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In our area, part of winter is dealing with the threat of winter storms. Usually, winter storms mean little more than inconvenience; snow and ice may shut down roads, but a well-stocked household can be comfortable and safe while waiting out the worst of the storm.
However, power outages are a real possibility in a severe winter storm, and a loss of power can mean a dangerous loss of heat in cold weather scenarios. Therefore, it is important that every person in New Jersey know the appropriate steps to take to stay warm in the event of a heating system failure.
How to Stay Warm When the Heat Goes Out
- Determine what has caused the heating loss. Is your power out? If not, take steps to see why your heat is not working. Sometimes a heating failure is as simple as a thermostat that is turned “off” or set to “cool”; a flipped power switch; or a blown circuit breaker. If your power out, look out the window; do your neighbors have power?
- If the power is out, take a few minutes to unplug major appliances, to avoid damage if there are any surges in power while the electricity is being restored.
- Keep doors and windows shut, opening them only if necessary; it can take a long time to restore power and any cold air that is let into the home will not be warmed. It is also a good idea to avoid opening the refrigerator and/or freezer for the same reason.
- Dress warmly. Use layers and put on hats, gloves, and warm socks because the head, hands, and feet all lose body heat.
- Use safe, alternative heating sources. Do you have a fireplace, wood stove, or other indoor heating device? If so, then use it to keep your home warm. If you have a generator, you can use it to power a heater, but make sure that the generator is placed far enough away from the home to avoid venting into the house. Also, make sure that any space heaters are placed away from fabric, like drapes and upholstery, as they can create a fire hazard.
- Open up cabinets to get warm air into cold spaces where there are exposed pipes, in order to help prevent freezing.
- Finally, if your loss of heat is due to a problem with your furnace, call First Choice Heating and Cooling. We offer emergency heating repair, as well as provide scheduled service, maintenance, and installation of new systems.
Here are a few more tips to keep your house warm when the heat goes out!