While snow and ice may create a winter wonderland outside, it can also wreak havoc on power lines. Because of this, severe winter storms are known for knocking out electricity – sometimes for days at a time. This gives families the difficult task of keeping their family’s warm when the power is out.
The easiest way to make sure your family will stay warm during a power outage is by using a backup heating source. While there are many different supplemental heat sources, some are better designed for use during a power outage than others.
The three best backup heating options
There are three heating appliances that give you the best chance of staying warm when the power goes out: wood inserts, wood stoves, and gas stoves.
Wood inserts: Wood inserts allow homeowners to enjoy the warm and ambiance of a crackling wood fire – without the extreme inefficiency and heat loss. Wood inserts can be installed on their own or into an existing hearth, making them an ideal choice for wood fireplace owners who want a more efficient heating appliance.
Wood stoves: Wood stoves aren’t just for log cabins – these stylish and efficient appliances can effectively heat a single room or an entire home. Available in a variety of sizes and styles, stoves can keep your home cozy and warm as long as there is firewood in the house.
Gas stoves: Gas stoves combine the heat output of a wood stove with the ease of use of a gas fireplace. This allows users to enjoy a roaring fire at the touch of the button as well as avoid going out into the cold or snow in search of more firewood in the middle of the night. In addition, many gas stoves are installed as direct vent appliances; this venting style is considered to be the safest in the industry and greatly reduces the chances of dangerous gasses such as carbon monoxide backing up in a home.
Three heat sources that won’t keep you warm in a power outage
Not all fireplaces or heating appliances are created equal, and some require electricity or do not burn efficiently enough to work well as an alternative heating source. The following are three heat sources that aren’t effective during a power outage.
Pellet stoves: While pellet stoves are extremely efficient and can create enough heat to warm an entire home, they also require electricity to operate. Unless you have a small supplemental generator, a pellet stove cannot operate when the power is off.
Gas fireplaces: Small gas fireplaces (not gas inserts) are usually designed to be more decorative than serve as an actual heat source. Because of this, they may not even generate enough heat to effectively heat the room they are in.
Open wood fireplaces: Traditional open wood or open hearth fireplaces might create roaring fires, but are extremely inefficient; open hearth fireplaces are about 10% efficient (at best), meaning that more than 90% of your heat is going straight up the chimney.
When the power goes out, make sure your family isn’t left out in the cold. Contact The Cozy Flame today to learn more about the best backup heating options for your home and family.