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Install furnace fan switch to cool off the house

Lorraine Graves   Aug-04-2017

Installing a furnace switch is a cheaper option to air conditioning for cooling a house equipped with a forced-air heater.

Kearnj via flickr.com


Air conditioning is a luxury not everyone has and it’s expensive to run.

If you have a forced air heating system, one with air registers, you have a lower cost option.

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For approximately $150 to $ 200, according to Brad Langley president of Richmond’s Flame Heating, there’s a middle road, a switch that turns on your furnace’s fan to circulate the cooler air from low in the house to the upper floors where it tends to be hotter.

“It can mean the difference between 70 [21 degrees C] in the basement and 75 [24 C] degrees on the top floor. You are stealing the cooling from the basement.”

Turning on just the furnace fan also improves air flow in the rooms throughout the house.

Because moving air steals heat from our skin we cool off more.

According to Consumer Reports, just having air flowing past your skin can make you feel at least 2 degrees colder. In our climate, that can mean the difference between comfortable and too hot. Also, at night, if you can safely lock windows open an inch on your lower floor, the cool outdoor air will be sucked in by the system and circulated through the house. By cooling the house at night, the house stays cooler throughout the day.

Langley says there’s an advantage to putting a fan switch in when a new or replacement furnace is installed.

“If you have proper wiring from the furnace thermostat, it’s usually included in the cost of installing the furnace.” If done then, the cost is approximately $50 with parts and labour. With some companies, you have to ask for it to be done though.

To put in a furnace fan switch, which usually just looks like an extra light switch in your furnace room, for an existing forced air furnace, Langley says you are looking at between $130 and $200 dollars so, a far less than the cost of air conditioning.

While your home won’t be icy cold, it will feel cooler and, because of the increased air flow, the people in the house will feel cooler.


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