How to Turn OFF Furnace After the Heating Season?


Keep in mind that springtime is only the beginning of even warmer days ahead. Before prepping your air conditioner for summer, it’s best to check on your furnace first.

Washington is known for cooler weather conditions. However, summers can reach up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is mild enough to forgo artificial heating.

It may be prime time to give your furnace a break. Opt for piling on blankets and layers of clothing instead of keeping the furnace on all year.

As always, you should handle your furnace with care. Even when you are turning systems down, it’s best to do it meticulously and carefully.

Read on to find out some key points and the steps you should take to turn your furnace off safely.

The Benefits of Turning Your Furnace Off After Winter

Turning heating systems off helps you save on utility costs. It also lessens your home’s carbon footprint. 

Energy efficiency and sustainability are already convincing enough. Still, turning systems off can also help keep you comfortable all summer long.

It’s one thing to feel sticky when you’re outside, but definitely not in your own house. Allowing your pilot light to burn continuously will consume a significant amount of fuel as it remains kindled 24/7.

Other than for economical reasons, it would also minimize the risk of accidentally turning on your furnace during the sweltering heat. You don’t want an unchecked pilot light to become a safety issue for your home suddenly.

Shutting down your heating system during the warmer months is ideal for the environment too. You will reduce your home’s carbon footprint while affording the time to get some maintenance work in.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Shut Down Your Furnace Safely

You know why you should turn it off, but the question now is how to do it safely and correctly. Older furnace models rely on more rudimentary systems, such as manual ignition and other combustion components.

While they are safe, they may not respond to automated functions as well as newer furnace systems. After switching the motors down, you should always check on all your furnace components.

Below is a step-by-step guide to help you ensure you don’t miss a thing in the entire procedure:

  • Step One: Turn the Furnace OFF

    If your furnace has power controls linked to the thermostat, ensure to turn it down or switch it off. You should also visit the electrical panels on the body of your furnace to find its internal control settings.

    Turning it off or switching it to the coolest possible setting may already cycle the furnace off. However, there may be separate controls you need to toggle before it cycles off completely.

    You should also double-check its main power source. Unplug it from electrical sockets or switch it off on your home’s circuit breaker.

  • Step Two: Clear the Area Around the Furnace

    Check that any boxes, fixtures, scraps, or debris aren’t covering your furnace. Some homeowners tend to leave things around their furnaces as they operate for wintertime.

    We might forget most of the things we set around our furnace unit until it’s time to power it down. We may expose our furnace to various pollutants that can potentially accumulate in and around the unit.

    Performing regular cleaning and maintenance around your furnace is crucial for ensuring both your safety and the proper functioning of the unit before conducting any further inspections.

  • Step Three: Turn Off the Pilot Light and Fuel Supply

    On an important note, always check the pilot light before everything else. The pilot light is the small flame that sits at the tip of your furnace.

    The flame ignites the natural gas flow and other fuel sources, circulating throughout the pipes and chambers of the furnace. Turning the entire system off, especially the pilot light and fuel supply, prevents generating unwanted heat inside your home.

    Cutting the fuel supply off before the pilot light is best to avoid releasing unburned gas into your home. Look for a lever or knob to access a corresponding gas valve that facilitates fuel supply to your burners. 

    More modern furnace units may have electronic controls or smaller switches to cut off the fuel supply. However, even older furnace systems have access controls from the outside, which can be easily turned on and off.

    Turn your furnace’s fuel switch to the “OFF” position to shut off the fuel supply. You should see the pilot light go out shortly after.

    Next, look for the knob directly underneath the pilot light. It may have the words “pilot light” labeled on it, with “ON/OFF” indicators.

    Switch the knob to the OFF position, and place the small lid or cover on top of the pipe if it comes with one. These two steps effectively shut down the entire system until you need to ignite it again later.

  • Step Four: Check Your Furnace Filters

    While you are already down there, why not give the rest of your furnace a once over?

    Your furnace might sit in your basement, boiler room, or up in the attic. It may collect dirt, debris, pet dander, mold spores, and other potentially hazardous contaminants.

