By: Ed Del Grande
Being a master “pipefitter” as well as a master plumber, I get a lot of questions from homeowners who have lost heat in the middle of winter. Many times the heating equipment itself fails, but often it’s a severe winter storm that knocks out electrical power to the home. Once power is lost, in many cases the heating system may shut down as well.
When there’s no electricity, usually all a service person can do is to tell the homeowner to wait or get temporary power before anything can be done. This may take several days, and a home without heat in wintertime can cause big problems – both financially and physically, not to mention all the stress involved!
Why am I bringing up heating emergencies in the middle of summer? Well, I was reading in the newspaper about many places in the eastern areas of the country that lost electrical power over the 4th of July holiday week due to severe summer storms. I started to think about my winter calls, and realized that even in the summertime, you can easily be thrown into an emergency situation when you lose power.
So, just like winter heating issues, cooling issues during a heat wave can be just as bad to deal with. If you lose your air conditioning and/or refrigeration, things like trying to protect frozen foods and caring for your family (especially the elderly) need to be addressed as soon as possible.
The common thread here with these weather emergencies is that a standby generator can help you get through a severe weather event, no matter what time of year. When you have electricity, you have control over your home’s heating and cooling systems.
I’m currently installing a new standby generator system in my own home. So, between the recent storms and the project going on at my house, I’m reminded that I should be informing others about the importance of installing a back up electrical power system.
This way, on a future 4th of July emergency, the “fireworks” can stay in the sky where they belong, instead of being on the phone lines with people complaining about losing their power.
Ed Del Grande is a three-time Master Plumber, GBCI LEED green associate, and contractor.