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Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog

Can You Still Use a Gas Furnace When the Power Is Out?

In the midst of a power outage in Hamilton, OH, when the frigid hand of winter squeezes your home in its icy grip, there’s no need to shiver helplessly in the cold. You might think that your gas furnace is rendered utterly useless without electricity, but here’s a little secret. You can bring it to life manually. It’s like rekindling an old flame, quite literally. Here’s a look at how to turn on your gas furnace without electricity!

The Furnace’s Hidden Heart

The short answer to the big question is yes. Every gas furnace conceals a hidden heart. This is called the pilot light. When ignited it can bring warmth to your home during power outages. This tiny yet powerful flame is your gateway to battling the winter chill in an electricity-free world.

How It’s Done

Before you embark on your journey to rekindle the pilot light, it’s important to make sure the gas supply is off! Locate the gas valve near your furnace and switch it to the off position. This step is about safety. Wait for a few minutes to let any lingering gas dissipate. Safety always comes first and this is your way of making sure that there are no surprises when you spark the pilot light. Once the gas has dissipated, open the furnace door or panel, unveiling the inside. This is where your pilot light resides.

Gently turn the control knob to the pilot setting. Now, the moment of truth. With a steady hand, use a long lighter or a match to carefully light the pilot light. Take a step back keeping your face away from the opening. Hold the control knob down for about 30 seconds. This is the time it takes for the thermocouple to heat up. The thermocouple is a safety feature that ensures the gas flow is shut off if the pilot light goes out. This helps to prevent gas leaks. Once the 30 seconds have passed and the pilot light is dancing merrily, release the control knob. If the pilot light stays lit you’ve successfully tamed the furnace.

Afterwards, turn the control knob to the “on” position, opening the doors for the main burner to join the party. Securely close the furnace panel or door. Congratulations, you’ve officially brought the furnace back to life without electricity.

Continued Observation 

Keep an eye on your furnace as it warms your home. Should any issues arise or if you catch a whiff of gas, act swiftly by turning off the gas supply and reaching out to a professional technician.

In the absence of electricity your gas furnace can still be your trusted ally against the winter’s chill. By mastering the art of manually lighting the pilot light you’ll unlock the portal to warmth in your home. So, when the lights go out, you can bask in the radiant glow of your resurrected furnace. 

Stay warm, stay safe and embrace the power of knowledge, even in the dark! Contact Bartels Heating & Cooling today for all of your furnace related needs!

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