When Is It Cold Enough to Put the Heating On?

Winter arrives, and it’s that time of year again! When we start to put on warmer clothing and boots, the heat is turned on for the first time. But what temperature should you be turning it up to? What about when your house starts getting cold at night? This post will give you all the information you need to know before adjusting your room thermostat.

When Is It Cold Enough to Turn on the Heater?

The general rule is to turn on the heater when the temperature inside falls below 64 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this is just a guideline, and you may find that you need to adjust the temperature depending on your personal preferences or the type of heating system you have.

When to Turn On Heat?

It would be best to turn on the heat as soon as the cold season approaches. It’s also better to turn on the heat early than late. Additionally, it would be best if you turned on the thermostat higher about two weeks before temperatures began to fall.

This is also energy-efficient heating since you’ll only turn on the heat when necessary. By doing so, you’ll maintain a minimum indoor temperature, have cold air feel warmer, and save money in the process.

You should set up the heating system with a thermostat, and if it’s programmable, then all the better. You’ll want this thermostat to stay at the correct temperature, so program it to keep up a few degrees above the lowest you want your house to be.

What Month Do You Turn the Heat Off?

The month when you’ll want to turn off your heat depends on the climate you’re in. Many homeowners turn off their heat at the beginning of spring, but this can vary depending on your location. If you’re in a warmer climate, then you may be able to turn off your system at the end of winter.

What Temperature Outside to Put Heating On?

It is best to refer to your heating system’s owner’s manual to determine the actual air temperature at which it is recommended you turn on your heating. This will be when the temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit for most systems.

However, as we mentioned earlier, you may find that you need to adjust this temperature depending on your personal preferences or the type of heating system you have to help you stay warmer. Determining the actual air temperature to turn on the heat is also another way of being more energy-efficient.

How to Decide If I Should Turn on the Heat

There are a few things you can do to help decide whether or not to turn on your heat.

Indoor temperature

 If you’re feeling cold, it’s a good indication that the temperature inside is too low, and you should turn on your heat. However, the world health organization suggests you turn on heating when the indoor temperature falls below 64 degrees Fahrenheit. They consider 64 degrees Fahrenheit or higher as healthy indoor temperatures.

Outdoor temperature

If the outside temperature drops and you’re feeling a draft, this is another good indication that you should turn on your heater. You can identify a lower temperature as anything that falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. At such a point, you can claim that it’s typically cold outside.

On the other hand, average temperatures are usually 52 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly above.

Personal preference

When it comes to personal preference, energy efficiency can also be a factor. Most people are property heat efficient as they are more concerned about the impact on their energy bills.

With your preferences, you can decide on the level of lunchtime temperatures and sleeping temperatures that best suits you.

When to Switch from Heat to Cooling?

Most experts agree that you should turn off your heat and switch to cooling when the outside temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although some people suggest turning down the thermostat by a few degrees when the weather is hot, this may not be necessary for everyone. The best way to stay comfortable in your home during the summer months is to use a programmable thermostat so you can set it to the temperature that you prefer.

Things that Affect the Temperature Inside Your Home

A few things can affect your home’s indoor temperature, even if you have the heating turned on.

Leaking ductwork

Leaking ductwork in your home can cause heat leakage in your own home. Leaking ductwork will cause your heating/cooling system to work harder and increase energy bills.

Poor insulation

If you have poor insulation in your home, then it is likely that the temperature will fluctuate from room to room. This can be especially true if there are gaps or cracks around windows and doorways in other house areas that allow warm air escape. A well-insulated house will help you with saving money.

Improper sized heating/cooling system

If you have an improperly sized system, it may not meet the demand when the weather changes. This factor can cause your home to be too hot or cold and increase energy bills. A properly sized system will facilitate efficient heating in your house.

Your location

The location of your home can also affect indoor temperatures. If you have a poorly insulated house located in an area with lots of shade, it may be difficult for your heating/cooling system to keep up with the changes in weather throughout the seasons.

Things to Do Before Turning On the Heating System

Annual Maintenance Check-up

This means having a qualified technician come out and perform an annual maintenance check-up for the heating/cooling system in your home to help ensure everything is ready to use when needed.

Inspect Windows for Cracks and Gaps

If you have any cracks or gaps around your windows, it’s essential to fix them as soon as possible. Fixing them will help keep the warm/cool air in and save on energy costs. Additionally, it would help if a professional inspected the windows to ensure they were appropriately sealed and insulated.

Test Your Thermostat

Testing the thermostat will help ensure that the heating/cooling system functions correctly and saves energy costs. Additionally, do not forget to check the thermostat setting.

Inspect the Furnace for Leaks and Cracks

It is essential to inspect your furnace regularly for any leaks or cracks. If these are found, you should fix them as soon as possible to prevent warm air from escaping and costing you more money. This will also make the air feel warmer.

Check Vent Space and Heater for Blockage

A clear vent space will help ensure that the heated air can escape adequately and not cause the furnace to work harder than necessary and make your house warm.

Inspect the Ductwork for Leakage or Blockage

Leakage or blockage can cause heat loss and increase your heating bills. If any leakage or blockage is found, you should make repairs as soon as possible.

Ensure the Carbon Monoxide Detector is Working Well

The last thing you want is for your heating system to cause any leakage of CO in your home, which can help prevent this from happening.

Clean or replace your air filter

If your air filter is dirty, it may lead to the system being unable to work efficiently. The filter is supposed to help keep the dust and dirt from entering the system. If it’s not working correctly, this can lead to increased energy bills.

Why is My Heat Not Turning On?

If your heat is not turning on, there are a few possible reasons. Below, we have listed some of the most common causes and what you can do to fix them.

Thermostat Failure

One of the most common reasons for a heating system not turning on is a thermostat failure. Thermostat failure is when the thermostat is not working correctly or set incorrectly. You will want to repair the thermostat or replace it with a new one to fix this issue.

Furnace Problem

Another common reason for a heating system not turning on is a furnace problem. Furnace problems are caused by many things, such as a broken part, dirty filter, or clogged vent. If you think that your furnace may be the problem, it’s best to call in a professional to take a look at it and fix the issue.

Heat Pump or Pilot Light Issues

If you have a heat pump, the issue may be with the pump itself. Additionally, if you have a pilot light that isn’t staying on, there may be an issue with the ignition system. If this is the case, you will need to call in a professional to take a look and fix the problems.

How to Turn on Heater at Home

If you’re not sure how to turn on your heater, don’t worry. We have created a simple guide that will show you how to do it.

Locate the start knob to your furnace

Locating the start knob to your furnace may seem complicated, but it’s pretty easy. The start knob is usually found on the lower front panel of the furnace and should have a red or orange dot on it.

Turn the knob to pilot

Once you have located the start knob, you will turn it to pilot. Depending on the furnace, this can be done by turning it left or right.

Push down the igniter button until the pilot light ignites

Turning it to the pilot will ignite a small flame in what is known as the “pilot light.” Once the pilot light is lit, you will need to push down the igniter button until it stays on.

Set the temperature to the desired setting

Once the pilot light is on, you will want to adjust the inside temperature accordingly using the thermostat. The thermostat setting can be done by turning a knob or using a digital screen that may allow you to set it with a remote.


Now you know how to turn on your heater and some of the common problems that may occur. If you experience any other issues, it’s best to call in a professional to help get your heating system up and running again.