Natural gas heat- outage- generator or not?

carol23_gwMay 7, 2011

I recently attended an HOA meeting where there was talk about having natural gas lines run through the subdivision.

One homeowner stated you do not need a generator to operate a certain type of natural gas heater when the power goes out. I've not heard of such a heater and would like to know if any of you have.

Every homeowner I've met that won't put up with outages has a generator.

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    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 11:51PM
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Be careful. Don't know for sure if this is standard, but I've seen a gas fireplace where the gas supply (solenoid valve) and ignition are electrically controlled.

Also, you want to have them operating in a room with adequate window ventilation as it may not be vented to the outdoors. Higher BTU input (than kitchen range) means more exhaust product being generated.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 7:34AM
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Regarding a generator. A simple generator would likely have no problem operating a fireplace as described above, as it is a simple on/off circuit.

If you are thinking down the road of the possibility of having a gas furnace, then a run-of-the-mill unit could fail to operate it properly. In addition to on/off control, most new(er) furnaces have electronic control boards. Less expensive generators may not produce a 'pure' sine-wave output, such as gotten from the home's power outlets. In some cases, they have been known to damage the control boards.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 7:43AM
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I've had a few gas fireplaces that operate without power - I think that is pretty standard now. Also all the newer ones have been direct vent which have zero ventilation issues. The igniters have all been battery operated.

I think it would be easier to have a generator than come up with a system that doesn't use electricity. I've seen one but it was old and used very large ductwork to carry the heat around the house.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 7:59PM
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