Should you turn off your furnace when you go to sleep?

We often talk to money-savvy homeowners who tell us they turn off their furnace before going to bed. Their intention is to prevent the furnace from running through the night, which reduces their heating bills.

And in theory, they’re right. This definitely prevents the furnace from running. But there’s a much better solution.

Instead of turning off your furnace at night, turn the thermostat back at least 7 to 10 degrees. 

We’ll explain why below.

Why turning down the temperature is the better solution

According to, you can save up to 10% on heating costs just by turning the thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees from your normal setting for at least 8 hours a day (such as at night).

But turning down the thermostat instead of turning off the heat completely provides other benefits beyond saving money.

Those benefits include:

Increased comfort

If you set back your thermostat, your furnace will only kick on when your home’s temperature drops too low. So that means, unlike when you turn off the heat completely, your home is maintaining a reasonable temperature. And when you wake up in the morning, you won’t have to wait for long periods of time before your furnace catches back up with your daytime temperature.

Protecting your pipes in the event of freezing temperatures

In the event that temperatures drop below freezing, your furnace will kick on and save the day (or night). Setting your thermostat back 10 degrees to a reasonable temperature instead of turning off the furnace prevents your pipes from reaching freezing temperatures and bursting, saving you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Programmable thermostats: Save up to $180 on heating bills (automatically!)

Programmable thermostats allow your thermostat to automatically adjust your home’s temperatures according to pre-set schedules. And according to Energy Star, they can save you up to $180 in heating and cooling costs every year.

For example, let’s say you usually go to bed around 10pm and wake around 7am. You can program your thermostat to automatically:

  • Roll back the temperature 10 degrees at 11pm
  • Adjust back to your normal daytime temperature around 6:30am

That way you don’t have to remember to manually adjust the thermostat every night and morning. But it also increases your comfort by allowing you to program the heat to turn back on 30 minutes before you get out of bed, preventing you from waking up to a chilly home.

Energy Star offers guidelines on how to use a programmable thermostat in order to get the most savings.

Ready to increase your cooling/heating savings?

If you’re ready to save $180 a year on your utility bills, we can help.

Just contact us. We’ll give you professional advice on how to get optimal energy savings and can install a programmable thermostat for you.