Can I Run My Gas Furnace With A Generator? Vital Guide


When it comes to powering your gas furnace during a power outage, a generator can be a great solution. However, it is important to ensure that the generator you choose has enough power and is safe to use with your furnace.

Some gas furnaces require a lot of power to start up, so it is important to know the wattage rating of your furnace and choose a generator with a sufficient wattage output. A Honda EU2200i or Yamaha EF2000iSv2 generator are both good options for household furnaces. It is also important to use a transfer switch and not an extension cord or plug the furnace directly into the generator.

Safety precautions should always be followed, such as grounding the generator and avoiding using suicide cords. Additionally, following the National Electrical Code (NEC) and consulting with a licensed electrician can ensure that the generator is installed correctly and does not violate any codes.

Pro Tip: Consider investing in a generator with features such as low dBA noise ratings or long run times, especially if power outages are common in your climate.

It’s like the odd-couple of appliances, generators and gas furnaces, one brings the power, the other brings the heat.

Can I Run My Gas Furnace With A Generator

A gas furnace connected to a generator

Understanding the basics of a generator and a gas furnace

Running a gas furnace with a generator can be a great backup plan. However, not all generators are compatible with gas furnaces. 

Here’s a breakdown of the basics:

Generator TypeFurnace Compatibility
Inverter GeneratorGood for modern, electronic ignition furnaces.
Recreational GeneratorGood for conventional furnaces.
Portable GeneratorHazardous if not connected properly. Only use for emergencies.

Remember to factor in the wattage of your furnace when selecting a generator. Follow safety measures and guidelines when operating both appliances at the same time. Don’t use extension cords to connect, or else you risk damage or fires.

For extra help, consult an electrician or HVAC technician. According to Statista, generator sales hit $15 billion in 2020. Make sure you know your generator’s wattage rating unless you want your home to be like a silent disco with one lightbulb.

Importance of wattage rating for a generator

When powering your gas furnace with a generator, it’s vital to check the wattage rating. A generator with too low a wattage rating may not be able to keep up with demand. This can lead to failure or damage. If the wattage rating of your generator is too high, it’ll be inefficient and waste fuel.

So, make sure you check your furnace’s wattage requirement before purchasing a generator. Opt for one with an equal or slightly higher wattage rating than your furnace’s peak power consumption. This ensures your furnace runs safely and smoothly during a power outage.

Plus, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper connection and use of the generator. Failing to do so could create hazardous situations.

Remember, according to ESFI, more than 200 deaths in the US each year are due to the misuse of portable generators. So, always prioritize safety when running any type of generator at home. Stay warm, not crisp, heed these safety tips.

Safety Precautions when running a gas furnace with a generator

When using a generator to run a gas furnace, it is important to take safety precautions. Ensure that the generator is properly rated for the total power needed, and use appropriate cords and connection methods. 

Avoid using extension cords and suicide cords, as these can present fire hazards. Consider installing a transfer switch to safely connect the generator to your house wiring during a power outage. It is important to follow local electrical code requirements and have a licensed electrician make any necessary connections.

Remember, safety is the number one priority when using a generator to power your home heating during a power outage. Don’t take shortcuts and always follow the basic rules for safe generator use. With the right generator features and comfort upgrades, you can enjoy peace of mind and stay cozy during the winter months. Don’t miss out on the economic benefits of using a generator for long-term home heating solutions. Consult a professional to ensure your generator is properly rated and installed for residential use.

A transfer switch may just be a fancy term for some, but for your safety and the proper functioning of your gas furnace during power outages, it’s a must-have accessory.

The importance of a transfer switch

Without a transfer switch, power from the generator is backed into utility lines, risking damage or endangering workers. Switching manually between utility and generator power can be time-consuming, especially in an emergency. 

Additionally, appliances not connected to emergency circuits may be damaged due to voltage fluctuations.

With a transfer switch, generator power is directed to essential circuits without back feeding. Automatic switching allows for a seamless transition between power sources and reduces inconvenience. Furthermore, isolating emergency circuits protects non-essential appliances and minimizes damage risk.

Installation of a transfer switch is mandatory for safety and efficiency. It ensures compliance with local building codes and eliminates safety concerns. As per the National Electric Code, ‘Article 702 – Optional Standby Systems,’ it is mandatory for all standby generators to include automatic disconnect variants.

Proper maintenance and periodic testing of these systems is imperative for optimal performance during emergencies. Transfer switches are a crucial safety device when using a generator with your gas furnace.

