The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Winter Power Outages
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it can be a nightmare. Power Outages due to winter weather can be difficult when you lose access to electric heating, but with these tips you can stay a little cozier, and a little safer, until the lights come back on. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of winter power outages:
Do block drafts. Don’t waste heat in empty rooms.
The first thing to do when the power goes out is start conserving the heat you already have. Place rolled towels along the bottoms of exterior doors to minimize drafts. You can also close the doors to unused interior rooms to reduce the size of the area you’ll be “living” in. A smaller space is not only easier to heat but will naturally remain warmer due to body heat.
Do close your curtains, but Don’t forget about sunpower.
Just like blocking doors with towels, Closing your curtains is an easy way to insulate windows and avoid lost heat. However, windows that receive direct sunlight during the day should have their curtains’ opened during peak sunlight hours to let in the natural warmth! If the power outage lasts a few days, this tip can help more that you might think.
Do check your breaker. Don’t open exterior doors excessively.
If you weren’t expecting power outages, or there isn’t a storm, it could pay to take a look at your breaker box. In the winter, many people will run different small appliances that create heat at the same time, such as a personal heater, hair dryer, and towel warmer in the bathroom. These heat-generating appliances pull a lot of power, and can easily throw breakers. If an initial inspection still leaves you unsure, it’s better to leave the breaker alone and stay indoors. Not only will this minimize heat loss through opening and closing the door, it can always keep you safer to call in a professional.
Do use traditional heat sources. Don’t leave them unattended.
If you have a fireplace, use it, but make sure you operate it safely since it could be in use for a long time. Don’t let ash build up excessively, and always let the logs die down and close the screen before going to sleep. Groupings of candles can also provide a little more warmth as well as light for those without fireplaces, but should never be left lit and unattended. Candles should also always be placed on a flat, level, non flammable surface before use.
With careful planning, and conscious conservation, most families should be able to ride out short power outages relatively comfortably. Even without an outage, these tips are useful all winter long for efficiency and safety! If you’re concerned with lost efficiency, uncomfortable temperatures, or a heater that makes strange sounds or smells, visit us online or give us a call at 1-800-404-0371.