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With PG&E’s major planned power outages hitting numerous parts of the Bay Area—combined with temperatures dropping—we felt it was important to let you know what to do with your gas furnace when the power goes off.

Normally, a power outage is an occasional blip that doesn’t last very long. For those cases, you will barely notice your heat is off. But, there are rare events, like what’s happening right now in the Bay Area, when the power is out for days or even weeks. In these situations, what should you do?

  1. Don’t Play Around With the Furnace – Even if you’re a handyman/woman, we strongly discourage you from tinkering around with the furnace to get it working right. Keep in mind, when there is no power, the gas valve is shut off for safety, which cuts gas flow to prevent your furnace from even working. Even if you were able to get your gas flowing, you wouldn’t have a way to control it. Doing this is EXTREMELY dangerous and could result in a disaster. It doesn’t matter how handy you are, do not play around with your furnace!
  2. Turn off the Power – Yes, the power is out, but there is a still a chance you could get a spike or surge of power if the power lines were damaged somewhere. To prevent this from happening (which would damage your furnace), unplug your furnace. If the power does end up fluctuating, the electricity will have no way of reaching your furnace and damaging it.
  3. Use a Generator – Having a generator is one of the only things you can utilize during a power outage to get your generator running again. Hook it up directly to your furnace, power it and get it running. Even though this sounds simple, the process can be tricky, so make sure you follow the instructions! If you’re not the handiest person out there, perhaps you should consider skipping this and passing the job off to someone else. You can ask a friend or family, but we strongly recommend you…
  4. Call American HVAC – Furnaces are tricky, temperamental pieces of equipment and you should leave them to the capable hands of our trained professionals. Instead of playing around with your furnace or trying to connect that generator on your own, give us a call and we can help you instead. There’s nothing wrong with calling a professional to help you out with something like this—especially if it means the safety of your home.

If you need help with your furnace this power outage, give us a call at (408) 516-3886

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