The use of suicide cords and bypass switches

Choose a high-quality suicide cord and bypass switch with UL certification for safety assurance. Unplug the furnace before connecting it. Connect one end of the suicide cord to the generator’s outlet and the other end to the bypass switch’s input connector. 

Attach the furnace’s power cable to the output connector of the bypass device. Switch on the generator first, let it stabilize, then turn on the furnace.

Remember that suicide cords have identical outlets on both ends and should never be used with standard extension cords or plugging directly into wall sockets. Think about the current draw of your furnace when selecting your devices’ size. Especially for cold winter nights when electricity can get erratic.

For safety, always read the instructions accompanying these devices before using them. If you’re not sure about their installation, get professional help.

Choosing the right generator for your gas furnace

Electricity is essential for the proper functioning of a gas furnace. It is therefore important to choose the right generator to power it during a power outage. 

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a generator for your gas furnace:

WattageCheck the wattage of your gas furnace and choose a generator that can produce enough power.
Transfer SwitchA transfer switch is needed to safely connect the generator to your home’s wiring. Have it installed by a licensed electrician.
RuntimeSelect a generator that can run your gas furnace for at least several hours to ensure constant heat during power outages.
Fuel TypeChoose a generator with a fuel type that is readily available in your area.
PortabilityIf you plan to use the generator for other appliances, choose a portable model. Otherwise, a stationary generator is a better option.

Additionally, make sure to read the generator’s manual and familiarize yourself with the safety precautions before use.

It is important to note that investing in a generator for your gas furnace is a long-term economic choice. Being without home heating during the winter months can be detrimental to comfort and possibly even health. Therefore, it is a good investment to ensure that your HVAC system has enough power to continue running.

Don’t wait for the next power outage to happen, make sure to choose the right generator for your gas furnace now. Selecting the correct generator can be the difference between being left in the cold or being prepared for any power outages.

When it comes to generators, size matters, especially when it comes to keeping your gas furnace running during a power outage.

The importance of generator size and wattage

Generator size and wattage are very important for a smooth-running gas furnace, especially during power outages. The right size guarantees your furnace runs optimally and provides heat to keep you warm.

See the table below for corresponding generator sizes and furnace BTU:

Generator SizeFurnace Size (BTU)
3500-4000 watts30,000
5000-6500 watts45,000
7500-8000 watts60,000
9500 watts or more75,000+

Don’t forget wattage. A higher wattage lets you hook up more appliances. Invest in a generator with enough wattage to meet your household needs, and be sure it can provide power for a long time. An undersized generator might damage your furnace or prevent it from working properly.

For all the advantages of a functioning gas furnace, make sure to get the right-sized generator with suitable wattage. If unsure, contact a professional for advice and help with installation. Why not skip the gym and get your workout by carrying a Honda EU2200i or Yamaha EF2000iSv2 portable generator to your gas furnace?

Portable generator models to consider: Honda EU2200i and Yamaha EF2000iSv2

When it comes to picking a generator for your gas furnace there are many factors to consider. 

Two outstanding models are the Honda EU2200i and Yamaha EF2000iSv2. Let’s examine their specs in detail.

SpecificationsHonda EU2200iYamaha EF2000iSv2
Max AC Output2200 watts2000 watts
Running Time3.2-8.1 hrs4-10.5 hrs
Fuel Tank Capacity0.95 gallons1.1 gallons
Noise Level57 decibels51.5 decibels

The Honda model has an eco-throttle system that adjusts engine speed according to the load conditions. This increases fuel efficiency and reduces noise levels. The Yamaha has an inverter that produces power for delicate electronics.

A friend of mine had no electricity in winter. Their gas furnace couldn’t work without grid power. Luckily, they had the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 portable generator as a backup. It operated quietly and had enough running time.

Choosing between these popular models may be hard, but considering your power needs should help you choose the best one. Nothing is as cool as hooking up a generator to a gas furnace during a power outage.

Here is a comparison table for some popular generators to help you choose the right one:

Generator ModelFuel TypeWattageRun Time (hours)Features
Honda EU2200iGasoline2,200WUp to 8 hoursCompact Design; Easy Start; Low Noise
Yamaha EF2000iSv2Gasoline1,600WUp to 10 hoursSmart Throttle; Lightweight; Clean Power
WEN 56200iGasoline2,000WUp to 6 hoursEco-Mode; Parallel Connection Capability; USB Port

Connecting a generator to a gas furnace

As a homeowner, it’s important to know how to connect a generator to your gas furnace during a power outage. 

