Emergency Backup Question

Would a 700 watt inverter be a good idea for running a gas furnace from
car in an emergency?
The furnace has a .25 hp motor and would only need this in the winter,
although we have not had a problem in about 5 years.
The unit would be attached to the house and would be hooked up to
whichever vehicle was availiable at the time of the emergency.
The furnace is not hardwired so it would be easy to unplug from wall
oulet and plug into inverter. ( I know,... it's not code but I like it
that way )
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Yes, it would.
Be advised that motor loads provide a difficult test for many or most inverters. I don't have recent experience but some 30 years ago I hooked up an inverter to power a piece of medical equipment. The load was a small induction motor.
The inverter could not start the motor. I "fixed" it by putting a capacitor across the motor to start it. I switched the cap out with a potential type starting relay.
So get your inverter and test it with your blower motor. If you have problems (the motor will TELL you) then try a starting cap to reduce the inductive load while starting.
As far as your switching mode (putting a plug on the motor) this type of thing is becoming much more acceptable. "Built in" microwave ovens, for one type of appliance, are now routinely "plugged in" rather than hardwired, Many dishwashers are also "plugged in."
BTW: an alternative solution to your backup heating problem could be "ventless" gas heater or fake fireplace insert. There are quite safe (they have O2 depletion shut down built in) and generate essentially zero CO. That would not heat your house but it can make a large room as warm as you could desire.
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John Gilmer

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