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How to Stay Warm During a Power Outage

Posted by Chris Howe on


With all the talks of cold inclement weather conditions lately, its only necessary to mention an important alternative-heating source. Most people don’t know that in the event of a power outage a gas fireplace can be a source of heat. You may be wondering how that’s possible but the answer is simple. Most fireplaces are designed to operate in a power outage situation. This is convenient considering the fact that most furnaces will seize operation in the event of power loss. If you own a wood burner conversion such as a gas log, then hands down the fireplace will work. However, what most people don’t realize is so will a fireplace that is operated from a switch. If your fireplace is operable from a switch, then chances are you too can run the fireplace in a power outage scenario. There are two types of fireplaces to consider: millivolt and electronic ignition.


Millivolt fireplaces use low voltage current that is generated from a pilot light inside the fireplace. The pilot heat source is converted to a low voltage current that is just enough power to operate the gas valve. This voltage typically ranges between 300 and 850 millivolts. Rest assured this amount of power is not enough to harm a human being. A millivolt fireplace will always work in a power outage.

Electronic Ignition

Some electronic ignition fireplaces are designed to work in a power outage; mostly ones that have been built in the last 10 years. There is a simple way to tell if your electronic ignition fireplace will operate without power. Look underneath the fireplace in the control compartment for a battery power supply of some kind. Most often these power supplies use D batteries, some will use AA batteries. It is not recommended to keep batteries in these holsters as they can open and leak. However, if the power shuts off, place some batteries in the holster for operation.

The next time your power shuts off unexpectedly, don’t freeze, turn on your fireplace to sustain the warmth in your home.

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