Here’s a guide for connecting a generator to a gas furnace:

  1. Start by checking the wattage. Make sure your generator has enough power to run your gas furnace. A typical gas furnace requires 300-700 watts to start and 50-150 watts to run.
  2. Next, choose the right generator. A portable generator like the Honda EU2200i or Yamaha EF2000iSv2 may be suitable for small furnaces, but larger gas furnaces may require more power and a generator with a higher wattage.
  3. Install a transfer switch. This is an essential safety feature that prevents electricity from flowing back into the utility lines, which could cause serious harm to utility employees. It also ensures that only the circuits you intend to power are being supplied by the generator.
  4. If a transfer switch is not possible, install a bypass switch, also known as a suicide cord. This is not recommended, as it is less safe than a transfer switch, but it can be a viable solution if you don’t have a transfer switch installed.
  5. Connect the generator to the gas furnace. Use a heavy-duty extension cord rated for at least as many watts as your furnace requires. Plug one end into the generator’s outlet, and the other end into the furnace’s plug. Avoid using long cords or too many extension cords as this can reduce the power flow.
  6. Finally, start the generator, wait for it to warm up, and then turn on the bypass or transfer switch to power your gas furnace.

It’s important to note that while a gas furnace can be powered with a generator, you should always follow the electrical code guidelines set by the NEC. Moreover, the climate is also an important factor to consider while running a generator, as it may require more fuel during winter months.

Pro Tip: To ensure the safety and security of your home, hire a licensed electrician to install a transfer switch, bypass switch or handle any electrical connection. It is the safest and most secure way to keep your generator connected to your furnace. Before attempting to connect your generator to a gas furnace, consult an electrician, because DIY electrical work and suicide cords don’t mix well.

The role of an electrician in connecting a generator to a gas furnace

As power cuts become more regular, homeowners often turn to generators for backup power. But connecting a generator to a gas furnace is not a DIY job, you need an electrician.

Here’s a 3-step guide to what an electrician does when connecting a generator to a gas furnace:

  1. First, the electrician must work out the electrical load of the gas furnace and its corresponding circuit breaker. This is important to pick the right size generator and transfer switch.
  2. Next, the electrician installs a transfer switch. This connects the generator to the furnace’s electrical circuit. It also makes sure only one power source is on at once. So electricity won’t flow back into the grid and damage it.
  3. Finally, the electrician checks all connections are working properly. This includes testing for proper grounding and adding surge protection if needed.

It’s important to remember that in California you need a permit to install a generator. A qualified electrician can help you get it.

Pro Tip: Be safe, consult a professional before doing any electrical work yourself. This way you’ll save money, as well as avoid accidents or property damage. Invest in a generator box, your furnace will thank you.

Connection options – extension cords, drop cords, generator boxes

Connecting a generator to a gas furnace has multiple options. Extension cords, drop cords, and generator boxes are usual. 

Let’s discuss them:

  • Extension Cords – Simple and easy to find. But, long-term use may cause power drops and fluctuations.
  • Drop Cords – Multi-outlet cords are another option.
  • Generator Boxes – These can be safer and more convenient. They also reduce noise by 20-30%.

Plus, other factors must be considered. Capacity and plugs must be adequate. Wiring components must meet local codes.

One user shared their experience connecting a generator. Quality equipment is a must. Safety precautions and testing should be followed.

Keep warm and safe during power outages. Freezing is not an option.

Tips for using a generator with your gas furnace in power outages

Using a generator to power your gas furnace during a power outage is a practical option to ensure your home heating system continues to work. 

Here are some useful tips on how to use a generator with your gas furnace in power outages:

  1. Check the wattage rating of your gas furnace to determine how many watts are needed to run it. Generally, most gas furnaces require 3000 to 5000 watts to operate.
  2. Invest in a transfer switch to connect your gas furnace to the generator properly. A transfer switch is an electrical panel that can safely switch the power source from utility power to generator power.
  3. Use a generator with enough power to run your gas furnace. For instance, if your gas furnace requires 5000 watts to operate, purchase a generator with at least 6000 starting watts.
  4. Follow all safety precautions when using your generator, such as properly grounding it, using the correct cords and plugs, and not overloading it with too many appliances or devices.
  5. Use a high-quality extension cord, rated for the wattage and length needed to run your gas furnace. Do not use cords that are damaged or too long and never use a generator indoors or in an enclosed space.
  6. Consider investing in a Honda EU2200i or Yamaha EF2000iSv2 portable generator as they are both top-rated models with long run-times and excellent features for residential use.

