Winter weather can bring power outages from heavy snow and ice on power lines. Strong winds during a winter storm can also leave you without power, as could bitter cold temperatures. Regardless of the cause, being without power in winter also means no heat from a furnace or other power-based heating system, which presents an entirely new set of concerns. Here are ten tips to help you remain as prepared as possible for a winter power outage.
1. Winterize Your Living SpacesThe heat inside a home is limited when the power goes out in the winter. Be prepared for this possibility by taking steps to winterize your home with weather-stripping around doors and windows and draft guards. Making sure your attic and walls are properly insulated can also be beneficial.
2. Stock Up on Non-Perishable Items and Bottled WaterShould a winter power outage last for a relatively long period of time, food in your fridge may spoil. Be ready in case this happens by making sure you have a pantry stocked with canned goods and other non-perishable items. Stock up on bottled water, too, in case your tap water becomes undrinkable.
3. Keep Some Warmer Clothing HandyHats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, hoodies, and coats are among the warmer types of clothing you can set aside somewhere handy in case the power goes out. Relying on extra layers of clothing for added warmth also eliminates the need to start up your wood-burning stove or fireplace.
4. Gather Stuff for an ‘Emergency Box’Minimize the tendency to panic when the power goes out in winter by having some emergency essentials in an easily accessible place. One convenient way to do this is to prepare an "emergency box" that contains things that tend to be useful during a power outage, such as:
- Portable radios powered by batteries or a crank
- Portable power banks or chargers
5. Unplug Anything That Could Be Affected When Power Comes Back OnThings like PCs, laptops, and smart appliances with computing elements could be affected by a surge when the power comes back on. For this reason, appliances and electronics of this nature in your home should be unplugged during a winter outage.
6. Invest in a Portable GeneratorA portable generator won't have enough juice to power your entire home during a winter power outage. However, it can provide enough of a jolt to allow you to keep your fridge running and your phones charged. Make sure you also have enough fuel stashed away for your generator and that the generator is stored in a safe, well-ventilated place.
7. Gather in the Warmest Area or RoomDuring a winter power outage, it's easier to stay warm if everyone in your home is gathered in the warmest spot. This could be the smallest room in your home or one where there's a fireplace or wood-burning stove already being used. At the very least, being gathered in one place helps generate extra body heat.
8. Don't Open Doors Going Outside Unless Absolutely NecessaryKeep warm air from getting out and cold air from getting in during a power outage by not opening doors that take you outside. If you need to open an exterior door, do so briefly to minimize heat escape.
9. Block Any Noticeable Window/Door GapsAs long as we're on the topic of minimizing heat escape during a winter power outage, don't forget to block any gaps around windows and doors. Rolled up towels or blankets can serve as a temporary way to do this until gaps can be permanently sealed later on.
10. Properly Layer UpThat warmer clothing we mentioned setting aside will be even more appreciated and useful if you properly layer up during a winter power outage. Start with long or thermal underwear for a base layer and add warm pants and looser, lighter top layers. Mittens or gloves can also be very much appreciated so that your hands don't get cold. Boots can work well for your feet, too, especially if they go up over your lower pant legs.
Call Us TodayMake sure your heating system is prepared for winter, too, by taking advantage of the services offered by Ductworks Heating and Air Conditioning. We'll check out your furnace or any other heating system you have in your home and let you know if there are any issues best addressed now rather than later.
Contact our comfort pros today to set up an appointment.