Winter season is here and preparation for power outages is extremely important. Snow and Ice storms can cause power outages for hours and sometimes longer, leaving Kansans scrambling for emergency heat. It’s easier beforehand to prepare and plan than it is to look for resources during a full-blown outage. Make sure and read through the following tips to help keep you and your family warm this winter.

Safe Heating

Gas fireplaces. Many of the homes in the Wichita area have gas fireplaces that are a source of some heat during an emergency. Unless yours was designed to radiate heat into your space, chances are you’ll have to sit close by to get the most benefits. Unfortunately, you can’t use a gas fireplace to burn wood. It’s not built to the same code. As of the time of this writing

There are some portable heaters designed for tent camping that will provide some heat for a small room or space in your home. Even though these heaters burn cleanly, they still emit carbon monoxide (CO) and other noxious combustion gases.

Always have fresh batteries in your CO detectors when using any of these heating resources.

Staying Warm Naturally

You might be able to eliminate the need for emergency heat altogether by:

  • Dressing in layers.
  • Sealing the air leaks throughout your home.
  • Setting aside one room in your home for your family to gather during the power outage. Your body heat will warm it naturally. If it has hard-surface flooring, bring in rugs or use blankets on the floor to increase trapped body heat.
  • Having enough food. Keep three days worth of ready-to-eat food in your emergency supplies. Heating it first on the barbecue will also keep you warmer.
  • Seek out the sun.
  • Take advantage of sunshine by opening the window coverings to use free solar heating.

Making plans for emergency heat will help you withstand a storm or power disruption in the winter. One last important tip is to make sure keep your gas tank filled up. This might not impact keeping you warm at home, but it could be extremely important should you or your family be involved in a car accident this winter.

For more information, contact Comfort Systems, providing HVAC services for Wichita Kansas homes. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Wichita area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).