December 13th, 2008

wood cat

AKICILJ: gas-powered generators or such

So thanks to an ice storm that knocked out our power, Chateau Steelypips removed to a hotel last night (and may well be here tonight too, since there's no estimate for power's restoration yet).

I keep reminding myself that we are very lucky, to have found a hotel that still had a room, would let the dog stay, and had a large enough room that we aren't all tripping over each other; to be able to afford to stay here; and to have a workplace didn't mind Chad and SteelyKid accompanying me yesterday.

But here's the vexing thing. Our furnace runs on gas, and yet we don't have heat because it still requires electricity to run. I'm given to understand there are systems or generators or something that would run on gas as backups, when the electricity goes out. Even just something that would let us have heat would be great, though a bit of extra electricity for the sump pump would be even better, and enough electricity for the fridge and lights would be ideal.

Does anyone have experience with such things? Reliability, likely price, installation as add-on or part of a furnace replacement, other pluses and minuses? After the night we had, I'm thinking that even if we wouldn't earn back the cost through hotel savings, the reduced inconvenience might well make it worth it. (Last time an extended power outage sent us to a hotel, we had neither a dog nor a child.)