Homeowners in New Jersey, from Ocean City to Cherry Hill, can trust in Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling to keep their furnaces running all winter long with their “Expertly Better” service technicians. However, what are you to do when a winter storm knocks out the power to your home? Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your family warm when the power goes out.
The first step to staying warm is to keep your home as warm as possible, and for as long as possible, if you suspect a coming storm might knock out the power to your home. So, turn the thermostat for your heater up a few degrees. But, once you have the heat in your home you need to keep it in your home. Opening a door to the outside is the quickest way to lose any heat inside your home. If you do need to go outside, try to leave through a garage or porch, as this buffer area will minimize the heat loss.
Even if you can avoid opening doors to the outside, homes can lose heat through leaks around doors and windows. For doors, roll up towels and block leaks around the bottom of doors to prevent losing heat. For windows, make sure all of the windows in your home are shut and locked, to prevent any air leaks. Next, determine which windows get sunlight versus which windows do not get any sunlight. For windows in the sun, open the blinds to allow the light in, aka “free heat.” For windows that do not have any sunlight, close the blinds to prevent any heat from leaving your home.
As more and more heat leaves your home and the temperature steadily falls, it is time to focus on keeping YOU warm. Start with your head. A warm knit cap pulled down over your ears will dramatically reduce the amount of heat leaving your body. For the rest of your body, dressing in layers is important, but make sure to pay particular attention to your extremities like hands and feet. Similar to a room furthest away from your heater, they “receive” less heat and can become bitterly cold quicker. Therefore, put on some nice thick gloves and wool socks.
Finally, when the power goes out, don’t forget about your home’s water heater as a source of heat. Even if your newer, high-efficient, water heater needs electricity to heat the water, remember that the hot water in the tank will remain hot for, up to, a few hours. Try filling a water bottle with the hottest water possible. Use this hot water bottle as your personal hand and body warmer. If the water is too hot at first, use a thick sock or blanket to protect yourself.
If the power does go off this winter, the one thing you should NEVER do to heat your home is to use your oven, stove, or barbecue to try and heat your home. Your stove, oven, and barbecue will all release uncontrolled amounts of CARBON MONOXIDE into your home placing you and your family, potentially, in a serious health concern.
Since 1948, Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling has been keeping families in NJ, PA, & DE warm – learn the difference today by calling 866-953-8728.