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Safe Heating Options for Winter Storm Emergencies

Heating during a power outageWhen the lights go out in winter, the most important to do, besides staying away from downed power lines, is to stay warm. You can layer your clothing as a way to fight the cold, but the very best way to keep warm is by lighting your fireplace, wood stove, or pellet stove. Please note that it can be deadly to use outdoor type heaters, such as a kerosene heater or barbeque pit, inside of your home, due to the release of toxic carbon monoxide. Do not use such devices. The following are safe heating options that can be used during winter storm emergencies:

Wood Stove

Wood stoves do not require electricity. When it comes to a winter emergency, wood stoves are ideal appliances. Anytime it’s cold outside, however, a wood stove is a great heat source. Today’s modern appliances are far superior to the pot-bellied stoves of yesteryear. Wood stoves are highly efficient and can provide a significant amount of heat in your home. You can even give your central heating system a rest and your budget relief, from lower electricity bills, as a result of heating with a wood stove.

Keep plenty of firewood at the ready for cold winter days and blackout emergencies. Burning firewood is environmentally friendly because it is carbon neutral and a sustainable fuel source. Be sure your firewood is properly seasoned, which means it has a low level of moisture. It usually takes between six months and a year for cut firewood to dry out well enough to be useful, clean-burning firewood.

Pellet Stove (Using Backup Power)

Unlike wood stoves, pellet stoves do require a small amount of electricity. Manufacturers typically supply information on the best way to provide needed backup energy, in the event of a blackout. Pellet stoves are the most efficient type of heating system available. Top-of-the-line pellet stoves are sometimes deemed to be smokeless, due to their level of efficiency.

Instead of burning logs, wood pellets are burned in a pellet stove. The small pellets, about 1 ½ inches long, are made with highly compressed wood byproducts, such as sawdust. The pellets are made with materials that would otherwise be thrown out, and yet they combust almost completely, providing hot fires.

A gravity-fed pellet stove automatically feeds pellets into the burn pot of the pellet stove. The only component that requires electricity in a gravity-fed stove is the fan. The innovative design of pellet stoves includes the use of a fan that helps to achieve such incredible combustion that ash cleanup is rarely needed, as compared with a regular wood stove or fireplace.

Direct Vent Fireplace

Efficient Gas Fireplaces - Marlborough NYIf you prefer not to deal with the hassles involved with firewood, you can also keep warm in a winter emergency using a direct vent fireplace. These appliances are gas-powered, and they provide a safe option for home heating when the electricity is out.

Whichever type of heating system you have for winter emergencies, experts recommend scheduling annual maintenance and inspection. Contact our chimney professionals to schedule chimney cleaning and inspection.

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