Can Your Gas Furnace Run When the Electricity Fails?
Cold winters in Frederick call for running your home’s gas furnace so that you can stay comfortable. Gas furnaces are great for cold winters because they heat up quickly and provide an economical means of heating your home. What happens, though, if the electrical supply to your home suddenly gets interrupted? In these cases, is it still possible to run your gas furnace? To better understand how gas furnaces operate and what they do during a power outage, check out this information from the furnace experts at Weather Masters Corp..
How a Gas Furnace Works
A gas furnace has a few main parts that work together to provide heat to your home. First, your thermostat detects changes in temperature and sends a signal to your furnace when the temperature drops below the desired threshold. Next, your furnace releases gas into the burners. Immediately after that, the pilot light ignites to light the gas as it’s coming out of the burners. Once the burners are ignited, the heat from the flames heats a heat exchanger. This is a chamber with a long tube that draws out the heat energy from the flames and transfers it to the cool air as it moves through the furnace. Your blower fan pulls in the cold air through the return vents, pushes it past the heat exchanger, and then sends it through the ducts located throughout your home.
The Blower Fan Problem
Most of the processes that take place in a gas furnace do not require electricity. However, even if your furnace itself is working perfectly during a power outage, the blower fan will not run. A blower fan’s only source of power is electricity. This means that your furnace can’t pull in cool air and then send the heated air throughout your home. Furthermore, modern furnaces use electronic pilot lights that require electricity to create a spark to ignite the burner. On top of that, many modern thermostats require an electrical power supply coming from the furnace to operate. Therefore, Weather Masters Corp. wants you to know that you’ll, unfortunately, be without heat during a power outage if you have a gas furnace.
Furnace Safety Features
Since most of your furnace’s features can run without electricity, you might wonder if it’s safe to have a gas furnace during a power outage. After all, if your furnace is creating heat, but the blower fan isn’t distributing the heat, your furnace might overheat during a power outage. Fortunately, your furnace has multiple safety features that prevent it from overheating during power outages and at any other time. The most important safety feature during a power outage is the high-temperature limit control. This sensor can stop the flow of gas to the burners if the temperature inside the furnace gets too high. Your furnace has other sensors that can prevent the flame from igniting at all when there is no air flowing through the furnace.
If you’re worried about not having heat during a power outage, Weather Masters Corp. wants you to know that there is a solution. A whole-home backup generator can provide you with enough power to continue to run your furnace when the utility company can’t provide power to your home. This also means that you’ll be able to send power to electrical outlets so that you can have lights, televisions, and anything else you need to have an enjoyable time during a power outage. While a backup generator is a significant investment, it can have a major positive impact on your comfort when there’s a problem with your home’s power supply.
Preparing for a Power Outage
It’s important to protect your furnace in the event of a power outage. Any of your HVAC components that are powered by electricity can be damaged by a power surge caused by a power outage. To prevent this problem, Weather Masters Corp. recommends a whole-home surge protector. This device helps to provide clean power to your home that is safe from sudden power spikes. Another way to prepare for a power outage is to make sure to keep some flashlights with fresh batteries handy so that you can check on your furnace and any other critical home systems if your lights fail.
Your Heating Experts
At Weather Masters Corp., we enjoy helping our customers stay comfortable in all types of weather. That’s why we offer furnace and air conditioner repair, maintenance, and installation. We also offer ductwork installation, air purifier equipment installation, and boiler and ductless mini-split services. For over five years, we’ve been helping residents throughout the area achieve their home comfort goals with quality service and unparalleled integrity. That’s a big reason why we consistently receive five-star customer reviews. To learn more about staying comfortable during a power outage, contact us at Weather Masters Corp. today.