Power outage in winter are usually limited to ice storms and blizzards, but a summer blackout can occur for a variety of reasons. Here in southern Kansas, high winds associated with severe thunderstorms or even tornadoes can take down power lines. Lightning strikes can damage transformers or utility substations. During a heat wave, extreme demands on the power grid can lead to blackouts, too. Whatever the cause, the result’s the same: You’re unplugged. Being prepared with the proper supplies and the knowledge of what to do will get you through until the lights come on.
- Keep a battery-powered radio or TV to get news updates. Smart-phones are good, too, though make sure you have a charger in your car. Battery-powered lights instead of candles are a safer alternative, too.
- Don’t bring a charcoal grill indoors for cooking. Charcoal produces deadly carbon monoxide gas. Cook with charcoal outdoors only. Don’t operate lanterns or stoves fired by gas or liquid fuel indoors without adequate ventilation.
- Turn off all appliances, home entertainment equipment, computers and other devices that were running when the power was interrupted. This prevents circuit overload when power resumes and protects sensitive electronics from voltage surges common when electricity is restored after an outage.
- Leave one light switched on to alert you when power is restored.
- If a summer blackout occurs during a heat wave, try to stay cool. Stay inside and drink plenty of water. Take advantage of cooler times of day by opening up the house and letting the air inside. As soon as the outside temperature exceeds the inside, close up the house again.
- Where summer blackouts are common, consider investing in a backup generator installed by a professional electrician. Permanently wired into your home circuits, backup generators run off natural gas and automatically sense power interruptions. The generator energizes and a transfer switch shifts your home circuits to generator power. Backup generators have higher load capacity than portable, gasoline-powered generators and are available in sizes capable of powering a limited number of essential circuits up to capacities that can sustain your entire home.
Comfort Systems means household comfort in summer and all other seasons for homeowners in the Greater Wichita area. For further details about strategies to deal with summer blackouts, contact us today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about summer blackouts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.