Winter Power Outage in Sudbury, Ontario? Here's How To Prepare Your Home!
Power outages in Northern Ontario are not unusual. They can occur in every season and typically do so at the most inopportune times.
Winter power outages are just one example!
If you’ve experienced a winter power outage in Sudbury, Ontario, then you know exactly what we’re talking about.
Winter blizzards with high winds and heavy snowfall are the perfect recipe for a blackout. And while we may see it coming, nobody knows precisely when or if the lights will go out.
That’s why it’s crucial to prepare yourself, your family and your home BEFORE an outage.
Does your home rely on the power grid? If so, you’re vulnerable to a power outage's unpredictable and lasting effects. Whether it’s 2 hours or 5 days, power is at the mercy of your local grid team.
That’s why it’s also important to know what you should do DURING an outage! You never know when power might return.
There are many ways to reserve your home’s heat, protect your electronics and ensure your family’s safety while your power is out and AFTER!
This article shares all the winter power outage tips you need to protect your home - before, during and after!
Why Is It Important To Prepare For a Power Outage in Sudbury, Ontario?
As mentioned, power outages are a pretty common occurrence in Ontario. In 2017 alone, there were 177 reported outages in Ontario!
We receive frequent alerts for severe wind, snow and rain storms. And many of those forecast warnings also come with a potential outage advisory.
In fact, many Canadians experienced a severe winter storm right before Christmas. This particular storm left 78,000 households without power!
Many homeowners had to celebrate the season with candlelight and wood-burning fireplaces.
And while many families happily embraced the change of plans, others struggled to learn how to keep their homes warm in such low temperatures.
Dangerous Effects of Power Outages For Homes:
- No heat (if your system relies on electrical power)
- No water
- No lights
- No refrigeration
- Electrical damage to devices, appliances and systems.
- Disconnected at-home medical equipment.
Without power, we must learn how to function as safely and proactively as we can.
How To Prepare Your Home For A Power Outage BEFORE It Occurs
You can never be too prepared when it comes to power outages. Follow these steps below to ensure you’re ready for whatever mother nature throws at you!
Pack An Emergency Kit
The first step in preparing for a power outage is packing an emergency kit. This kit should sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours (three days).
Here are some items to include in your kit:
- Non-perishable food
- Sleeping bags
- Toilet paper
- First aid kit
Check out the City of Greater Sudbury Emergency Kit for a complete list.
Winterize Your Home
Next, prepare your home for the winter season. We call this winterizing!
Each of these steps helps ensure and conserve safe home heating!
Install a Gas Fireplace or Other Non-Electric Heating Unit
If you rely solely on electric heating, your home becomes increasingly vulnerable during a power outage. Essentially, without electricity, you have no heat!
No heat can cause the following damages to your home:
- Frozen pipes
- Mould growth
- Damaged belongings (guitars, pianos, books etc.)
- Damaged materials (wood flooring, furniture, wallpaper etc.)
- Cracked boilers or radiators
- Damaged refrigerant-running appliances
One way to ensure your home has a dependable heat source is by installing a gas fireplace or other non-electric heating units.
Examples include a propane fireplace, a wood-burning furnace or a gas space heater.
Install a Backup Generator
Another way to ensure your home is not left without heat is to invest in a reliable backup generator. Backup generators can power large home appliances - including your home heating system!
Our Campeau Heating team supplies our local homeowners with Kohler generators!
Designed for harsh winters, Kohler generators are the perfect solution for a winter power outage in Sudbury, Ontario.
The cool thing about a whole-home backup generator is its automatic transfer switch (ATS). It allows the generator to automatically turn on during a power failure or brownout.
This means you’re only left in the dark for 10 seconds at most!
Below are some appliances that a whole-home backup generator can power:
- Furnace Blower
- Well Pump
- Sump Pump
- 1000 Watt Microwave
Note: Your generator’s capacity may differ according to the electrical requirements of your home appliances.
Turn Up The Heat If You Expect a Power Outage
If you do not have a backup generator, make sure you turn the heat up at the first sign of trouble!
We recommend turning up the heat if you know a winter storm is coming. This can help keep your home warmer for longer!
What To Do DURING a Power Outage
A winter power outage in Sudbury, Ontario, means your home could lose heat very quickly. As mentioned, this puts your family, plumbing, home, and appliances at risk!
You also don’t know how long the power will remain out! This means you have to protect your home from an unpredictable power surge as well.
Conserve As Much Heat As You Can
The first thing to do when the power goes out is to conserve as much heat as possible.
If you don’t have a backup generator or non-electric heat source, your best bet is to prevent heat from escaping.
Here are some tips for conserving heat:
- Keep external windows and doors closed
- Close all interior doors.
- Block drafts from windows and doorways.
- Let sunshine heat your home.
Turn Off Your Thermostat and Unplug All Electronics
Once power returns, the initial surge rushing to your home can damage electronics.
A power surge can also cause equal damage to your heating system if the thermostat is on!
To prevent this, we recommend unplugging and/or turning off all electrical devices - including your thermostat!
What To Do AFTER Power Returns
Once power returns, you’ll want to carefully reconnect it to your home. Keep in mind that you should unplug ALL your devices BEFORE power returns.
Don’t Rush To Plug Everything Back In
As mentioned before, once power returns, it can happen very quickly. This puts your electronics in the direct path of a power surge!
This sudden influx of energy can damage or even destroy your electronic devices.
Wait till the power surge has a chance to stabilize before plugging everything back in - about 10-15 minutes.
Reset and Re-Power Your Electronic Devices
Once it’s safe, reset and re-power your electronic devices. This includes your heating system, refrigerator, freezer, oven etc.
Don’t forget to reset and reprogram your thermostat as well!
Inspect Your Heating System
The last step is to inspect your heating system. Ensure it functions well and wasn’t damaged during the outage.
Please note that this step may require a professional!
Contact our Campeau Heating team for Sudbury furnace repair or maintenance. You can reach us at 705-560-2441 or schedule an appointment online.
For more safety information regarding a power outage in Sudbury, visit the Sudbury Hydro Outage Safety Guide.