It’s the middle of winter and you’re watching the game on the sofa. All of a sudden you feel a chill and the temperature starts to drop. You check the vents and there’s no heat passing through. Your furnace is dead and it is 20 degrees out there. You can’t call for professional help until the next morning. At this point, what do you do?
Don’t panic. Here are some initial steps to take when your heating system suddenly breaks down.
Check the furnace
Do you smell gas? If you notice an odor similar to that of a rotten egg, this could be a sign of a leak. Take your family to safety and call the gas company right away. Do not go back into the house until professional help arrives.
Troubleshoot the heater
Try troubleshooting the heater. Check the pilot light, the thermostat, and the breakers. If you know how to fix these problems, then go ahead. Otherwise, it is best to just call a heating company.
Find alternative heating devices
If there is no way that the HVAC technician can come to your home now, look for alternative heat sources. Maybe you have a fireplace that’s been gathering dust since last winter, or you might have a portable space heater for emergency situations.
Flip the ceiling fan switch
Ceiling fans are usually busy in the summer but forgotten in the winter. What you might not know is that most fans have a small switch that turns the blades in the opposite direction. Flip this switch to force warm air down and keep the heat from escaping.
Stop the chilly wind from coming in
Close all the windows. If it is daytime and it’s hotter outside, open the windows to let heat in.
Keep curtains and shades closed. Open them when the sun is directly shining through the window.
Close off rooms that you are not using to prevent hot air from circulating.
Keep the drapes closed.
Seal windows and door cracks with bath towels or blankets to block out any draft.
Place rugs on floors
Rugs are great for blocking out the cold. Place cotton and nylon rugs on your hardwood floors to keep the heat.
Light up candles
Candles are not just light sources but also excellent heat sources too. Be sure to blow them out before you sleep or leave the house.
Whip up something in the kitchen
The kitchen can get very hot when it’s busy. Bake a cake or roast something in the oven. Leave the oven door open after cooking to circulate its excess heat.
Put on extra layers of clothing.
Cover yourself with blankets, quilts, or comforters.
Eat hot food.
Make hot drinks.
Call for professional help
Unless you have a background in electronics, do NOT attempt to fix your heater. It could lead to accidents and create more problems in the future. Heating companies employ experts who are able to make an accurate diagnosis and quickly repair your heating system.
Written by Accurate Heating and Cooling in Columbia, MO