Winter weather is more than just uncomfortable. In areas of the country where high wind and freezing precipitation routinely result in the formation of an icy coating on trees, power lines, and other surfaces, the resulting loss of electrical power can create dangerously cold conditions for families and cause damage to home plumbing systems and appliances. If you own a home in an area that frequently experiences icy weather and intermittent losses of power, it may be time to consider adding a supplemental heating option that will continue to warm your home, even when the electrical grid goes down.
Options for homes with safe, existing flues or fireplaces
If your home is already equipped with a flue or fireplace that has been verified as safe to use or can easily be returned to safe service, you have several options for supplemental heat available. Working fireplaces can provide some heat, but without blowers or fans powered by electricity, its benefits will only be felt near the hearth. Homeowners in this situation may want to consider adding a fireplace insert to the fireplace opening.
A wood-burning fireplace insert made of high-grade steel with tightly sealed doors will be able to provide more useable heat because less of the heat produced is able to escape up through the chimney. To salvage additional heat and move it out into the room, homeowners can purchase a fan that requires no electricity to operate. Instead, the fan is placed on the surface of the fireplace insert's metal top, where it absorbs heat that it then uses to produce an electrical current capable of turning the fan's blades.
Options for homes with non-working fireplace openings
Homes with non-working fireplaces or those that have none at all can choose to install a vented or ventless propane or natural gas heater or gas log system that resembles flames in a fireplace. Depending on the size of the heater and the location of the installation, this type of radiant heat source can comfortably warm a large room or area in the home. Homes that are very large or have a sprawling design may require the installation of more than one heater to keep the entire house comfortable and safe for occupancy during extremely cold weather.
Finding a supplemental heat source that will offer safety and comfort during a power outage is an important step in keeping your family safe. To learn more about available options for supplemental heat and determine which will be best for your home and situation, contact a reputable heating service contractor in your area. A heating service can provide additional information.