Blower Motor

One of the main components that requires electricity in a gas furnace is the blower motor. The blower motor is responsible for blowing the heated air from the furnace into the ductwork and throughout the home. Without electricity, the blower motor wouldn’t be able to function. This means the warm air that the furnace produces wouldn’t be distributed throughout the house effectively.

Ignition System

The blower motor is not the only electrical component in a gas furnace. It also requires electricity to power the ignition system that lights the burners and starts the combustion process. Once the burners are lit, they continue to burn the natural gas or propane as fuel, generating heat. The ignition system is typically an electronic system that uses a small spark to ignite and initiate combustion.

Control Circuits

In addition to the blower motor and ignition system, a gas furnace also relies on electricity to power other various control circuits, such as the control board, safety switches, and thermostats. These components ensure that the furnace operates safely and efficiently.

How Much Electricity Does a Gas Furnace Use?

Although a gas furnace does use electricity, it consumes significantly less electricity than an electric furnace. This is because natural gas or propane is primarily responsible for generating the heat. At the same time, electricity is only essential for powering the necessary components to distribute the heat throughout the home.

The power consumption of a gas furnace depends on various factors, such as the size of the furnace, the efficiency rating, and how often it runs. On average, a gas furnace uses around 400 to 600 watts of electricity per hour when running.

It’s worth noting that the electricity consumption of a gas furnace can vary depending on the type of blower motor it uses. Older gas furnaces typically have a single-speed blower motor that continues running at a constant speed regardless of the heating needs. These motors consume more electricity than newer models with variable-speed or electronically commutated motors (ECMs). Variable-speed motors can automatically adjust their speed based on the desired temperature, leading to energy savings and reduced electricity consumption.

Will a Gas Furnace Work Without Electricity? 

If you experience a power outage, your gas furnace won’t be able to produce heat or distribute heat throughout your home without a backup power source. It’s important to have a plan in place for emergencies and to consider investing in a backup generator to keep your furnace running during power outages. In addition, if your gas furnace has experienced a power outage, it’s important to inspect it before turning it back on. Here are some steps you can take to ensure its safe operation:

  1. Check for gas leaks: Before turning on your gas furnace, check for any gas leaks. You can do this by checking for any unusual smells or using a gas leak detector. If you detect a gas leak, turn off the gas supply and contact a professional to repair it.
  2. Inspect the furnace: Look for any signs of damage or loose connections. Check the burners, pilot light, and any electrical components to make sure they are clean and undamaged. While you’re at it, inspect the air filter to see if it needs a replacement. Keep in mind, that if you are uncomfortable with inspecting the components of your furnace, schedule an HVAC inspection. 
  3. Turn on the power: Once you’ve inspected your furnace and replaced the air filter, you can turn on the power and start your furnace. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for starting your furnace.
  4. Monitor your furnace: Keep an eye on your furnace for the first few hours of operation to make sure it’s functioning properly. If you notice any unusual smells or sounds, turn off your furnace and contact a professional for help.

Satterlee Heating Installation and Repair Services

Ultimately, a gas furnace does require electricity to operate, primarily for powering the blower motor, ignition system, and control circuits. However, the amount of electricity consumed by a gas furnace is relatively minimal compared to an electric furnace. So, if you’re looking for a heating system that is both efficient and cost-effective, a gas furnace is an excellent option to consider. Reach out to our HVAC technicians at Satterlee today to schedule a service or learn more about our heating units.

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