Tips to Help You Stay Warm During a Winter Power Outage

As a leading provider of heating system repair services in Philadelphia, Cold 1 Services understands that power outages aren’t merely mild inconveniences — they can be deadly predicaments. This possibility is especially real during chilly winter months when many families rely on electricity to heat the home. Here are a few techniques to conserve warmth, and in a few cases, even add heat back into your home.

Mitigate Heat Loss

One of the first steps to staying warm during a power outage is conservation, which essentially means doing anything you can to trap heat in your home by blocking drafts. Below are a few examples of how you can conserve:

  • Roll up a towel and place it at the base of exterior doors, and then hang blankets over those doors for additional protection from the cold.
  • Open the curtains to bring in a little heat if it’s sunny. Otherwise, it would be best if you kept curtains closed to cut down on heat loss through the glass.
  • Move activities into one room, closing any interior doors around to retain the room’s heat as much as possible. Gather flashlights, blankets, and extra layers of clothing (winter sports gear is a safe bet), gloves, and hats.
  • Pitch a tent. That’s right; you can camp indoors! The tent will protect you from cold air in your home, just as it does when you’re out in nature.

Fire Up the Fireplace

A wood or gas fireplace is one of the most obvious ways to warm up a room when the heat is out. If you have a wood fireplace, make sure your chimney is cleaned and inspected, so if the power goes out, it’s safe to use. Conserve wood by using the fireplace intermittently, letting the room cool a bit between fires.

Put the Generator in Gear

While professionally-installed standby generators may kick on as soon as the power goes out, portable backup generators can be a more common (and less expensive) solution. If you’re using one of these, take note of these precautions:

  • Do not run the generator inside the house, garage, or any other enclosed area.
  • Station the generator outside, with its exhaust directed away from your home.

Using durable extension cords rated for outdoor use, connect the generator to electric space heaters and any other electrical appliances you need to power.

Use a Portable Heater

It’s a smart idea to crack open a window for ventilation when using a space heater. Keep it at least 3 feet from anything flammable. Ensure carbon monoxide detectors in your home have fresh batteries or are otherwise fully functional to adequately detect any harmful gases coming from generators, fireplaces, or non-electric space heaters.

Consider Other Lodging

For lengthy power outages (and when it’s safe to drive), think about staying at a hotel. Just remember to unplug electronic devices, shut off the main water valve, make sure all of your doors and windows are locked, and set your alarm system if possible.

For more information about central heating repairs near Philadelphia, contact Cold 1 Services today!


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