Your gas furnace is your first line of defense against the cold that winter brings. The comfort of your home relies on your gas furnace to distribute warm air. Unfortunately, with winter also comes some extreme weather conditions. A storm can knock out electrical power and leave your home in the dark. However, will a gas furnace work without electricity? Unfortunately, no. If you have a gas furnace, it may not work if you do not have access to electricity. Fortunately, there are some techniques that you can use to stay comfortable and safe in an electrical outage.
Why A Gas Furnace Doesn’t Work Without Electricity
It is easy to think of a gas furnace as a reliable source of heat even when there is no electricity. After all, it only requires gas to burn and produce heat. Unfortunately, your gas furnace is not a stove. It does require electricity to generate heat to heat your home. The main reason why your gas furnace may be useless in case of a power outage is that it has components that require electricity to work.
The Parts Of The Furnace That Require Electricity
- Relays – switches that control the flow of gas and the system’s safety devices, such as the thermocouple and the fuel regulator.
- Circuit boards – the component that sends signals from the thermostat to the furnace, and vice versa.
- Blower motor – the motor that utilizes fans to push heated air through the air duct system also uses electricity to work.
- Electronic ignition – the ignition system does not require a pilot light to ignite the burners. Without a power supply, the ignition system will not be able to start up the furnace.
These components are critical to the gas furnace system. If one does not function due to lack of electrical supply, the rest of the system will not function as well.
How To Keep Warm Without Electricity
Since you cannot help how your gas furnace is designed, your next important concern is keeping yourself and your family warm if the power does go out. This is especially worrisome during a snowstorm when temperatures indoors can plunge quickly. Here are ways to generate and preserve heat even without a functioning gas furnace:
Make Sure All Cracks, Gaps, And Crevices Are Covered
Warm indoor air can easily escape through any gap or crack in your home. Cold outdoor air can just as easily seep in. As a preventive measure, check your doors, windows, and other areas where there are joints that could warp or crack even before winter. Use weatherproofing chemicals or weatherproofing tape to seal any holes or cracks. Preventing air leakage is a good practice as it keeps the heated air indoors, reducing energy costs.
If you find yourself in the middle of winter and the air indoors is getting cooler, gather thick materials such as towels and use these to block spots and areas that might allow cold air in. If needed, use tape to secure the material in place.
Wear several layers of clothing indoors. Thick fabrics act as insulation to preserve your body heat, which is especially helpful if you do not have a reliable source of heat. Choose thick but light clothing and pick a fabric that works against cold, such as wool. Wear socks and gloves to keep your extremities warm, and top it off with a thick hat or cap.
Keep The Doors And Windows Closed
Minimize the opening and closing of doors and windows. If you need to go outside, plan your trips so you only have to make the minimum number of times you have to open the door.
Eat And Drink Warm Foods & Drinks
If consuming a meal, choose a heated dish and drink warm or hot drinks, such as tea, coffee, or chocolate.
Candles are handy during a power outage but they are also quite effective as a heat source. Light a few candles and group them together in key areas. They will generate enough heat in a small room to keep the temperature high.
Be careful about lighting them up, however. Place candles on a stand that is stable and level, or put the stand itself in a bowl with some water. This will help put out the flame in case the candle burns out. Do not put candles directly on or close to flammable materials such as wood, plastic, fabric, or paper. You should also keep them away from appliances that use flammable gas, such as a stove or oven.
If you have kids or pets, place candles on spots that are difficult to reach and make sure they cannot easily be knocked over. Do not leave candles burning in a room for too long. Put them out if you are going to another part of the house or are going to bed.
Sit Or Sleep With Hot Water Bottles
Pour hot (not boiling) water into bottles or hot water packs, wrap them in a towel or cloth, and use them to keep warm. These are especially useful if you are going to bed and want to remain comfortable.
What To Do If Your Furnace Doesn’t Work After A Power Outage
If you try to start up your furnace and it doesn’t budge after the power outage, check the system. The gas valve may have shut off or you may have to reset the safety lock, for example. However, there are other reasons why the furnace does not start after an outage. You may be tempted to experiment with the system but don’t do it. You could do more damage than good. If this happens, turn off the power supply to the furnace, and call a professional technician for a furnace repair. This will help ensure that your system is safe and any underlying problems are identified and solved.
The best way to ensure that your gas furnace remains reliable during the cold months is to keep it in good shape. Regular checkups, cleanings, and maintenance will ensure that the system is working as it should. Leave any issues you do not understand to the professionals and make sure that you call one right away for any problems.
Call McAllister Energy For Superior Heating & Cooling Solutions
McAllister Energy offers high-quality HVAC services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire only the best professionally certified technicians who conduct superior heating and cooling services. Some of our HVAC services include HVAC maintenance, heating and cooling installations, repairs, ductless systems, energy audits, and much more. All our techs provide accurate HVAC services on time, every time.
Our company guarantees affordable heating and cooling service rates. Our maintenance services can increase your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. We can also provide you with a highly energy-efficient HVAC replacement system that fits your budget. Your satisfaction is important to us, so all our work comes with a guarantee. Book a service appointment with McAllister Energy today. We provide free, in-home estimates.