Winter storms. Its freezing outside, and a bad storm takes out the power in your neighborhood. Talk about a bad mix of circumstances. What do you do? You probably prepared for this. Any smart homeowner would. Stocking up on food stuffs, and bottled water... it’s what we do in the winter if winter storms are the norm. But what about keeping your house warm?
I’m sure you’ve seen pictures or drawings of a happy family in their igloo. And what is an igloo? A home built with ice. Doesn’t exactly sound cozy, does it. Well the good news is your home is not built with ice. Even so, if temperatures are below zero and you don’t have power, it may start to feel like it. Here are some suggestions on how to keep icicles from forming on your nose if you lose power in the winter.
Keep the heat in
Don’t open exterior doors or windows unless absolutely necessary. A blast of cold air from a door opened and closed briefly is a huge heat loss. If possible, try going through a closed in porch or garage that acts like an airlock to prevent the super cold air from blowing into your home.
Close all the interior doors to unused or unnecessary rooms in the house. This keeps your main living/survival area warmer longer.
Do you have curtains or blinds? At night, or if they are not on a sunny side, provides a little insulation. Every little bit helps keep the heat in.
Block drafts by putting a rolled-up towel at the base of a drafty door to keep the heat in. Hanging blankets over windows and doorways can also help to keep precious heat inside.
If the outage is extended, you may think of moving your family to the basement if you have one. Although basements are generally the coldest places of a house, during sub-freezing weather they will be warmer than the outside because of the insulating quality of the ground.
Safely add heat to your house
If you have a wood stove, fire it up and keep it burning. But if your wood supply is limited and the outage is extended, burn at regular intervals, letting the house cool down as much as bearable between burns.
If it’s a sunny day, open the curtains or blinds where the sun hits the windows. If you have a type of glass in your windows that limits the entry of heat from the sun, and it isn’t real windy outside and the temperatures are not below zero, then you may even consider opening your windows to let the direct sun pour in. Putting dark blankets in the direct sunlight lets you soak up the sun’s heat. As soon as the sun goes down do what you can to re-insulate those windows.
You could use a portable heater, but USE WITH CAUTION! This is a last resort, and we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be VERY careful when using any portable fuel burning heater inside a house, even if it says it is designed for indoor use. Fire burns oxygen and can produce deadly gases like carbon monoxide. If it is bigger than a candle, you need to provide adequate ventilation to the outside. Don’t let kids or pets near the heater. Keep a working fire extinguisher in the room where you have the heater. And when it’s time to go to sleep, just turn it off. Better to wake up cold the next morning than to not wake up at all.
If the power is restored and your central heating system isn’t kicking on, then don’t hesitate to give GAMA Air a call at (310) 651-6936, or use our online form to schedule a service call. We offer competitive prices, but even more than that, we guarantee your satisfaction 100%!
Do you have other questions that are nagging you? Visit our “Ask an Expert” page, fill out the form, and our resident expert will get back to you quickly with an answer.