A winter storm can bring high winds, snow, and ice, all of which can build up on and bring down power lines and trees, causing power outages that can last for several hours or even days. The majority of household heating requires power to function properly. In the event of a power failure, having a safe and reliable heat source is step number one during a winter storm or power outage caused by an extreme weather event.
Being prepared is essential. Winter ice storms, wind storms, or downed power lines can cause major delays in restoring power. While some power outages are short, lots of power outages from winter storms can last a few days. You should be prepared for at least three full days (72 hours) without power, if not more.
Be Prepared – Always Have a Stock of Supplies
As many as 50% of households are not prepared for prolonged power outages. It is important to have supplies to keep yourself safe and comfortable when in a power outage. We suggest placing everything you will need in a single Rubbermaid bin or something similar and placing it in a front hall closet or somewhere easy to access in the dark.
Your emergency kit should contain the following:
- AA battery-powered cell phone charger
- Fully stocked first aid kit
- Long-burning candles
- Box of matches or a lighter
- Battery operated radio
- Extra batteries for phone charger, flashlight, and fireplace battery backup
- Cash for emergency purchases $50-$100
- Notebook and pen
- Bottled water - approx. 1 gallon (4 liters) per person/day
- Non-perishable canned and dry food – enough for 5-7 full day
Keeping Warm During Power Outages with your Fireplace
Gas & wood fireplaces will continue to work safely during a power outage. These fireplaces do not require electricity for venting and can be used safely during a power outage.
So if you are in a power outage and you have a gas fireplace, go ahead and turn it on – it will act as a great source of heat for your home while many furnaces and other electricity regulated heating sources no longer work.
Below are some of the top questions about power outages:
Can gas fireplaces run during a power outage?
Yes! All Regency gas fireplaces, inserts, and stoves can operate safely during a power outage. The fireplace will continue to produce radiant heat and warm up the home. If your unit has a blower, it will no longer work; however, a fireplace blower is not necessary for the operation or safety of the fireplace. All our gas fireplaces have battery backups or ignition packs that can ignite the fireplace in case of power loss. In addition, all direct vent gas fireplaces are sealed, keeping emissions out, and are vented to the exterior of your home using the natural buoyancy of warm air (warm air rises), meaning no electricity is needed to operate your gas fireplace or gas fireplace insert safely.
Can Wood Fireplaces be used during a power outage?
Absolutely! Wood fireplaces are the oldest source of heat for homes pre-dating electricity by thousands of years. Although modern wood fireplaces, stoves, and inserts are a lot more technically advanced than the old wood fireplaces of yore, they still function the same way. Due to the natural buoyancy of air (warm air rises), they can push emissions out of your home safely without electricity. Like gas fireplaces, wood fireplaces will produce radiant heat regardless of whether or not the blower is in operation.
How can a Regency fireplace keep you safe during a power outage?
- All Regency gas and wood fireplaces, stoves, and inserts radiate heat without electricity.
- Fireplaces provide an additional, safe light source during power outages
- We install battery-powered receivers and/or ignition packs into all of our gas fireplace products as a backup power supply so you can continue to enjoy instant heat at the touch of a button in the event of a power outage. Some of our gas fireplaces can ignite without batteries too!
- Our direct vent technology prevents cold air from entering your home and stops warm air from escaping up your chimney, even when your fireplace is not in use. Direct vent technology maintains indoor air quality by using outside air for combustion and venting exhaust air directly outside.
Fireplaces that will not work during a power outage
- Electric Fireplaces - This is somewhat self-explanatory, but since the heat and light are generated by an electric heater and LEDs, these fireplaces will not work without electricity.
- Power Vented Fireplaces - Larger fireplaces with lengthy or complicated vent runs may have a power vent or forced air system. This fireplace works by forcing air through the system with a fan, and without electricity, the fan cannot operate, and the fireplace will not draft properly. Do not be worried; if your fireplace is power vented, and there is no electricity, it will simply not ignite. The system checks to see the fan is spinning before igniting, so you don't have to ever worry about whether or not your fireplace is venting correctly.
- Fireplace Blowers - similar to power vents, the fireplace blower uses electricity to circulate air around the fireplace's exterior using an electric fan. Without electricity, the blower will not operate; however, your fireplace will continue to use powerful radiant heat to warm up the room.