With winter in full swing and new winter storms crawling out of the duct work left and right, we tend to hear an awful lot about preparing for these storms and making sure we are ready if we lose power. Many of us may be confused about what, other than lights and tv, do we actually lose if we power? Heat? Hot water? Well, the answer to that is that it depends on your heating system. Here is a quick breakdown:
You will not lose heat if your your power goes out if you have…
Gravity Heat-This kind of heat, also known as an octopus furnace, relies on gravity alone to disperse gas heated air through a home’s duct system. The gas valve is self-generated by the pilot light and gravity allows the heated air to simply float on up and warm the room. No electricity is needed. The bad news is that this type of heating system is not very common.
Steam Heat-Steam heat is not very efficient, and therefore it is being seen less and less in homes these days. Despite its inefficiency it does come in handy during a winter power outage because it will not go out if the power does. This system uses a boiler, and like gravity heat, it is uses its own pilot light to generate the energy necessary to flip the gas valve.
You will lose heat if your power goes out if you have…
Forced Air- Forced air systems, which are very common, will stop working if the power goes out. These rely on electricity. If you have this heating system, be prepared with either candles, flashlights, blankets, or a generator, if a winter storm is predicted in your area.
What about my water?
Most water heaters will operate just fine without electricity UNLESS you have a high efficiency water heater. These have an inducer motor that requires electricity. The high efficiency tankless water heaters also need power to work.
Whether your heating system will stop working on you or not during a winter storm, it is always good to be prepared with extra food, water, and batteries. For more information about your particular system, contact Flame!