Tag Archives: electricity

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).

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Propane vs. Electricity: Comparing the Operating Costs

Propane vs. Electricity: Comparing the Operating Costs Choosing between propane and electricity to fuel your home heating system often comes down to the cost of both options. In our climate, using a propane furnace or a heat pump that utilizes electricity can be an efficient and dependable way to heat your home.

Energy Produced

A gallon of propane produces around 27 kilowatts (kWs) of electricity. According to Portland General Electric (PGE), each kW (not including taxes or fees) you use under 1,000 per month on a standard plan costs $06.5 and anything over 1,000 costs $07.22. The cost of 27 kWs is $1.75 if you keep usage under 1,000 kWs for the month and $1.94 if you exceed the 1,000 kW threshold.

Current Costs

Although propane costs vary by provider, the national average for a gallon of propane as of March 2014 was $3.08. The current cost of an equivalent amount of electricity from PGE (minus service charges, taxes and fees) is $1.75.


The heating efficiency of propane and electricity is measured differently. Propane furnaces carry AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) ratings that indicate how much fuel is used to heat your home and the proportion that’s wasted as combustion gases. The most efficient furnaces available have efficiency ratings close to 99 percent, which means the system only wastes 1 percent of the fuel it uses.

A heat pump’s efficiency is measured by how many units of heat it produces based on the amount of energy it uses. The current minimum HSPF (heating season performance factor) stands at 8.2. A typical heat pump offers 300 percent efficiency because it produces three units of heat per unit of energy it uses. A combustion system can never attain efficiency greater than 100 percent.

To learn more about heating with propane and electricity, contact the pros at Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve been providing exceptional HVAC services for Portland area homeowners 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).

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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”

Ways to Save Electricity and Brighten Your Pockets

Ways to Save Electricity and Brighten Your PocketsThe economy may be improving, but most of us still do not have money to burn. As we look for ways to save money, one area that catches our attention is our electric bill. You have heard that it is the little things that count. When it comes to electricity, they add up. Here are a few little things to do to help you save electricity and money: Continue reading

Protect Your Heating and Cooling Equipment With A Surge Protector

Electrical surges can not only prove to be problematic for your electronic devices, but for your heating and cooling equipment, as well. The damages from electricity spikes caused by storms can cause damage to your HVAC equipment and leave you paying a large amount of money to have it replaced. The best thing you can do to protect your equipment is install a whole-house surge protector. Continue reading