What to do if Your Home’s Heat Goes Out

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As a local heating and air conditioning company, we pride ourselves on being able to keep your home warm during the winter and cool in the summer. So with the recent snow storms on the east coast, many residents in Maryland and Washington, D.C. were left without power, and therefore without heat. Since you can’t do much until the electric company repairs the power lines, we thought we would at least share some tips on how you can still keep warm in your home the next time there isn’t any heat.

Tips for Staying Warm without Heat

When your home loses power during the winter, make sure to:

  • Call your power company to let them know you do not have power.  DON’T assume your neighbor probably already called.  Some people think the more people from a neighborhood that call the power company, the faster you’ll get your power back.  Who knows if that’s true – but every little bit helps!
  • If you have a portable generator, fire it up!  Most portable generators can handle a refrigerator, a light, and a small 1500W space heater.  Put that space heater in your bedroom (always – repeat always  – place the heater in a safe location and only use them when you’re physically in the room).  Don’t leave space heaters unattended. But if you want to make your bedroom your “warm” place, then shut the door, turn on that space heater, and snuggle up!
  • Start adding layers of clothing and put some gloves on to cover your hands.  Keep your head and feet as warm as you can. If any of your extremities become cold, so will the rest of your body.
  • If you have a fireplace, light a fire or turn on your gas fireplace in your home. Make sure you have your flue open for ventilation.
  • Gather everyone in your house into one room (preferably in the room with the fireplace) and close all the doors leading to the room to trap any heat.
  • Close all window drapes to prevent cold drafts from outside.

In addition to the above tips, there are a few things you should not do to stay warm when the heat goes out in your house. For instance:

  • Never bring outside heating sources (such as grills) indoors to try and heat your home. Not only is it a fire hazard, but the fumes are dangerous with little to no ventilation.  No kerosene heaters either!
  • Try not to open your refrigerator or freezer.  Even though the power is out, it is still adding cool air into your home every time you open or close it.
  • Stay dry. It is almost impossible to get warm when you’re sitting in wet clothing.

If you are looking for an HVAC company to service your MD or DC heating system and keep your house warm when your power is on, call Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing.

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