Have you switched from heating mode to cooling mode yet?
If you have, do you know what to do with your gas furnace during the hotter months? This particular article covers what people should do if their gas furnace has a pilot light.
If you are trying to figure out whether to turn the pilot light off or not, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my gas company charge a base fee?
- Do I know how to easily relight my pilot light when I need heat again?
- Where is my furnace located?
- Are small amounts of heat going to make a big difference?
- Is my furnace in an area that sees a lot of insects that could set up shop in my heating equipment?
- Am I diligent about fall maintenance?
If you do not know how to relight your pilot light, your furnace is located in an area with insects or an area that is susceptible to high moisture, your gas company charges a minimum fee for service, and/or you aren’t diligent about fall maintenance – turning the pilot light off may not be a good idea. However, if you are committed to scheduling fall maintenance (so that your contractor can check the state of your pilot light/equipment each year), and you know how to relight it yourself, then you could consider turning it off.
Keep in mind, your furnace only uses a little bit of gas to power the pilot light. Turning the pilot light off will only add up to a few bucks of savings a month. If you don’t mind spending a few cents a day, don’t mess with it.
While turning off the pilot light will only save pennies a day, there are plenty of other great ways to lower utility costs during the cooling season. Here are a few you may want to try.
- Replace your old equipment with something more efficient.
- Turn the thermostat up a few degrees.
- Use blinds and curtains to block sunlight in south-facing rooms.
- Schedule spring maintenance to make sure everything is running properly and efficiently.
In fact, scheduling spring preventative maintenance is the best thing you can do to make sure that you save money during the summer. This way, your local heating and cooling contractor can catch any minor issues before they have the opportunity to result in a “no cool” call during the peak season.
Have you already scheduled your spring preventative maintenance appointment?