You’ve been there. It’s winter, it’s cold, the power went out, and there’s no way to know when it will be restored. It’s an inconvenience for sure, but many times no power means no heat – and it can get cold in a hurry. A gas fireplace can provide much-needed warmth during a power outage, and how you operate it will depend on the ignition system.
- Many gas fireplaces have intermittent pilot ignition systems, requiring electricity to spark the flame. But there are ways around this during a power outage. Most of today’s Heat & Glo and Heatilator gas fireplaces are equipped with battery backup systems for lighting the pilot during power outages. You’ll just want to have the right size batteries on hand. Generally, they require either two D-cell batteries, or four AA batteries, depending on the model. Easy step-by-step instructions are in the owner’s manual.
- Some older gas fireplaces have standing pilot ignition systems, which are much less efficient than intermittent pilot ignitions, but they will light during power outages. This is because the pilot flame burns 24/7, so electricity isn’t needed to activate the pilot flame.
One important thing to keep in mind – batteries should be used only in the event of a power outage, since battery longevity can be adversely affected by fireplace temperatures. So, you’ll want to remove the batteries when power is restored to your home.
When it’s cold outside, we love and appreciate our gas fireplaces. And when the power and heat are out, we love and appreciate them even more. Be sure to stay warm this winter; it’s going to be a cold one.