Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Backup power for furnace


Hey Craig,

I've spent some time trying to research this myself, but I'm not finding what I'm looking for, either because it doesn't exist, or perhaps it's just that I'm not asking the right questions.

I live in a Northern climate, and while it doesn't happen often, sometimes the power goes out.  I am wondering if there is a cost effective backup power option, so that I could keep the furnace running in a winter power outage that could last anywhere from a few hours to maybe a day or two at worst.  I've seen lots of backup power systems for your home, but the majority of them are costly or involve various types of generators.

My house is only a couple of years old, so the furnace is a new variable speed, high efficiency furnace.  Do you know of other options besides buying expensive generators or backup battery systems?  Could I run it simply off my car or something like that?

Thanks for your time.
Even if you could just point me to some good resources, that would be appreciated too.


When you mention furnace, I am assuming that you have a furnace that runs on gas or oil.  

There are inverters on the market that take a DC power source and convert to AC power.  The problem is they are not cheap and will require a huge bank of batteries to give you any kind of run time.  Then all the batteries will have to be recharged, again taking a few hours.  I suppose you could run an inverter in the car.  I have an inverter in the work truck for charging batteries and the lap top.  My small inverter will run for a few hours without running the work van.  Now, something to run a furnace would likely require keeping the car running, that is if the power in the car will even keep up.  If you want a good backup power source, then a generator is the way to go.  It will also allow you to use other things, just not the furnace.  If you have natural gas in your home, then a natural gas generator is the ultimate, as you will have a cheap and constant gas supply vs. the cost of gasoline or diesel.


Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

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Craig HVAC Expert


I have been in the HVAC field for the past 18 years. I can help with most HVAC questions. I work on commerical buildings for the most part, and have yet to find anything I could not troubleshoot and repair, when repairable. I work on small 1 ton units to a 2500 ton chiller. Troubleshoot air flow, elect, and control problems. I attend regular classes to keep up with the latest and greatest.


I work on commerical sites, hospitals, gov't buildings. I can troubleshoot just about anything in the HVAC business.

5 years trade school, VFD training classes, Liebert factory training, some York and Trane factory training.

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