Category Archives: Power Outages

Backup Generator: 10 Situations You’ll Need to Know About

Power outages in Portland are not unknown, despite our rather benign weather. The fact is, the power can and does go off here, for a variety of reasons. That’s when it’s good to know your Backup Generator: 10 Situations You'll Need to Know About power needs are covered with a backup generator. Generators are no longer rare in residential areas, as the weather gets wackier and homeowners are more and more reluctant to experience the inconvenience of not being able to cook, going without lights or worrying about food spoiling in the refrigerator.

Here are 10 reasons the power might go off in your Portland home.

  1. Lightning strike. Power thunderstorms are rare here, but can happen. When lightning hits transformers, it can knock out the power.
  2. Flooding. Flood waters from torrential rain and melting snow can damage electrical equipment at ground level or below, knocking out power till flooding resides and repair crews can fix it.
  3. Wind. High winds can blow down power lines, resulting in temporary loss of electricity.
  4. Falling trees. Trees may hit power lines after being toppled by high winds or improper cutting.
  5. Home construction. If you’re building a house or performing major renovations, the electricity may be off for extended periods.
  6. Animals. Believe it or not, but sometimes animals can cause blackouts, from birds shorting out power lines to underground burrowing animals chewing through buried cables.
  7. Power company outage. We don’t always know the reason, but sometimes the power just goes out while the utility company works on the lines. Outages can be short or long term, and might be caused by a short circuit or overloading of electricity mains.
  8. Power surge in the home. Sometimes the homeowner’s electrical system shorts out, particularly if it’s old or repairs have not been done correctly.
  9. Gas line problems. Gas lines may leak and have to be shut off till repairs are made.
  10. Earthquake. Portland is in an earthquake zone. This can be a major cause of long-term power outages.

For more on how a backup generator can benefit you and your family when the power’s down, contact Roth Heating and Cooling. We serve the greater Portland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “OpenClipart-Vectors/Pixabay”

Is Your Home Prepared for Winter Power Outages?

Is Your Home Prepared for Winter Power Outages?Sooner or later, power outages are bound to happen to everyone. All you can do is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Additionally, help keep yourself and your loved ones safe and calm with these tips for preparing for a power outage in your home.

Emergency Kit

You may have many of the items for your emergency preparedness kit scattered around your home. Your kit should contain a lantern, flashlights, batteries, glow sticks, a battery-operated radio and a first-aid kit. Use a plastic bin to store the items in an easily accessible place.

Make a safety checklist and keep it in your emergency kit, too. Include the following steps on your list:

  • Account for everyone in your home.
  • Turn off the gas valve to your furnace if necessary.
  • Fill your bathtubs with water.
  • Call family and friends in other parts of your area to see if power is out there, too. However, conserve phone battery power.

Store Food, Water, and Ice

Stock up on essential canned foods. Don’t forget treats, such as granola bars, fruit filling and other fun foods in addition to canned meats, fruits, and vegetables. Use containers of various sizes to store ice in your freezer and water in your refrigerator.

Keep Warm

Staying warm is essential. Keep everyone in the same room or general area in your home. The combined body heat and breathing will help the room stay warmer. Bring out extra blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags. Make yourself as comfortable as possible.

Stand-by Generator

Shop your local home store for stand-by generators. If you already have one, make sure it’s in good working order.

Backup Place to Stay

Contact family and friends to see if their power is out. Try to find an alternate location to stay until your power comes back on.

Have Fun!

Make the most of your time “off the grid.” Play games, make shadow puppets, read stories, or look through photo albums using your glow sticks.

For more information about preparing for a power outage for your Portland area home, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “OpenClipart-Vectors/Pixabay”

Tips for Being Prepared if a Power Outage Occurs

Tips for Being Prepared if a Power Outage OccursThe chances that you’ll experience a power outage lasting longer than one hour increase every year. Our residences have become increasingly technology-dependent and our reliance on uninterrupted power is more critical than ever. When the electricity goes out for a lengthy period, some homes can become almost uninhabitable.

Here’s what to do to be prepared for power outages in your household:

  • Stock up on the basics. Keep a supply of flashlights with fresh batteries, candles, matches, and a battery-operated radio. Also make sure you have a first-aid kit. Keep a multi-day supply of canned food and bottled water on hand.
  • When the power goes out, shut down your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump to protect against damaging power surges common when the electricity is restored. Most gas-fired furnaces don’t work when power is out anyway.
  • During winter, stay warm by adding extra layers of clothing and moving everyone into one room, preferably with southern exposure that receives solar heat through windows. If you light a fire in the fireplace, make sure the flue is fully open beforehand and burn only firewood — not paper or other combustibles. If the house becomes too cold, relocate elsewhere.
  • If the power outage is caused by severe weather including heavy rain, be alert to possible basement flooding. Electric sump pumps that lack battery backup will not function.
  • If you utilize a portable generator it must be located outside, a safe distance from the home. Carbon monoxide fumes from generators are deadly. Consider installing a whole-house backup generator that monitors grid power continuously and automatically activates to restore electricity to household circuits.
  • Frozen pipes may occur in an unheated home. If temperatures drop below freezing, open indoor taps to allow a continuous trickle of water and prevent pipe ruptures.

For more tips on making it through a winter power outage, contact Roth Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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How to Protect Your Salem Home from Power Surges

How to Protect Your Salem Home from Power Surges During intense bouts of stormy weather, you may notice the lights in your home flicker. Many people view this phenomenon as a normal aspect of storms. However, flickering lights are often the result of surges in your home’s power supply, which can be detrimental to your appliances.

Power Surges Defined

In most homes, electricity is delivered with an alternating current. Although referred to as 120V, the actual current can range from 0 to 169 during normal conditions. Fortunately, common electronics and appliances are designed to handle natural changes in energy supply. During power surges, voltage can significantly exceed 169, which can be damaging to appliances and electronics.

Power Surge Prevention

While there’s no way to stop power surges from occurring, there are two ways homeowners can protect themselves against damage from power surges:

  • Point-of-Use Devices: Commonly referred to as surge protectors, point-of-use devices prevent power surges from reaching electronics. Instead of allowing the surge to affect devices, the power from the surge is directed by point-of-use devices into the ground.
  • Service Entrance Surge Protector Devices: These devices are typically installed near your circuit breaker, electric panel or electric meter and are necessary to protect the portions of your electric system that are not plugged in to an outlet.

To receive additional information on how you can protect your home from power surges, contact the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling today. Our expert team has faithfully served Portland and the surrounding areas since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Andrew Scherbackov/Shutterstock”

A Surge Protector Can Save Your HVAC System

A Surge Protector Can Save Your HVAC SystemAlthough the power grid utilized by Portland residents is usually stable, unexpected surges can still occur throughout the year. To protect your HVAC system and various other components, the use of a surge protector for each of your most important devices is essential. If used properly, you might even end up saving your entire HVAC system. Continue reading

Are You Prepared For A Winter Weather Emergency?

Harsh winter weather can take its toll on people, especially those living in areas with colder winter temperatures, such as Portland.  Being prepared for a winter weather emergency is the best way to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe and warm during harsh storms. Here are a few tips so you’re prepared to face a winter weather emergency head on: Continue reading

Power Outages — Preparing Your Family

When power outages occur, especially in the winter, you may have to scramble to explain the situation to your children and give them the tools to help navigate the situation. A power failure that occurs at night can stress young children, but if they have ready access to flashlights, a few food treats and activities to keep them busy, you can ease them through the challenges. Continue reading