Essential Tips for Surviving A Home Heating Emergency

woman dealing with a broken furnace and a cold house

A ‘home heating emergency’ is unpredictable. However, you can have an idea of how to stay safe and warm when it happens. Imagine this: you’re in the middle of a cold snap in the middle of winter. Suddenly, your home starts feeling cold. Your heating equipment appears to be malfunctioning.

A home heating emergency is something you will experience sooner or later. All homeowners do. It will catch you off guard. A heating system will break down, and it usually happens when you need it the most. The lack of heating in the middle of a harsh winter day or night could cause utter discomfort and may even put you in danger. Keeping everyone safe and warm is your priority while you wait for the arrival of the HVAC technician. This post will discuss the ways on how to survive a home heating emergency.

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What’s A Home Heating Emergency?

A home heating emergency is a scenario in which your boiler or furnace suddenly becomes inoperative when you need it the most. There are times when the problem is caused by a minor glitch. In these cases, you can even resolve it yourself. For instance, it might only be an issue with the circuit breaker or the power source. It can also be a result of running out of fuel. The key here is to figure out the cause before it worsens.

A home heating emergency is a definite inconvenience to you and your family. But the more pressing issue is that it could put everyone’s safety at risk. The lack of heating during the winter months means you will experience the following:

  • Discomfort: What’s certain about a home heating emergency is discomfort. When your HVAC malfunctions, living indoors is unbearable when the temperatures are very low. The lack of heat also means you are prone to developing respiratory problems, including colds and flu. You will find it hard to sleep or rest in such cold conditions.
  • Health Risks: Exposure to very low temperatures increases the risk of hypothermia. When your body experiences low temperatures, it will affect your ability to think and move normally. You immediately become susceptible to respiratory problems and frostbite. Low temperatures will also cause a lot of discomfort and suffering for people who are suffering from arthritis and heart problems. The elderly, young children and infants are overly sensitive to extremely cold temperatures.
  • Frozen Pipes: Plumbing issues could also arise when your home lacks the needed heat during the winter. If your heating equipment fails, the water running through those pipes will freeze, causing the pipes to expand and burst.
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Ways To Stay Warm While Waiting For The HVAC Contractor To Arrive

Assuming you’ve done your part in figuring the problem out, but it persists, then you have no choice but to call for help. A reliable local HVAC company will cater to your needs by performing an emergency heating system checkup and repair. The goal is to get your boiler or furnace running as soon as possible. Now your job is to find ways to keep warm while you wait for the HVAC technician to arrive. You can do the following:

Turn Off The Heating System

The first thing you must do is turn off an inoperative or malfunctioning heating system. Be sure that the main power and thermostat are turned off. Don’t forget to switch off the supply lines if you’re using a gas furnace. The objective is to isolate the heating equipment and keep everyone safe.

woman with a space heater


Use Your Space Heater

The most reliable solution for heating when your equipment is down is a space heater as it generates heat from ambient air. Space heaters come with a small fan that blows warm air. With a 2 to 3 kW capacity, it can warm up a small room. You can also buy a large heater with a 30-kW capacity that can heat a medium-sized room. Be sure not to leave a space heater unattended. If possible, keep everyone in the house in one room and close the doors of the unoccupied rooms. You must isolate the heat inside the room where everyone is trying to stay warm.

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Consume Warm Drinks

Warm drinks help. Consuming warm drinks will keep your hands and face warm and provide subtle comfort you certainly need. Drinks like herbal tea and coffee are effective in keeping you warm. The presence of caffeine in your body stimulates metabolism, which in turn triggers the body to burn fuel and eventually heat up. Herbal tea, especially the one with ginger, helps in improving blood circulation in your extremities. A bowl of soup will also warm you up, but alcohol must be avoided.

image of woman exercising to stay warm during heating system failure


Consider Doing Some Exercise

When you force your body to do some physical activity, your heart rate increases. When that happens, the blood will circulate and flow, causing your body to heat up. You can do simple exercises to combat the cold.

Try Bundling Up And Adding Layers To Your Clothing

Wearing layers of clothing helps you keep warm because it traps the heat that your body produces. Think of thick socks, coats, gloves, and jackets. Wear anything that will help you prevent the heat escaping from your body but be sure you don’t constrict yourself.

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Preventing Heating Emergencies

Being prepared is the best thing you can do when it comes to heating emergencies. However, you must try hard to avoid problems that could lead to those emergencies in the first place. In other words, you must be one step ahead. Some of the things you should do are:

furnace repair service


Embrace Regular HVAC Maintenance

You can prevent an untimely breakdown of your boiler or furnace if you commit to an annual checkup and maintenance of your equipment. The purpose of regular checkups is to identify potential issues at their early stage so that you can have them fixed.

Call In A Professional HVAC Company

Call reputable heating and air conditioning professionals at the first sign of trouble. You can perform the troubleshooting yourself but leave the repair for someone with the license and training. Whenever you feel like something isn’t right with your equipment, respond accordingly.

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Replace HVAC Filters Regularly

Heating service companies remind property owners about the need to keep the air filters clean. The filters must be replaced regularly. The reason why there’s a need to replace the clogged filters is because it impedes the proper distribution of air. It forces the heating equipment to work harder, which in turn leads to inefficiency. This adds stress to the equipment could result in an untimely breakdown.

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The commitment to the prevention of furnace malfunctions makes sense. It is a practical decision to keep your home comfortable and safe all winter long. These steps aren’t difficult to follow, and the most important rationale behind it is to prevent a heating emergency. Don’t forget to work with a reliable and trusted HVAC company to keep your equipment in the best shape possible, especially in times when you need it the most.


Contact Wilcox Energy For Superior HVAC Services

Wilcox_LOGOWilcox Energy provides first-rate heating and cooling solutions throughout the area. Our excellent team of NATE-certified HVAC technicians can handle HVAC installations, repairs, tune-ups, and system replacements. Every one of our technicians has the experience and training to perform different types of HVAC projects correctly.

When you need to have your HVAC system replaced or repaired, you’ll be in capable hands with Wilcox Energy. We provide the most competitive prices on HVAC services throughout the area, and, also, offer a solid guarantee confidently backs our work. Our HVAC services make indoor air quality, comfort, and energy efficiency a top priority. To set up your appointment, call us now to set up a free, in-home estimate.

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For more information about our HVAC services, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us, or you can call us at (860) 399-6218 to find out more. We offer a full line of heating and cooling repairs, maintenance services, and installations.