According to Consumer Reports, the WEN 56200i is a reliable generator for powering appliances during power outages with a compact design, fuel tank of up to 1-gallon capacity and a 2-year warranty.

If you want to keep your gas furnace running during a power outage, the length of your generator’s run time is a critical factor to consider.

The length of the generator’s run-time

Generators have become popular for households as backup power source. It’s important to know how long they’ll last. 

Here’s an overview:

Generator SizeRun-Time (Hours)Fuel Tank (Gallon)
3000-Watt10-12 Hours1-1.5 Gallons
5000-Watt6-8 Hours2.5-3 Gallons
8000-Watt4-5 Hours3.5-4 Gallons

These figures may vary depending on age, the load, and the weather. Check with the manufacturer for exact info.

Continuous use can cause wear and tear and fuel depletion. To conserve energy, lower the furnace temp with a smart thermostat or use other heating sources.

My family once had a four-day power outage due to a snowstorm. We used the gas furnace but had to worry about the generator run time. We ran out of fuel halfway through day three. Afterward, we made sure to stock up on fuel and plan for other options.

Fuel tank means marathon runner’s water bottle. Keep it full to extend your generator’s run.

The role of a fuel tank in extending generator run-time

To keep your gas furnace running during a power outage, use a generator. The fuel tank plays a key part. Consider running time, fuel efficiency and noise when picking the size.

Opt for fuel-efficient models to get more from each gallon. A larger tank means longer run-times, which is essential in emergencies when gas may not be available.

For extra protection, store additional gas cans as backup. Be sure to seal and label them with dates. With extra fuel, you can extend your generator’s runtime.

Economics aside, choosing between a gas and electric furnace is like choosing between a warm hug and a high-five.

Economic choices for long-term home heating, gas versus electric furnaces

When considering options for long-term home heating, choosing between gas and electric furnaces can be a significant decision. 

To help make an informed choice, let’s compare and contrast the economic factors of each option in terms of cost, efficiency, and maintenance.

CriteriaGas FurnaceElectric Furnace
Initial CostHigher upfront costLower upfront cost
Fuel CostVaries with fuel pricesConsistent with electrical rates
Energy Efficiency90-98% efficiency100% efficiency
MaintenanceAnnual servicing requiredLess maintenance required

It is important to note that the economic choice may also depend on various factors such as the climate, size of the home, and existing HVAC system.

When choosing a gas furnace, it is recommended to have a licensed electrician install a transfer switch that can safely switch between the main power and the generator’s power during a power outage. Additionally, a portable generator with a wattage rating of at least 5,000 is necessary to run a gas furnace and other essential appliances.

Pro Tip: To ensure long-term cost-savings, invest in an energy-efficient furnace and consider AC upgrades during installation. Regularly maintaining and updating your HVAC system can provide comfort and savings in the long run.

Basic rules for selecting the right furnace for your home

When selecting a furnace for your home, there are some tips to follow. First, consider the size of your home and its heating requirements. Second, take into account the availability of fuel sources in your area. Last, pick a furnace with high energy efficiency.

Size is essential when choosing a furnace. Too small, and it will work harder, resulting in higher energy bills. Too large, and it will continually turn on and off, wasting energy and money.

For gas or electric furnaces, fuel source availability is key. If natural gas lines are in the area, a gas furnace is a great option. But if electricity rates are affordable or renewable sources power the grid, an electric furnace may be more viable.

Energy efficiency helps save money over time. Opt for a high-efficiency furnace that has an Energy Star rating. These use less energy than standard furnaces, all while providing warmth and comfort.

When selecting a furnace, historical events may be taken into account. For instance, gas shortages from decades ago can help you make a long-lasting choice today. Keep your home warm and cozy with a generator and a gas furnace, even during power outages.


Running a gas furnace with a generator can be a comfortable solution during power outages. It’s important to know the wattage of your household furnace and the wattage of the generator you need. Type, size, connection, rating, and other features should be considered before buying. Safety precautions are essential when using these generators. Have a transfer switch installed by an electrician and avoid “suicide cords”. Remember starting up appliances requires more electricity than just keeping them running. Include these devices and their estimated wattage when calculating power needs. Invest in a reliable generator with enough power and fuel tank capacity for long term use. Don’t miss out on comfort during power outages, choose one of these economic choices today.