Losing heat on a cold day is scary. Of course, many professionals offer emergency services, even on weekends. But what do you do while you wait for repairs?
At PlumbPRO Services, we serve families across Ambler that have needs like these. We understand the worry that accompanies a cold furnace on an even colder evening. Fortunately, there are some things you can do as a homeowner to make the situation easier and a lot warmer.
Check for a Problem
The first thing to do when the heat goes is to check for the cause. It could be a simple matter of someone leaning on the thermostat or flicking off the wrong switch in the basement. Your furnace switch should be surrounded by a warning. Sometimes the switch has a red panel. If the switch is off, simply flick it back on.
Next, check the thermostat. Is it on, and can you change the setting? If you have a smart thermostat, it might even tell you there’s a problem with the furnace.
From the power switch and the thermostat, your last step is checking the furnace filter. When furnace filters get packed full of debris, it blows hot air back into your furnace. This is when the safety mechanism kicks in to turn off the burner so the furnace doesn’t get overheated.
Change your filter every three months to avoid this issue. Changing the filter is easy if you have a replacement on hand. You can also call a furnace repair service to have the filters changed if you’re not eager to do it yourself.
Take Safety Precautions
After you’ve ruled out the reasons for the heating outage, think of safety. Gas-powered furnaces should have the gas disconnected to avoid a leak or fire-related accident. For oil-powered furnaces, turn off the furnace at the main power switch.
Most modern furnaces have their own built-in safety features. It should disable the burner automatically when the flame goes out. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Call a Mechanic
The next step is to call for furnace repair. Depending on your available services, the current weather, and other factors, it could be a bit of a wait. It’s good to get on the waiting list as soon as possible. Your furnace repair professional may be able to direct you in a few DIY fixes yourself before they arrive.
If you’re unsure about shutting off the gas or turning off the furnace, as we outlined above, ask while you’re on the phone.
Keep the Heat You Have
The heat in your home is a little like the cold in your fridge when the power goes out. You keep the door to the fridge closed to trap the cold air you have left. In the event of a furnace outage, you want to do the same with the residual heat in your home.
Ensure all the doors and windows are closed. If it’s daytime and the sun is shining, open curtains to draw in natural warmth from the sun. In the evening, close the curtains to add extra insulation around the windows.
Use Alternative Heat Sources
If you have other sources of heat, now’s the time to use them. While we’d hope your repairs are completed quickly, you don’t want to risk pipes freezing if you’re left overnight without heat. A fireplace, either wood burning, gas, or electrical, is a great resource.
Space heaters are another tool to use to your advantage. Space heaters are meant for small spaces. They work best in enclosed rooms with the doors shut. You can also implement smaller heating devices, like electric blankets. The blanket may not warm much more than your body, but it’s still heat energy being released into the room.
Get Out the Blankets
Non-electric blankets can also keep you cozy. Think back to those days of your youth when Dad wouldn’t turn on the heat until early December. Socks, sweaters, blankets, and even hats and mitts will keep you feeling warm until the furnace situation is taken care of.
If your home doesn’t have carpets, blankets are also a good resource for insulation. Lay them down on the floor to keep the heat you have from being absorbed into the cold tile or wood.
Contact Us to Learn More
While we hope all our Ambler customers stay warm this winter season, we’re here to help if things get cold. Don’t wait to contact a heating professional if the furnace goes. At PlumbPRO Services we take home heating seriously. Call today to learn more.