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Prepare house for winter power outage now

Ice storm, heavy, wet snow storm and fallen trees could knock down power lines and poles, striking a terrible blow to your house.

Because electricity is required for automation circuitry and blower motor of the gas furnace, it will not work at all during power outage.

Homeowners' first desire would be to abandon the cold and dark house temporarily and return once the hydro is restored and it is livable again.

Stop, not so fast!

Extended power outage could flood and ruin your entire house. All water pipes would freeze without heat and burst in several hours.

Buying a small back up generator now for about $200 + HST is an extremely important and yet very simple step to make your furnace run and save the house during the next winter blackout.

In some cases, depending on the furnace wiring, you may also need to hire a licensed electrician to prepare for a quick and simple switch to emergency power source and back. Reconfiguring the feed could take an electrician from two to four hours and cost you another $450 to $650.

800W $200 + HST back up generator would support the furnace and about twenty of 20W LED light bulbs allowing you to stay in the house. Yet, it will not be possible to shower or cook until the main power is restored.

Making fixtures with LED light bulbs work in some rooms requires another $800 to $1300 for installation of a subpanel, transfer switch and some rewiring from main panel to the new subpanel.

Homes with gas stove, gas furnace and gas water heater could be made frost resistant for just around $500 total! But only if you act now. There will be no generators and no electricians available in Etobicoke during or after the storm!

A $200 to $2000 invested now in your Markham or Scarborough house could prevent a disaster, save hundreds of thousands of dollars and give you peace of mind.

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