Winter storms are a common occurrence in Pittsburgh. In some cases, these storms can be severe, resulting in power outages, making it crucial to be prepared to stay warm without power. It is recommended that you have an alternate resource and a well-insulated home to prepare, but if you’re caught off guard, there are several things you can do to stay warm.
At Jacob Heating & Cooling, we’ve put together a guide on how you can keep your house warm in the event of a power outage.
If you lose power and your heat source, on average, your home can be expected to stay warm for about eight to twelve hours. The first thing you’ll want to do if your heat goes out is troubleshoot your heating. If your power is out entirely, if your home is well-insulated, it can remain above freezing for one day or weeks at a time. For brief power outages, you can expect your home to remain fairly warm. For prolonged power outages, your home will eventually begin to cool off.
When it comes to how warm your home will remain during a power outage, there are several factors to consider. How long your home stays warm will depend on the design of your home, the type of heating system, the insulation, the number of people inside, and the outdoor temperature.
The insulation in your home is a critical factor in determining how long your home will stay warm during a power outage. A home without insulation can lose about 25% more heat than a home that is insulated.
Insulation will help contain the heat within the home and keep the home naturally warm. When insulating your home, it is crucial to make sure the windows, roof, floor, and doors are insulated. With proper insulation, you can prevent valuable heat from escaping. It is also important to check that there are no cracks under the doors or windows that could be letting cold air into the home.
During your inspection of the windows or doors, be sure to fill in or cover any cracks or damages that you see immediately. The sooner you remedy this issue, the less energy you will be wasting keeping your home warm.
If you notice that your home cools down quickly once the heat is off, this is a sure sign of poor insulation. To help insulate your home more effectively, you can use thicker curtains and area rugs to help insulate the home and keep cold air from mixing with the hot air. We also commend covering the windows with plastic sheeting to help seal in the warmth.
The season and the outdoor temperature also have a major impact on how warm your home will be if you lose power. Typically, the colder the weather is, the faster your home will experience heat loss.
Another important factor is the humidity level. This will play a major role in how cold your home feels throughout the winter. If you live in a drier climate, your home won’t retain heat, as well as a home in a wetter climate. If needed, you can heat water or use a humidifier to increase the levels of humidity within the home.
Windy weather can also cause your home to lose heat faster. With a cold draft, your home can become cooled down, even with proper insulation. We recommend using window wraps to seal off the windows and door stopper to help keep the cool air out.
When it comes to larger homes, it may be harder to retain heat within the home as long as a smaller home would. Also, keep in mind that the number of people in the home can also affect how warm the home will be.
Think about having your friends or family in your living and then think about the room when it is empty; you’ll likely recall that when the room is filled with people, it is much warmer than when you’re alone in the room.
A home with more people inside of it will be warmer longer because of the body heat that each person gives off. As a person breathes, they give off water into the air, so with several people in one room, you can expect the humidity levels to rise, warming up the room.
If you’re experiencing a power outage, encourage the people in your home to share one or two rooms for maximum warmth.
At Jacob Heating & Cooling, our team is prepared to assist you with any heating emergency this winter to keep you and your family prepared. Contact us today to learn more!