Losing your power during a storm almost always means you will also lose your heat. That’s because heating systems will not run without electricity—no matter whether your fuel is heating oil, natural gas, propane or obviously, electricity. (Only some very old heating systems can operate without power).
If your home is without power for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to unplug appliances and turn off circuit breakers. This will prevent electrical surges when the power returns again.
Once you have power back, make sure there is no standing water in your basement. If your system requires service to get it started again, for safety reasons it cannot be worked on if water is pooling around it.
If flood water reached your heating system, arrange to have a professional do an inspection before you restart it. The valves and controls are vulnerable to water damage—even if it cannot be seen. Corrosion begins inside the valves, and damage may not be apparent, even if the outside is clean and dry.
If the area around your heating system has remained dry, check that the system’s power switch and circuit breakers are back on before you try restarting your system,. Remember not to press your burner’s reset button more than once. Pushing the reset button too many times can flood your system with oil, resulting in a costly repair.
If a big storm is on the horizon, there’s a strong possibility that you may lose power for a while. Here are a few tips to help you be ready.