Can a Generator Run a Gas Furnace?

Electrical failures are common, especially in the midst of stormy weather. If you lose electricity during the winter, you’ll want to be sure your furnace can keep heating your home. Can a generator be used to power a gas furnace?

If your generator has enough watts, you can use it to power your gas heater. In addition, a specialist must instal a transfer switch for the heating system. As long as you take the usual measures, powering a gas furnace off a generator is perfectly safe.

How to safely operate a gas furnace while using a generator and how large of a generator you’ll need to power a gas furnace are all topics covered in this article. If you need a generator but don’t have one yet, this article will help you narrow down your choices based on budget, portability, size, and fuel type. Let’s dive in right now!

Is It Safe To Run a Gas Furnace With a Generator?

As long as you take the standard safety measures when operating a generator, it is fine to use one to power your gas furnace. The most crucial precaution is to run the generator in a well-ventilated outside area.

Chemicals and gases produced by generators are often toxic to humans. A well-ventilated room with open windows and doors is nonetheless not a safe place to run a generator. Your generator is finest and safest kept outside.

However, a carbon monoxide detector should be used whenever a generator is being run outside to guarantee that no poisonous chemicals are seeping inside. Keep the generator as far away from the house as feasible when using it outside. Doing so will aid in preventing the poisonous air from entering your home.

It’s possible that your generator runs on the same gas that heats your home. You should store any extra fuel away from the generator if this is the case. If your generator runs on batteries, make sure you maintain it charged and stored away safely at all times.

Use an outdoor-rated power cord with enough amperage to run your gas heater when connecting it to your generator. A gas furnace is a large device, so if you need to plug in other electronics as well, you’ll need an extension cord block that can handle numerous cords safely.

A second generator may be necessary if your home’s heating system and other equipment must also be connected to an electrical power source. Both of these can power your home’s heating system and other appliances. Since the generator won’t have to work as hard, this will ensure the safety of your home.

How Much Power Do I Need To Run a Gas Furnace?

What size generator you’ll need is determined by the horsepower of your furnace fan. For example, if your gas heater has a fan that uses a quarter of a horse power, it will require between a thousand and a sixteen hundred watts to get going. From the moment it is turned on, the furnace requires 600 watts of constant power. More than two thousand watts are required to get a gas furnace with a half-horsepower blower up and running, and only about nine hundred watts are needed to keep it going once it’s up and running.

In the event of a blackout, a house generator with a wattage of roughly 5,000 is sufficient to run your gas heater and any other essential equipment. It would be wasteful to purchase a large generator if you only needed it to run your gas furnace. The lighter weight of smaller generators makes them more mobile. They will also not generate as much noise as the larger generators that power several appliances.
If you misjudge how many watts your furnace needs, you’ll need a generator that can handle a little more power. If you have a larger generator, you can use it to power the gas furnace and other equipment in the house if the power goes out.

How Do I Use My Generator To Run a Gas Furnace?

So that you may link your generator to the heating system, you will need a transfer switch installed. Before connecting your furnace to a generator, you’ll need a transfer switch; if you don’t have one, have a technician instal one.

Be cautious to turn off the electricity at the breaker box before beginning the process to prevent electrocution. You should connect the generator to the furnace. After rewiring and connecting the generator to the gas furnace, double-check that both appliances are functioning properly.

Here’s a video from Prepping Practice that goes into greater depth on connecting a generator to a gas furnace:

It’s a good idea to get some experience connecting your furnace to your generator before you really need to do it in an emergency. Therefore, when the time comes, you will be prepared.

When connecting a gas furnace to a generator, be sure to use the correct cables and observe all safety procedures.

What Generator Is Best for Running My Gas Furnace?

If you need a generator or are looking to upgrade, the models listed below are some of the most reliable options available. Depending on the size, any of these generators will be sufficient to power a gas furnace.

Generac 7676 GP8000E Portable Generator is a small and lightweight power source. This is an excellent choice for a moderate-sized power plant. It is available in five distinct sizes, with outputs ranging from 13,600 to 8,000 watts. The generator is small, light, and rolls easily for convenient portability.
Portable generator with plenty of power: WEN 56475. There are two power output options for this generator: 4,750 and 6,000 watts. Each generator has a wheel kit and foldable handles for convenience while transporting. The generator can run for up to ten hours on a single fill-up of the four-gallon fuel tank.
EF ECO FLOW Portable Power Generator, a Battery-Operated Generator. This generator runs on batteries and has received rave reviews. With an additional battery, the generator’s output can be increased to 1800 watts. The generator may be fully charged in under two hours while not in use.
Westinghouse’s Outdoor Power Generator is an excellent option at a reasonable price. These gas-powered generators can be moved from place to place and are available in two sizes. The generator has extra safety features, and the fuel tank can last for more than thirteen hours and hold four gallons of fuel.

Final Thoughts

As long as you take the standard safety measures when using a generator and give it a test run beforehand, you should be able to safely power your gas furnace with a generator. You’ll also require the gas furnace’s power connections, fuel, and an appropriately sized generator to run it.

If you require a generator to run your gas furnace, you can find a number of reliable models on the market. When the next power outage occurs, having a generator to power your gas furnace will be an absolute must.





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