Safe Heating in Winter Storm Emergencies
Are you ready for a blackout in the cold of winter? When temperatures drop to at or below the freezing mark, loss of electricity can be dangerous. Attempts to get warm can also create hazardous situations. Safety should always be the first consideration, when seeking ways to deal with cold weather in an emergency. There are some safe options for emergency heating, including the following:
Gravity-Fed Pellet Stoves with Backup Power
As long as you have an alternate electrical supply for the small amount of backup power needed for it, a pellet stove is an excellent source of heat in an emergency. It’s best to have a gravity-fed pellet stove, to limit the amount of electricity needed for this type of appliance.
Pellet stoves are highly efficient. They are, in fact, arguably the most environmentally friendly kinds of heating appliances.
A fan is used in the operation of a pellet stove and is a part of the reason the appliance achieves such a remarkably complete level of combustion. The small pellets used for fuel leave behind so little ash, cleaning out the ash is an infrequent requirement, especially compared to traditional fireplaces.
A battery back-up system can provide an adequate solution for the power that’s required for a pellet stove. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you have a workable plan in place, in the event the electricity goes out.
No electricity is needed for wood stoves, and the appliances are highly efficient, in their modern form. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed strict requirements on wood-burning which have led to innovation resulting in energy-efficient stoves. Depending on the size of your wood stove, you may be able to warm up a sizeable portion of your home with a long-burning fire.
Firewood is a sustainable heat source; and burning it is carbon neutral, unlike fuels such as oil and gas. Many people don’t realize that burning firewood is actually environmentally friendly. There are stringent requirements that new trees must be planted for every tree harvested for any type of commercial purpose.
Wood stoves are excellent for blackout emergencies, especially when you have a model that is made with a stovetop designed for cooking.
Just be sure to have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once every year. Chimney professionals will remove creosote buildup in the flue as well as soot and ash. They also check for cracks in the flue, which creates an extreme hazard. A cracked flue must be replaced before being used any further because the damage can result in a terrible house fire.
Direct Vent Fireplace
If you prefer not to deal with stacking and hauling firewood or even with storing wood pellets for a pellet stove, a direct-vent fireplace may be the ideal appliance for you in an emergency situation. A gas-powered direct vent fireplace is a safe option for heating your home in an emergency. The vent will pull fumes outside and away from your home, eliminating the potential danger of toxic carbon monoxide building up. A direct vent fireplace probably won’t provide you with heat in more than one room, but it is still a safe way to stay warm in an emergency.
Contact one of our member stores for help choosing and installing a heating system you can depend on in an emergency.