Sep 26

Will A Gas Furnace Work Without Electricity?

image of a homeowner during power outage and gas furnace

Your gas furnace is your home’s first line of defense against the winter cold. This piece of heating equipment distributes warm air throughout your home. Therefore, your home depends on it to keep you comfortable during the cold season. Winter comes with some extreme weather. Storms can knock down electrical power, leaving your home without power. However, many homeowners still ask, “Will a gas furnace work without electricity?” The simple answer is no. A gas furnace will not work if you do not have electricity. The good news is that you can do some techniques to stay comfortable and safe despite an electrical outage.

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Why A Gas Furnace Doesn’t Work Without Electricity

It isn’t hard to think that your gas furnace can be depended on to provide you with heat when there is a power outage. After all, it only needs gas to burn and generate heat. However, a gas furnace isn’t a stove, so it needs electricity to produce the heat necessary to keep your home comfortable. Your furnace heating system may be rendered useless during power outages because it has components that need electricity to run.

Furnace Components That Need Electricity

Here are some of the furnace components that need electricity:

  • Relays – These switches control the gas flow and the furnace’s safety devices, including the fuel regulator and the thermocouple.
  • Circuit boards – This component links the thermostat and the furnace as it sends signals from one to the other and vice versa.
  • Blower motor – The motor uses fans to force the heated air through the system’s ductwork and utilizes electricity to operate.
  • Electronic ignition – This component doesn’t need a pilot light for burner ignition. However, the ignition system cannot start the furnace without a power supply.

These parts are crucial to the gas furnace’s operations. If a single component doesn’t run because of the lack of electrical supply, the whole system cannot function as well.


How To Keep Warm Without A Working Furnace & Electricity

As you cannot change the design of your gas furnace, your next crucial concern is how you will keep your home warm if there is a power outage. This is a worrisome situation, especially if there is a snowstorm and the temperatures inside your home can drop quickly. Here are several ways you can produce and preserve heat even without an operational gas furnace:

Cover All Cracks, Gaps, & Crevices

sealing window air leaks at home for energy efficiency

Warm indoor air can easily escape through any crack or gap around your home. These gaps and cracks also let cold outdoor air seep in. Therefore, you should check windows, doors, and other areas with joints that may have cracked or warped. Use weatherproofing tapes or chemicals to seal all cracks and holes. This is a good strategy as it keeps the heated air inside to reduce energy costs.

If it is the middle of the winter and the air inside your home is getting colder, collect thick materials like towels to block these spots that may let cold air in. If necessary, use tape to secure these materials in place.

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Cover Up

Wear several clothing layers while inside your home. Thick fabrics can insulate the heat in your body, preserving your body heat. This can be helpful if you do not have a reliable heat source. Select thick but light clothes and choose a fabric that works against cold, like wool. Wear gloves and socks, so your extremities remain warm. Wear a thick cap or hat as well.

Close The Doors And Windows

Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. If you need to go outside, plan your trips, so you have to open the door the minimum number of times.

Eat Heated Meals & Drink Warm Drinks

image of soup depicting what to when no heat at home

Choose a hot dish when eating a meal and drink warm or hot drinks, like tea or coffee.

Light Candles

Candles are handy when there is no power, but they are also fairly effective in providing heat. Light several candles and group them in essential areas. They will produce sufficient heat in a small room to keep the temperature high.

However, be careful about lighting them. Ensure the candles are on a stable and level stand or place the stand in a bowl with water. This helps put out the flame when the candle burns out. Do not put candles close to or directly on flammable materials like paper, fabric, or wood. Remember to keep them away from appliances using flammable gas like an oven.

If you have kids or pets, make sure that the candles are in hard-to-reach places, so they aren’t easily knocked over. Don’t leave candles burning in a room for too long. Put them out if you are leaving the room or are going to bed.

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Use Hot Water Bottles While Sitting Or Sleeping

Pour hot (not boiling) water into hot water packs or glass bottles, and wrap them in a cloth or towel. You can use these to keep warm. These are especially helpful if you are about to sleep and want to remain comfortable.

What To Do If Your Furnace Doesn’t Work After A Power Outage

Check the system if your furnace doesn’t start up after a power outage. The gas valve may have turned off, or you may need to do a safety lock reset. However, other reasons can be the cause behind why your furnace doesn’t start after an outage. Never conduct a DIY furnace repair, as this can result in more damage to your gas furnace or home. If this issue happens, turn off the furnace’s power supply and contact an HVAC professional. This will help ensure your system’s safety and that all the underlying problems are identified and resolved.

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Keep your gas furnace in good shape to ensure its reliability during the cold months. Make sure it receives checkups, cleanings, and tune-ups regularly so that it works as it should. Let a professional handle the issues you do not understand. Call them immediately when a problem with your gas furnace arises.

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