Gas Funace Recommendations

Originally Posted By: Cecilia K. Wheeler
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We need to replace our furnace and would like to find a manufacturer that makes a model that can be operated manually in a power failure. I’ve heard that there is a unit that has a pilot light that fuels a battery and that the battery keeps the furnace/pilot light going in a black out. (I may have that backwards…I’m not sure what fuels what). Does anyone have any recommendations…a manufacturer or model number. I have combed the internet and haven’t been able to find anything. In it’s simplest form what we need is a furnace that has an electronic igniter that can be overridden in a power failure. We had a furnace like this at our last house and it was a life saver since we live in an area prone to ice storms that take out the power. Thanks for any help or recommendations you can give me!


Sincerely, Cecilia


Originally Posted By: rcallis
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Cecilia


To my knowledge there isn't any such furnace. Any hot air furnace that blows heat thru ductwork MUST have electricity to operate the blower. Your only alternative is to have a supplimental heat source (unvented gas logs or an unvented heater, if allowed in your area) or a small generator to operate the igniter and the blower.

Reggie


Originally Posted By: dedwards
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deleted


Originally Posted By: dedwards
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Cecelia,


Unless the pilot light can also run the circulating fan motor I do not see how this would work. I am certified in HVAC and I have never heard of such a critter. Now that is not to say one doesn’t exist, I have just heard of one. It would be possible to run the furnace and some associated electrical equipment with a natural gas generator unit such as Guardian. We use them down here in the hurricane prone areas because we have a lot of power outages too. If you have the natural gas (or propane) these are great… Cost about 2700-$3000 bor a 12KW to 15Kw unit. Home Depot is one of the distributors…Hope this helps.


Originally Posted By: phinsperger
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I have also never heard of such a unit but from as Cecilia’s description I would best guess something like;


A pilot light induces a charge in a thermocoupler which in turn trickle charges a battery. When the power go out the battery powers the blower and controls.


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Paul Hinsperger
Hinsperger Inspection Services
Chairman - NACHI Awards Committee
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Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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If you want this you can have it. Just install a whole house generator set to come on when the power goes out. Diesel generators are nice, and start at around $6500 installed.


Originally Posted By: mlong
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There are many, many NG/LP gas hearth appliances (fireplaces, free standing stoves, logs, etc.) that operate without electrical power, both vented and/or unvented. As long as the pilot is lit, the burner(s) will operate, and in most cases the pilot is lit with a piezo or manually with a match. In some cases the pilots are ignited with a couple of D Cell batteries. To operate a fan/blower, however, normally requires at least 110V. I don’t know of any pilot that could possibly generate enough power with a thermocouple to operate a blower. You’ll probably want to invest in a generator for that.


Mark


Originally Posted By: phinsperger
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mlong wrote:
To operate a fan/blower, however, normally requires at least 110V. I don't know of any pilot that could possibly generate enough power with a thermocouple to operate a blower.


Converting a battery to 110VAC can easily be accomplished with off-the-self converters. Camping trailers are one example.

A thermocoupler create only a few milliamps but over time could charge a battery. The length of time would of course depend on the size of the battery. The larger the batter the longer your blower can run. You wouldn't actully even need the thermocouple to do the main charging but only to keep the battery "topped-up" . The battery could have its main charge done when power is available.


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Paul Hinsperger
Hinsperger Inspection Services
Chairman - NACHI Awards Committee
Place your Award Nominations
here !

Originally Posted By: dvalley
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Quote:
Just install a whole house generator set to come on when the power goes out. Diesel generators are nice, and start at around $6500 installed.


If you do go this route and the electricity goes out, expect all your neighbors to arrive at your home within hours.

Everytime I see a generator, I tell my clients the same thing.


--
David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
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"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: Cecilia K. Wheeler
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Thanks for the responses! One thing I failed to mention is that we have a hot water/radiator system so we don’t need to power fans or run the circulator (gravity will work well enough). Paul Hinsperger…you seem to be on the right track…you mentioned a system that I think might be available. I did find an article about something called Thermophotovoltaics. It is described as, “a system in which electricity is generated by photovoltaic conversion of photons emitted from a radiant heat source…in this case a gas flame”. The article said that the process is much the same as that used in solar photovoltaic electricity generation. Unfortunately the article stopped there. I’m trying to track down the author. Does this info spark any ideas?


Regards, Cecilia


Originally Posted By: kwilliams
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I had such a system, worked like a dream, but that was 30 yrs ago. I suggest you go to a plumbing supply company


and ask for help.



Member - MAB


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