First it was hot, then it was chilly. The weather in the Greater Toronto Area is unpredictable at best. It’s difficult to know when the time to turn on your heating system is.
You don’t want to waste energy heating your home when it’s not necessary, but you also don’t want to get home to a cold house.
In the spring, we wrote about the perfect time to turn your air conditioner on. We’re all about conserving energy at A1 Air Conditioning & Heating, so now we’ve set out on a quest to find the ideal time to make the switch this fall.
As we did in the spring article, we will use the World Health Organizations (WHO) standards for a healthy indoor temperature to find out. The WHO recommends 18⁰C as a minimum for indoor temperature but recommends 21⁰C if there are any children or elderly people in the home. Overall the range of temperatures they deem safe are 18⁰C to 22⁰C, but we’ll stick with the 21⁰C.
On average, the temperature in the GTA drops below 21⁰C sooner than you might think. Here is a graph of Oakville temperatures in September 2014 and the average of September over several years:
Graph courtesy of accuweather.com
As you can see in that graph, the highest in a single day drops below 21⁰C several times throughout the month. This doesn’t mean you should be turning on your furnace right away, as the average high over several years in September doesn’t reach below 21⁰C until approximately September 20th.
The average high is more relevant to your home comfort because the low is often reached while we’re sleeping. However, the low is still relevant.
Think about what makes winter so hard, it’s waking up in the morning, taking the first step out of your bed and feeling the cold hard air hit your skin. You want to crawl back into bed immediately.
In the interest of energy efficiency, it’s not always possible to avoid this in the winter. It can get so cold overnight that it’s better to cozy up in a warm duvet and let your furnace have some much needed R&R while you sleep. In the fall however, you have the luxury of not running your air conditioner, so running the furnace doesn’t rack up any extra costs.
Taking into consideration that the average high drops to 20⁰C and the low to 10⁰C, September 20th is the ideal time to turn on your furnace.
It is when the temperature drops below 21⁰C, so you no longer need an air conditioner, and it is just about the time that the low temperature starts getting too uncomfortable to wake up to.
Of course you can always do it a little later to save some money. However, you should always make sure you’ve had your furnace cleaned and serviced before you start it up for the year to ensure it is running efficiently and to avoid potential repair costs.
When you’re ready to turn on your furnace, September 20th or not, schedule a service appointment and we’ll make sure you’re prepared for winter.