Will Oil Furnace Work Without Electricity?

oil burner

If this is your first time using an oil furnace, you must be wondering, will an oil furnace work without electricity? Well, according to oil burner repair service providers, it, unfortunately, won’t.

While the primary heat source is from oil combustion, certain parts of the furnace, such as the oil pump, ignition, circulation pumps, blower motors, and controls, won’t function without electricity.

To help you understand how electricity affects the various parts, keep reading:

Oil pump

Oil pumps help in pumping oil from the oil lines connecting your oil tank to your oil furnace. For the pumps to work, they have to be powered by electricity.


Although oil is flammable, it requires a spark to ignite. The source of the spark is usually an electrical ignitor. Most electrical ignitors in oil furnaces fire when the furnace first turns on to light the oil, while the older furnaces have ignitors that spark continually.

In either of these situations, the oil won’t ignite and produces heat without the electrical spark.

Blower motor

Most oil furnaces have one or more blower motors. In some furnaces, the blower is required to bring air into the combustion chamber. If the furnace uses forced air and air ducts, the blower must push the heated air throughout the house.

Both the blowers run on electricity, so if there is no electricity, there is no way the air will get into the combustion chamber.


Like other furnaces, oil furnaces have a series of electrical controls and safety features such as a thermostat that tells the furnace when to turn on and other sensors that ensure that the furnace remains safe and keep the furnace efficient.

Circulation pump

All hydronic systems need a series of pipes to bring hot water throughout the house. Oil furnaces use an electrical pump that circulates water throughout the pipes to bring the colder water back into the furnace to be heated and take the hot water out to the pipes throughout the house.

How do I run my oil furnace when the power is out?

Does it mean that your goose is cooked when there is no electricity, and you can’t run your oil furnace? Well, absolutely not, as there are several ways you can go around it. Some of these ways include:

Use a generator

Do you have a generator in your home? You can use it to power your oil furnace when the electricity is out. The beauty is you can use either propane or gas-powered generator. All you need is a generator, and some propane or gasoline, and a suitable connector cord, and you are quickly back in business.

When using the generator, place it in an area where the generator will exhaust into an outside space.

If you are looking to buy a generator, you should know that there are many types of generators in the market that come in different sizes and go at different prices. To ensure that you buy a generator of the right size, take your time and research and find the right one.

Use a battery

Did you know there are house batteries you can use to power your electrical furnace? To prepare the battery for use, you need to charge it. You also should ensure that you correctly wire and assemble the system in such a way you can convert the power into an alternating current.

Ensure that the battery is large enough to power the furnace for a significant amount of time (one to two days).


Solar panels convert the power from the sun into usable electricity, and you can use them to power your oil furnace. The unfortunate thing is you can only use the panel when the sun is out and strong. At night, when you are in dire need of heat, the panel won’t work.

To go around this, you should pair the solar with a battery.

To get the most from the furnace, furnace service Long Island professionals recommend you ensure that the solar panel is producing enough power. The battery should also be large enough to store as much charge as possible.

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