Will your gas furnace work without electricity?

Furnaces may seem more reliable than baseboard or other electric heating units during a blackout. You might think that since your furnace runs on gas or oil that you’ll be fine if the power goes out. Sadly, this isn’t entirely true. Your furnace still relies on electricity to power itself. That’s why you need to try and protect your heating systems the best you can during a blackout.

What should you do during a blackout to protect your heating systems?

So, the power is out. Now what? A home that was fully heated before the power went out can stay warm for up to several hours depending on outside temperatures.

First, block any drafts with blankets or carpets to keep as much heat in your home as possible. Also, ensure you turn your thermostat down to the minimum temperature to prevent any damage that may come from a power surge when the power is restored.

What about your furnace? A natural gas furnace should be turned off to avoid any issues that may arise when the power comes back on. Make sure you turn your gas furnace back on as soon as your power is restored (make sure the power stays on for several minutes first).

Be sure to read over your owner’s guide to better understand your furnace, and how it will react during a power outage.

What to do if your gas furnace stops working after a power outage?

Your power has been restored, but your furnace hasn’t turned back on. What do you do now? Here is a list of things to check to get your furnace going again:

  1. Make sure you turn the furnace back on – As mentioned earlier, it’s a safe bet to turn your furnace off when the power goes out. You’ll have to remember to turn the furnace back on once the power is restored. Ensure the power is on and reaching the unit.
  2. Inspect the control panel – Look for any flashing error messages or lights that may alert you to any malfunctions or issues. If this is happening, you may need to call in a professional.
  3. Check for blown fuses – Depending on the reason for the power outage, a fuse for the furnace may have blown. Look to see if you need to replace a fuse.
  4. Safety lock – When you tried restarting your furnace, did you hit the reset buttons several times? If so, the unit’s child safety lock may have engaged. Wait a few minutes, then hit the restart button firmly.
  5. Look at your thermostat – Did the power outage turn off your thermostat? If it did, make sure to turn it back on to a high enough temperature that you can hear the furnace turn on.
  6. Check breaker panel – The blackout may have tripped the breaker panel. Locate the correct breaker and flip it back on.
  7. Check the GFI outlet – Some newer models are equipped with a protected outlet designed to trip if overloaded with power. If this has happened, just hit the reset button.

If you’ve tried all these solutions with no results, contact a professional for help, like the experts at Link ClimateCare.

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