Will Your Gas Furnace Work If the Power Goes Out?
The winters around Festus can be brutal at times, causing the power to go out. One of the most common questions we’re asked is if a gas furnace will continue to run when the power is out. Discover the answer to this important question, the reason behind it, plus what you can do during and after a power outage.
The Short Answer: Your Furnace Won’t Work
It seems like your furnace should continue working, being it burns gas to create heat, right? Unfortunately, there is a lot more that goes into a furnace heating your home than simply burning gas. This means that unless you have a backup generator to run your furnace, it won’t run until the power is restored to your home.
How a Furnace Uses Electricity
Let’s explore all the ways your furnace actually uses electricity to heat your home. It starts before the burner ever lights, with the control board that requires power. This important piece controls all of the functions of the furnace, initializing different components at the right time. If this doesn’t have power, the entire system fails to work.
Next, there are a series of sensors and switches that regulate everything from the blower motor to the flow of gas. If these don’t have power, the furnace’s default state prevents gas from flowing into the unit to prevent a dangerous build-up of gas in the system. Do not attempt to circumvent these switches if your power goes out, which could cause a situation prone to a gas-related fire or explosion.
Even if your furnace burns gas to create heat, it cannot move that heat into your home without the blower motor, which is driven by electricity. Rather, without the blower motor running, the furnace will overheat, damaging electrical components and the heat exchanger resulting in needed repairs.
Ideas to Keep Warm During a Power Outage
If you can’t run your furnace during a power outage, how do you keep your family warm? There are several options you can plan for that do not require any power. First, identify one area of your home that will most effectively maintain heat. Once you know that, make a plan for how to insulate that room in the event of a power outage. Close doors to other areas leading from that room, and hang blankets to help close off hallways. Also, close blinds and curtains to help keep the heat inside.
Make sure you have plenty of blankets and warm clothes. Between insulting each person and insulating a single room, you may be able to keep the temperature warm enough to stay safe. Staying active and moving around also keeps your body temperature up and can help keep you warm in colder temperatures.
Steps to Take If the Power Goes Out
Whenever the power goes out, it can cause fluctuations in the electricity flowing to your home when it’s restored. These fluctuations can damage electric appliances, including your furnace.
Ideally, unplug every appliance possible to reduce the draw within your home when the power comes back on. If you don’t have access to the power source for your furnace or other appliances, turn them off at the circuit panel.
Leave one light on in the area you’re staying in so that you know when power is restored. Once power has been restored and seems stable, plug your appliances back in and turn the breakers back on.
What If Your Furnace Won’t Turn Back On?
If your furnace won’t turn back on after a power outage, it may have sustained some damage. Start by checking that the circuit breaker is in the “On” position and that you remembered to plug the furnace back in. If it appears to have power, call your HVAC repair provider to troubleshoot the issue. It could be anything from a damaged igniter to a damaged control panel. An experienced technician will quickly identify the issue so that you can get the heat flowing again quickly.
For more than 40 years, people around Festus have trusted Bone Heating & Cooling to keep them safe and comfortable throughout the year. Our NATE-certified technicians provide dependable air conditioning and heating repair, installation, and maintenance, along with ductwork installation and repair services. If your furnace isn’t working after a power outage, call to schedule your furnace repair with one of our expert technicians today.