work itself.

Before you go on vacation, it is very important you make sure your furnace is running safely and efficiently. Because your system will be running without you there, you want to make sure your system is safe and is not causing any fire hazards. Before you leave your home, make sure you complete the following tasks:

  • Clean air filter
  • Check wiring for any noticeable damage
  • Note any strange noises coming from unit
  • Contact your local HVAC contractor to schedule maintenance

Although it is rare for winters in Maryland and Washington, DC to be frigid, it is important to have a trusted neighbor or relative check on your home several times while you are away. If temperatures are below 20 degrees for an extended amount of time, you want someone you trust to make sure there is no water damage while you are away. If there is damage spotted, have your home caretaker let you know right away.

Before you leave your home for an extended amount of time this winter, schedule maintenance with Michael Bonsby HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical. We can make sure your furnace will run safely before you leave your home so you can worry less while you are away.

Contact us today to schedule service!

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