Power outages can be troublesome in the middle of winter when many of us rely on electricity for heat. Blizzards and ice storms are two of the culprits that can keep people from staying warm. In this post, your home heating repair expert Stone Heating and Air presents some clever techniques for conserving warmth and gaining emergency heat.
Keep Drafts Out
The first step to staying warm is to trap the heat already in your home by blocking drafts. Place rolled-up towels at the base of exterior doors and hang blankets over them. Open the curtains on south-facing windows during the day if it’s sunny to let in a little heat. Otherwise, keep the curtains closed to reduce heat loss through the windows.
Keep the Whole Family in One Room Only
If a power outage is lengthy, keep all your activities in the largest room in the house–most often the living room. HVAC maintenance companies suggest putting up a tent inside, if you have one. This will protect you from the cold air just as it does when you’re camping, and will also make it easier to capture and share body heat.
Safely Use a Portable Backup Generator
Never run a portable backup generator in the house or any other enclosed area therein. Instead, position it outside with its exhaust directed away from your home. Plug the generator into your home’s wiring only through a transfer switch–never an outlet. Doing so would put yourself at risk and could injure or even kill power utility line workers.
Use Your Fireplace
Using a wood or gas fireplace is an obvious way to warm up a room when the heat is out, so be sure to ask your contractor for chimney and duct cleaning before it’s too late. Gas fireplaces will continue to work even without electricity. For wood fireplaces, make sure you have enough wood to carry you through an emergency. Conserve wood by allowing the room to cool a little between fires. Keep flammable items well away from the fireplace.
Consult Stone Heating and Air for your gas furnace maintenance and repairs. Give us a call at (541) 855-5521 or fill out our contact form for a consultation.