What to Do for Heat When the Power Goes Out

Posted on: December 6, 2013

If the power gets knocked out by a snowstorm, what are you supposed to do for heat? It’s one of the biggest questions residents in the Philadelphia area ask themselves every winter. At Dowd’s Mechanical, Heating & Air Conditioning, we have the answers you’re looking for. Since 1997, your friends and neighbors have trusted us with all their heating needs—let us help you with yours!

If your heat goes out in Philadelphia, PA or the surrounding areas, give us a call at 215-752-3638 for furnace services.

Tips for Staying Warm without Heat

If you’re wondering what to do for heat when the power goes out, here are some of our tips for staying warm:

Call the power company – this won’t keep you warm, but it may help you get power back sooner! When the power goes out in your neighborhood, call the power company—and don’t assume that someone else already has. There’s no guarantee that this will get them out to you faster, but it can’t hurt!

Use a generator – portable generators can usually generate enough power to run the fridge, a few lights, and a small space heater. Larger standby generators may even be enough to get the furnace running again! If you’re using a portable generator, remember to use it carefully—keep it out of the house and away from any open windows so no carbon monoxide gets in.

Wear layers – if it gets really cold in your house, just bundle up! Scarves, hats, gloves, and sweatshirts will keep you warm all day. Try to keep your head, hands, and feel as warm as possible—this will help you feel warmest.

Use a fireplace – gas and wood fireplaces still work when the power goes out, so light a fire and get cozy! Just don’t forget fireplace safety—keep the screen closed at all times and make sure the flue is open for ventilation.

Hang out in one area of the house – get everyone together in one room (preferably one with a heat source) and close all the doors and windows to trap heat in. If the central room doesn’t have doors, you can hang up sheets or blankets in the doorways to help trap in the heat.

Keep air out – close all window drapes and put draft catchers under the doors to keep as much cold air out as possible.

What to Avoid when the Heat Goes Out

Although being warm is a top priority, you need to make sure you do it in a safe way! Here are some safety precautions for when the heat goes out:

Don’t bring in outside heat sources – things like grills and kerosene lamps are not good options for heat providers when the power goes out. Not only can they pose a major fire hazard, but the fumes are dangerous with little to no ventilation.

Don’t open the refrigerator or freezer – even though the power is out, the refrigerator and freezer will still have cold air. Keep them shut to avoid adding to the problem.

Try to stay dry – stay inside and try to stay dry as best you can. It will be nearly impossible to get warm if you’re wet.

Don’t leave space heaters unattended – if you’re using a space heater, make sure you take proper precautions. Don’t put anything flammable near your space heater and don’t plug it into an extension cord. Comfortable though they are, space heaters can pose a major fire hazard if not used safely!

Who to Call When the Heat Goes Out

So what if your heat goes out, but the power stays on? Or the power comes back on, but the heat doesn’t? That’s a job for the experts at Dowd’s Mechanical, Heating & Air Conditioning. If you live in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Yardley, or any surrounding PA areas, we can help you with any:

Contact us online or by phone at 977-321-5430 to schedule an appointment!