If your electric furnace turns off every time you plug in your holiday lights, you may want to have an electrician inspect your home. An electric furnace uses a great deal of energy to force hot air throughout your home. When you place high-wattage seasonal lights on the inside and outside of your home, they can also use up electricity. An electrician can troubleshoot the disruptions by testing the wiring inside your home's walls, electrical outlets and circuit breakers to see if your home has enough power to support the lights and furnace at the same time. Until he or she comes in and finds the reason behind your tripping electric furnace, you can do some things on your own to remedy the issue temporarily.
Place Your Furnace on the Lowest Temperature Possible
One of the best ways to reduce stress on your home's electrical power when you use your furnace and holiday lights at the same time is to lower the thermostat on the furnace. Even on the coldest days of the season, you can program the thermostat 2–5 degrees lower than its usual setting. It may help distribute electrical power evenly throughout the house—and not just to the furnace.
After the thermostat change, your holiday lights may receive enough energy to meet their high-wattage needs. The holiday lights won't need to "pull" extra power from your home's electricity, which includes taking power from the electric furnace.
Once you lower the thermostat, you can find other ways to stay warm, as well as maintain heat inside the rooms of your house. Here are three tips you may want to consider when you lower your thermostat:
- Wear extra clothing: Try wearing long johns, thick stockings or sweat pants under your jeans or trousers during the daytime to keep warm. At night, wear an extra pajama top or wool pajama bottoms to seal in your body's heat.
- Place sheets over your doors: If you want to seal in your bedrooms' heat, place sheets over the doors and then close them. To do this, spread the sheets over the tops of the doors and let them hand down to the floor to prevent heat loss through the casings, door jambs and thresholds.
- Install a dehumidifier in the living room: A dehumidifier may remove any cold moisture from the home and replace it with dry, warm air.
Be sure to use sheets and not thick blankets to cover your bedroom doors. Thick blankets can create safety issues by jamming the doors shut. If you do choose to use blankets to cover the bedroom doors, you can leave 1–2 inches of space between the covered doors and their casings to stay safe during the night.
There's one more thing you might want to do in order to stop the tripping furnace in your home. You can change the frequency or times when you turn on your interior and exterior seasonal lights.
Alternate Your Interior and Exterior Holiday Lights
Instead of burning both indoor and outdoor seasonal lights at the same time, turn on your exterior lights during warm nights and your interior lights during cold nights. You can reduce the strain on your electrical power if you do so.
During warmer seasonal nights, the electric furnace will typically stay off unless you raise the thermostat's settings, or if you place the thermostat to the "on" position. Because your exterior holiday lights may require more electricity to operate than your indoor lights, you can take advantage of this warmer weather. On colder nights, you can plug in your interior holiday lights.