Feb 13 2015

Winter weather and ice storms pose a serious threat to unprepared homeowners. Although Georgia and coastal South Carolina don’t experience frigid temperatures like other parts of the country, we still deal with winter storms that have the potential to cause power outages. In these conditions, it’s important to stay warm and protect your home and heating equipment from possible damage by sticking to an emergency plan. If the power goes out in your home, follow these steps.

  • Make sure that a fuse or circuit breaker hasn’t failed.
  • See if your neighbors have power. If they do, the problem could be inside your house.
  • Call your local electric company to report the outage.
  • If you see downed power lines, call 9-1-1, and alert your utility provider.
  • After confirming that you have an outage, put your emergency plan into action.

Stay Warm

Staying warm is a priority if the power goes out or if you need an emergency furnace repair. Start by putting on extra layers. Then, take steps to heat your home if possible. Asphyxiation, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning are much more common during power outages than hypothermia or frostbite. To protect your home and family, only use heaters that are vented properly and approved for indoor use.

To conserve heat during an outage, stay inside a well-insulated room or space with south-facing windows. Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around water pipes. You should also let faucets drip to prevent freezing. Follow these tips until power is restored or until a professional is able to start troubleshooting furnace problems.

Emergency Supplies

Keep food, water and essential supplies on hand in case of an emergency power outage. These are just a few of the items that you should have available to ensure your safety and well-being.

  • Cell phone and charger
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm
  • Weather radio
  • Bottled water
  • Canned food and a can opener
  • Snacks
  • Pet food
  • Medications
  • First-aid kit
  • Shovel
  • Rock salt or kitty litter

Safeguard your Furnace

During a power outage, it’s wise to shut off your furnace, computers and any major appliances that could be damaged by a power surge. This can help prevent an unnecessary furnace repair. Always keep at least one light switched on to alert you when power is restored.

Even if you have a gas furnace, you need electricity to operate the controls and blower. The required power can be provided if you have auxiliary wiring and a properly installed generator that can be connected in case of an emergency. If you have a generator and would like to use it for heating and cooling, Dyess Air can configure the system.

To learn more about troubleshooting furnace problems, visit our heating page. If you’re in Georgia, call our Claxton office at 912-225-0166. Our South Carolina office can be reached at 843-474-0075. We’ll be happy to assist you.

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