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About how much electricity does an oil furnace use

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Posted by Jim on December 9, 2012, 2:01 am
My daughter moved to Alaska a few years ago, and they recently
moved into a small house belonging to a friend who is now
living in Hawaii.  The house had been vacant for some time,
and they worked a deal with the owner (a good friend) to keep
the place up and do repairs, etc.  They got the oil furnace
working, but since the cost of fuel oil is so expensive they
are now using two electric heaters which keep the place warm
as long as outside temps are above 20 degrees F.  

My concern is that if they lose electricity, which is not
uncommon on their island, they will lose not only their
electric heaters but the oil furnace too.

I'm wondering what size generator they would need to keep the
oil furnace working, and maybe a few lights, fridge, freezer,
and a few appliances.  Would there be a label on the furnace
that specifies the power needed to run it?

Any ideas how much juice a small oil furnace uses?  We live in
the deep South and we use natural gas for heat and for running
the generator.

Posted by Jim Rojas on December 9, 2012, 2:52 am
Jim wrote:

I would go with a 3 to 5KW unit.

Jim Rojas

Posted by Martin Riddle on December 10, 2012, 12:10 am

I'd second that recommendation. Our oil furnace does ok on a 2Kw genny.
Although you can hear the startup of the blower and circulator.
There's a Yamaha Inverter generator that sounds like it can take the
load, was designed for starting HVAC units in motor homes.
I think its the 2.8kw model.
Otherwise stick with non-inverter gen.


Posted by danny burstein on December 9, 2012, 3:02 am
surpsing that electrcicity is cheaper than oil heat, unless
they're _just_ keeping a very small portion of the house
heated by them.

Just checking first. When you use the term "furnace" are
you referring to a unit that heats air up and then blows
it around the house? (That's the technical term definition,
but people often mix and match it with "boiler", which,
itself, has multiple meanings).

Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]

Posted by NotMe on December 9, 2012, 6:23 am

Look into a Monitor heater (comes in several different fuel models) does
require 120 VAC but that can come from a low power inverter and golf cart

Friend used such a set up at his place in Ash NC and was able to run heat
for a week or more when the power failed.  Eventually hooked up a solar
panel and a small wind generator and was good forever.

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