    Neglecting your furnace while it’s out of sight can lead to various problems. Pollutants and contamination can lead to clogging and blockages within your heating system.

    Inspecting and cleaning filters regularly would be wise. Religiously going through these two steps after every winter ensures that your heating system is safely shut down.

    You can sleep sounder at night knowing your furnace isn’t harboring any hazards and is ready to go again next winter.

  • Step Five: Evaluate Your Home’s Carbon Emissions Levels

    Here’s one step most homeowners miss. Some of us rely on automated systems and other electronics to indicate problems.

    However, depending on various settings, our home’s detectors may not alert us until hazardous emissions reach alarming heights. Some detectors may only be helpful in preventing acute exposure.

    We assure you chronic exposure to low levels of carbon emissions is just as dangerous. Don’t wait for alarms to go off.

    Carbon emissions are odorless and colorless. While manufacturers inject artificial smells into the gas, it may still be mild enough to dismiss.

    Remain vigilant of your home’s various carbon emissions by inspecting detectors regularly. The buildup may already impact your home and health before they trigger alarms.

    Furnace systems may have integrated detectors but have a separate unit for good measure. A separate Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector is essential to secure your home from the many dangers of its buildup.


Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is another dangerous emission that may stem from your furnace system. CO2 levels are closely linked to your home’s indoor air quality. Too many CO2 particles in your air cause detrimental effects on our health.

While most CO detectors can’t determine CO2 levels, there are other tools you can use to measure its presence in your home. Remember, there are various tools to help you detect carbon emissions in your indoor air.

Whatever you choose to help you determine the quality of your breathing air, it’s best to deploy them during spring after your furnace did the most of its work. You may also hire professional inspectors to evaluate your home’s indoor air quality.

Call Heating Specialists

Inspecting your furnace gives you an insight into your home heating system before enlisting professional help. You may evaluate system conditions yourself first to ensure your family’s immediate safety. Cleaning accessible components also helps you take better care of them later.

These steps are all helpful to do on your own and are the best way to welcome the last and most important step. Seeking professional maintenance care is the best thing you can do for your furnace after winter.

Common Furnace Issues: My Furnace Won’t Turn OFF

If you’ve tried and failed to turn your heating system off, verify to see that you’ve followed the proper steps. If it still doesn’t shut down, this could be due to several issues.

Some minor problems could lie with your furnace filter, loose wiring, or possibly even a fault with your thermostat.

You could also be looking at more serious issues with your system, like problems with the burner assembly. Concerns involving critical components should be addressed and professionally evaluated immediately.

Calling professionals with the necessary equipment and expertise can resolve issues much quicker. Reliable experts can also render more services more effectively.

We might think our DIY efforts have resolved matters. However, we may be surprised by their unpleasant results later.

Need Assistance with Furnace Maintenance ASAP?

Turning off your heating system and doing post-season maintenance may just be the beginning of your HVAC needs. Pre-season maintenance is just as important.

Why wait for any problems to pop up before getting any work done? Routine maintenance is your best bet.

Ensure your home’s heating system runs like the well-oiled machine it can be. Any faults and deficiencies can be detected through regular inspection by a reliable HVAC technician.

Finding the right people to do the job for you is a worthy topic of its own. After all, you are entrusting them with your home’s upkeep.

Trust Taylor Heating & AC With All Your HVAC Needs

Since 1984 the Taylor Team has been serving customers all over Pierce County. We have provided Puyallup with extensive HVAC services, prioritizing customer satisfaction for nearly 40 years. We also serve the neighboring areas, including Eatonville, Tacoma, Graham, and Spanaway.

While many companies treat every HVAC system as identical, at Taylor Heating & AC, we take a personalized approach to each home’s unique needs, ensuring that you receive the most tailored and effective heating and cooling solutions.

At Taylor Heating & AC, our licensed technicians make multiple visits to your home each year to perform essential maintenance and tune-up tasks for your HVAC system that can only be safely and effectively completed by professionals. These services are crucial for ensuring that your system remains in optimal condition and continues to operate efficiently.

Tune up Your HVAC System with Taylor Heating & AC. Call (253) 208-5315 Today!

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