Posted by: Discover Directory on 11/14/2018

10 Things to Do If Your Heater Goes Out

10 Things to Do If Your Heater Goes Out

As the temperatures start to drop, the heaters start to get cranked up. So what do you do when your heat source goes out? Sure, you can pack a bag and head to the closest hotel. But these pointers will save you the trip (and your wallet). First, make a professional appointment immediately, and while you wait, follow these simple steps to stay warm:

1. Make sure it’s not a quick fix. 

Most professional heating and cooling companies will tell you their solution is something you could do yourself. So, before calling in a professional and spending $200 on a service you don’t need, make sure the problem isn’t something you can remedy yourself. This website has a list of helpful, possible solutions when it comes to broken furnaces. If none of these work, immediately contact a professional heating and cooling company to set up an emergency appointment

2. Bunker down.

While you wait, there are plenty of things you can do to stay warm and safe in your house. First, pick a smallish room and bunker down — it’s probably going to be a long night. If there are multiple people in your home, invite them all in. The extra bodies will warm the room up faster than you think. Make sure you have enough blankets, pillows, entertainment, etc. — snuggle up, watch movies, and hunker down for the sleepover you never asked for. 

3. Seal off EVERYTHING.

Close every door and every window. By sealing off rooms that you aren’t using, you’ll stop air from circulating and keep all the heat trapped inside. You should also make sure to close all the curtains — unless it’s super sunny outside. If it is sunny, try hanging a cheap, translucent shower curtain or liner over your windows. This will keep the cold out and let the heat from the sun rays in. 

4. Rely on electricity, if possible!

If your electricity didn’t go out, too, utilize electronic devices to keep warm. You can purchase space heaters, heated blankets, and heating pads at any local department store to keep your sealed-off room nice and toasty. If it’s looking like you might be without heat for a while, you could even purchase an electric fireplace to warm larger areas of your house. 

5. Warm your bellies.

Heat up some tea or coffee, and cook something hearty and warm like a casserole, stew, or even cookies. Cooking something in the oven will heat up your house and warm your family’s bellies. After you’ve finished cooking, keep the oven door cracked open to let the excess heat out, thawing out your kitchen. Be sure not to leave the oven or stove running as a method of heating — it could be very dangerous! 

6. Get on your feet.

It sounds silly but physical activity is a sure fire way to warm up and warm up quickly. Crank up some tunes and have a dance party in fuzzy socks or go for a run. If you have little ones, come up with creative games that will keep them moving and busy. 

7. Dress to impress.

Layers, layers, layers: they’re the key to staying warm in a cold house (and in general). Put on your coziest pajama pants, fuzzy socks, and as many sweaters as you can fit on. Trap your body heat just like you’re trapping the heat in your house.

8. Dress the house, too.

If you have hardwood floors, laying down rugs is key to insulation. Wool rugs are the best for this, but they can be pretty pricey — try cotton or nylon for a cheaper, similar effect. You can also try replacing your light bulbs with incandescent ones. These light bulbs actually give off more heat than light, and every little bit helps. 

9. Keep busy.

Having a cold house is never fun. If you’re stuck in your house (if there was a huge snow storm, for example), it’s easy to get bored quickly. Make sure you keep yourself busy so the days don’t drag too much. Try putting on some movies, playing games, or even decorating for the holidays! If you’re not trapped inside, get out of the house. Kill as much time as you can running errands and traveling around town. 

10. Winterize, winterize, winterize.

Having your heater go out when you need it most is not a mistake you want to repeat. When the temperatures start dropping next year, be sure to winterize your house properly. This will drastically decrease your chances of another chilly crisis next winter. 

Having your furnace go out in the winter can be scary. But by following these tips, hopefully, you can turn that fear into a night of fun with your family or friends. Just be sure to get a professional’s assistance as soon as possible — a broken furnace is no joke even if you can spin it into something fun!