Heating Your Home During a Power Outage
LESLIE: Mike in Ohio is on the line and needs some suggestions with heating a home in the event of a power outage.
MIKE: Yes, yes. We do, indeed, because of the terrible winter weather. Especially December, January to February is bad. So it’s three months and – yeah, emergency sources of – and safe, especially safe, sources of indoor heating inside the home in case the furnace goes out.
TOM: Alright. Well, first of all, do you have a fireplace?
MIKE: No, I do not.
TOM: Alright. So, let me just suggest, then, that the safest indoor heating source is your furnace, which can be made operable through the installation of a standby generator. Do you run on gas?
MIKE: Yes. Natural gas, forced hot air.
TOM: So, what we would recommend is that you invest in a standby generator. Leslie just put one of these in. I’m actually putting in – in fact, I met with the KOHLER Generator representative today to size one for my home. I had a smaller standby generator that actually got me through Hurricane Sandy – speaking of natural disasters – and now I’m ready to upgrade to a bigger one.
And I’ve got to tell you, the prices have come down on them. They’re very efficient and in some cases, depending on the size, they will repower your entire house. Because if you lose power, you’re going to be able to restore some heat, maybe, if you had something like a kerosene space heater. But I’m not going to tell you that’s safe; it’s not. There’s thousands of fires that happen all the time, every year, because of things like that.
So, I would recommend that you think about investing in a standby generator. Now, you can either get one that covers the entire house or KOHLER also recently had a line that came out that is as small as an 8k, a 10k or a 12k generator. So they have a smaller generator line and a larger generator line, all permanently installed standbys. So, basically, they come on automatically when the power goes out. That is definitely the safest way to repower your house, reheat your house in an emergency.
MIKE: What would we do in the case that the furnace actually broke and say, they couldn’t get a part through expedited mail for a day or two and worst case scenario, we’re looking at 10 to 15 degrees below zero?
TOM: You’re in trouble, Mike. Because there is no space heater that is going to be able to heat that entire house. You could have portable electric heaters, you can have some kerosene heaters but you’re never going to get the same level and same comfort that you’re going to get in that house. And frankly, I doubt that that would ever happen. You’d have to have a really oddball furnace, because most furnaces have pretty standardized parts and it doesn’t take days or weeks to get them fixed.
MIKE: OK. Thank you.