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Will My Gas Furnace Still Work During a Blackout?

A gas furnace is a reliable way to heat a home, chosen for heating installation by the majority of homeowners in the United States. If you have a gas furnace, it may seem as though an advantage is that your heating system will continue to work in case of a blackout. This is a logical assumption; your heating system runs via the gas line so it only makes sense that it would continue to run—right? Not quite.

For the most part, your gas furnace will not be able to run if there is no power to your home. There are a few reasons for this. Components of your furnace are hooked up to the electricity to ensure proper operation and your health and safety. The thermostat requires electricity to communicate with the furnace when it’s time to switch on and off. The blower runs via a motor that also requires electricity. And relays send a signal to control the safety features like the thermocouple (but don’t worry—a blackout won’t cause any sudden gas leaks).

Although your gas furnace will not work when the power goes out, you can install a generator to ensure that a blackout never takes away the heating in your home or any other major electrical appliances. A standby generator switches on as soon as it senses that there is no longer an electrical current running through your home. If you have family members with illnesses that require you to keep the home heated, you cannot afford to go without power for too long. Keep in mind, however, that connecting a furnace to a generator is a job for a licensed electrician only.

If you don’t have a generator, it’s important to shut off power to the furnace when there is a blackout. This is because your furnace may suffer damage if the electrical grid fluctuates and sends inconsistent voltage to the furnace. In case of electrical damage, be sure to call a technician to your home as soon as possible to get your heating back to normal.

Speak with an expert at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for more information about generators and your heating in Marysville.

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