How Long Does It Take To Heat a House the First Time?

How long does it take to heat a house for the first time in Portland?

Are you turning your heat on for the first time this fall? You’re probably wondering how long it’s going to take to heat your house. While we wish we had a straightforward answer for you, the truth is that the amount of time it takes to heat your home depends on a variety of factors, like:

  • The climate you live in
  • The amount and quality of your home’s insulation
  • The type and size of your heating system
  • The temperature outside vs. your thermostat's temperature
  • And much more

Although we can’t tell you exactly how long it will take to heat your home the first time, we can provide you with a few tips to help heat your home faster and keep your home warmer for longer.

To heat your home quickly, you should:

  • Invest in the right size heating system for your home
  • Invest in energy-efficient home features
  • Invest in annual maintenance
  • Invest in a smart thermostat

Below, we’ll walk through each of these recommendations in more detail, so you can get a better idea of which heating tips will work for you.

If you’d prefer to speak with a professional, reach out to Four Seasons. Unlike other HVAC companies, we're wholly committed to providing our customers with quality service. We will never cut corners when it comes to helping our customers. Learn more about our heating installation services, annual maintenance, or smart thermostat installations. Call us at 503-538-1950 today!

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Invest in the right size heating system for your home

A technician using a Manual J Load calculation to size your heater correctly is vital. / Source: Department of Energy

The key to warming your home quickly and keeping it warm is a correctly-sized heating system. Many homeowners mistakenly install an undersized or oversized system, and then it unevenly heats or takes forever to heat their home.

If you install a system too small for your home, the system will struggle to keep up. It will run constantly but never seem to heat your home properly, resulting in higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan.

On the other hand, a system too large for your home will cycle on and off frequently, resulting in hot and cold spots throughout the space. When the heating system is too big for your home, you will also experience high energy bills and excessive wear and tear on the unit.

The best way to ensure that your home heats up quickly and thoroughly is to ensure you have the correctly-sized heating system installed in your home. A professional will conduct a Manual J Load assessment to determine the system size needed for your home and heating needs.

This assessment takes into account factors like:

  • The size of your home
  • The number of windows and doors
  • The number of people living in your home
  • The type and quality of your insulation
  • The climate you live in
  • The direction your home is facing
  • And many more

Have you recently installed a heating system, but your home isn't heating up quickly enough or retaining heat? Reach out to the installer to check that the system's size is correct.

If you’re in the market for a new system, ensure that the contractor will perform a Manual J Load calculation before installation.

Note: On average, furnaces last about 10-20 years, and heat pumps last about 10-15 years. If your heating system is around 10 years old and it's struggling to heat your home quickly or keep your home heated, it's probably time to consider replacing the system.

Invest in energy-efficient home features

Insulating cracks in your home can help improve its energy efficiency.

A great way to heat your home quickly is to ensure your home can retain that heat. If you have leaks in your air ducts or throughout your home, heat can easily be lost, taking your home longer to heat up and making it harder to stay heated.

Three of the biggest culprits when it comes to heat loss are:

  • Leaky air ducts
  • Poor insulation
  • Leaky windows and doors

If you notice that your home is taking a while to heat up and never seems to stay warm, coupled with high monthly energy bills, you’re likely dealing with a leak somewhere.

Our recommendation would be to have a professional technician inspect for leaks and repair any. Otherwise, you’ll continue to struggle with keeping your home heated. The system struggling will strain and cause excess wear and tear on it. Not to mention you’re likely paying more in energy bills for the lost heat.

Invest in annual maintenance

A heating system affixed to home's interior wall.

Four Seasons technicians will perform a 21-point furnace tune-up or an 18-point heat pump tune-up.

Another great way to ensure your home heats quickly is to invest in annual maintenance for your heating system. If your system is not running efficiently, it will struggle to heat your home. Plus, regular maintenance can include benefits like:

  • Saving you money on monthly energy bills: The more efficiently your system runs, the less you’ll pay for utility bills.
  • Keeping your warranty valid: A clean and efficient system will prevent excessive wear and tear, extending its lifespan.
  • Extending the life of your heating system: Keeping your system efficient and clean can prevent excessive wear and tear on your system.

During a maintenance visit, a pro will also check for any issues. These visits help catch minor issues before they become more prominent and expensive.

At Four Seasons, we offer a low-cost, high-quality maintenance plan. You can learn more about our maintenance plan or request an appointment.

Invest in a smart thermostat

A smart thermostat will help your furnace heat up more quickly.

Another way to heat your home more quickly is to invest in a smart thermostat.


Well, usually, when homeowners are trying to heat up their homes quickly, it's whenever they're returning from vacation or work to a cold house. They will shut off their heat or severely decrease it while they're gone and then dramatically increase it when they return, thinking it will heat their home faster.

While many homeowners think this will save them money, this type of severe temperature increase can increase your bills and strain the heater in the long run. Not to mention, it takes a while for your heating system to reach the new set temperature if your home has been at the same temperature as the freezing outdoors, so your home won't heat any faster either.

A great way to save money and have a warm home when you return from vacation or work is to invest in a smart thermostat. You can set a smart thermostat to lower the temperature while you're gone or asleep, then gradually bring the temperature back up to your desired setting by the time you return or wake up.

You're no longer asking your heating system to increase the temperature by 10 degrees. Instead, it's only by 2-3 degrees at a time, reducing the stress put on the system and making heating more efficient. This way, your home is at your desired temperature as soon as you need it and you aren't stuck waiting for your home to heat up. Plus, if you forget to change your temperature control, you can do so from your phone with an app.

Learn more about the benefits of smart thermostats here.

Want help heating your home? Call Four Seasons!

At Four Seasons, there's nothing we care more about than providing reliable, high-quality service to our customers. Many HVAC companies lure customers in with great deals and then cut corners when doing the work. We do what's right when serving our fellow Portland homeowners. Learn more about our heating installations, tune-ups for furnaces or heat pumps, and smart thermostat installations. Call us at 503-538-1950 or click the button below to learn more about our services!

Schedule Service!

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