Will a Gas Furnace Work Without Electricity? What You Should Know About Your Heating System During a Blackout

Some of the most common questions we hear during a blackout include:

  • Will a gas furnace work without electricity?
  • My gas furnace is not working after a power outage. What should I do?

Put your mind at ease knowing there are some things you can do to prepare in case of a blackout or issues with your furnace after a blackout.

Will your gas furnace function without electricity? The short answer is no. Although your furnace is fuelled by gas, there are some components to it that require electricity to operate. These include:

  • Circuit Boards – Which relay information from the thermostat and the furnace.
  • Relays – Electrically powered switches within the system.
  • Blower Motors – Through power, the fans propel heated air into the duct system. Waste products are pushed from the combustion process, out through the flue.

During a blackout your gas furnace simply will not work. The furnace’s built-in safety system does not allow for it to turn on during a power outage.

What Steps Can You Take to Remain Comfortable (or Somewhat Comfortable) During a Blackout?

Have a back-up generator. A manual-start generator can restore electricity in minutes. An automatic-start unit, in seconds. Natural and propane gas generators can be sized to take on the entire electrical load of the home. WARNING: Never operate a portable generator in a house, garage, or enclosed space to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Many Natural and Propane Gas Fireplaces operate without electricity and can be a very good source of supplemental heat. Many too come with built-in, remote, or wall-mounted thermostat options.

Have a few electric space heaters in the home, but don’t operate the plug-in type unattended.

Do not tamper with your furnace. You may have knowledge, but don’t try to bypass the system to try and get the power running again. It could be a safety hazard and end in disaster.

Call in the professionals. The experience of a team like ClimateCare is integral. We may notice something you haven’t, and we have the expertise to prevent your furnace from becoming damaged.

restoring power

What to Do If Your Gas Furnace Stops Working After a Power Outage?

In most cases, your furnace should be working just fine once power is restored. If not, here are some steps to restarting your gas furnace:

  • Make sure your furnace is switched on
  • Check the control panel which may be flashing with an error message, indicating that something may need to be replaced or repaired. Until this happens, the furnace will not work
  • Look for blown fuses or a tripped breaker
  • Check that the venting is not plugged with snow or ice
  • The safety lock may be engaged. If you hit the reset button multiple times when trying to restart the furnace, it may have implemented a child-safety lock mechanism. Wait a while, then firmly hit the reset button once
  • Check the thermostat. Make sure it is back online and turned up high enough to engage your furnace and warm up your home

If the above measures don’t get your furnace back in working order, it may be time to call in the professionals. Contact ClimateCare for our 24/7 emergency service!