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04/2014 - Battery Powered GV60 for Tough Winters


I have a GV60 gas combination control on the gas fire in my home. The fact that I'm Maxitrol Company's vice president of marketing is one reason.

Although I enjoy the relaxing ambiance the fire brings to the room, I really do use it for work. I observe how my wife and I use the system, and I like to experience, first hand, how it functions.

Living in Michigan has turned out to be another important reason to have the system.

Anyone familiar with Michigan winters will tell you that most often they are bitterly cold with heavy snowfall. As I write this, March 12, 2014, metro Detroit is in the midst of yet another snowstorm expected to drop 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm), which would break the all time snowfall record of 93.6" (237.7 cm) set in 1880. So far, our average temperature this winter has been 20.9° F (-6.2° C) with 74 days below freezing.

I've come to understand what so many GV60 system end users have known for years: one of the most important features of the system, and there are a number of great features, is that it can operate solely on battery power (if mains power is attached and there is a power outage, the battery power will kick in automatically).

And what's this to do with my family living in Michigan? Well, over the past two winters there have been three occasions where our gas fire and its battery powered GV60 control system has kept us warm until the power came back on or, in one case, until an HVAC technician could come repair our furnace.

Both times we lost power it was in the evening while the furnace malfunction occurred at 4 o'clock in the morning. We were without furnace heat for 6 hours while waiting for the HVAC technician, and one time, it was almost 16 hours until the power came back on. With the outside temperature ranging anywhere from the low 20's to single digits, it wouldn't have taken long to cool off the house (generally, a well-insulated house will keep warm for 8 to 12 hours).

Many times, a lengthy power outage makes it necessary to gather up the family and seek shelter. This is not only inconvenient (did I mention we have a dog?), but with the snow and ice and freezing temperatures, it can be downright unsafe taking to the streets, which leads me back to the GV60 gas control on my fire.

Along with following a few common sense steps like closing the doors to all unused rooms, especially upstairs, and closing the window blinds or curtains, it is possible to keep a decent sized room quite comfortable with a gas fire. My 8-year son old actually looks forward to these power outages. He likens them to camping, with all of us sleeping in our sleeping bags, using lanterns and flashlights. And don't forget the popcorn (we also have a gas range).

The bottom line is that even if I didn't work for Maxitrol Company, as someone who lives in Michigan, I would definitely recommend its GV60 battery powered gas combination control for your gas fire.

Sincerely,
Rick Bargert
Vice President Marketing & Communications