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What to Do When the Heating Goes Out


Winter weather can be unpredictable. Even if you take all the necessary precautions, there’s always a chance that your power could go out or your heater could stop working.

If your heat isn’t working, don’t panic! There are plenty of things you can do to stay warm when the power goes out.

What To Do When the Heat Goes Out

1. Check That Your Gas Is Off

If you have a gas furnace, it’s a good idea to turn off the gas to the furnace should it fail. The problem could be related to a gas leak or valve malfunction. You don’t want gas to leak into your home, as this can be toxic and cause breathing problems or potentially start a fire.

Locate the main gas valve (the larger one next to the gas meter) and turn the lever until it’s perpendicular to the pipe to shut off your gas.

2. Don’t Panic, and Check the Basics

Most frequently, the heat isn’t working because of a power outage. If this is the case, reach out to your utility company to report the issue and hopefully fix the issue. It’s also possible that a tripped breaker is causing your problem, so it’s a good idea to check your fuse box and see if you can restore power to the system.

Another thing to look at is your thermostat. It could become disconnected or need new batteries, which may mess with your heat settings. It’s also good to check if your thermostat has been accidentally set to AC or fan-only instead of heat.

3. Schedule a Repair or Temporary Solution

If the problem persists after checking the above, it’s time to call the pros. The cold season is the busy season for most HVAC companies.

If you cannot get a service technician out to repair your heater right away, consider a whole-home generator installation. This can help keep you warm and your household functional until you fix your heater.

Related Content: Heating System Failure – Should You Repair or Replace?

How To Stay Warm When the Power Goes Out

1. Layer Up

The first thing you should do when the heat goes out is to put on extra layers of clothing. Dig through your closets and dresser drawers and find any blankets, sweaters, hats, and scarves you can.

Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing in layers to quickly adjust if you feel too hot or too cold.

2. Close Off Unused Rooms and Shut Windows

If you have a multi-level home, close off the rooms furthest from the heat source and only heat the rooms you’re using. This will help conserve heat and prevent your home from feeling too cold. You can also close doors to unused rooms to help keep the heat in the room you’re in.

Be sure to close and lock all the windows in the house. You could take this one step further and use a plastic sealant to create an even better seal around the windows and avoid losing excess heat.

3. Make DIY Heat Sources

If you don’t have a fireplace, there are still plenty of ways to make some DIY heat sources. Fill a sealable container like a Mason jar with boiling water and set it near a vent to help circulate warmth throughout the room.

You can also make a “heat bomb” by filling a balloon with hot water and tying it off. These are especially helpful for warming up beds before getting in them. Just be careful not to use too much hot water, so the balloon doesn’t burst!

5. Warm Up with Food or Drink

Cooking can also be an excellent way to generate extra heat in your home. If you have a gas stove, you can cook meals as usual, even if the power is out. Just be sure to open a window, so there's adequate ventilation.

Know When Temperatures Get Too Cold

It’s a common misconception that humans are safe in the cold if it’s above freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit). However, it’s possible to experience hypothermia even if temperatures are above freezing.

In general, if your home is colder than 64 degrees, it’s considered unsafe, especially if you have pets, children, or elderly family members living with you.

Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature in your home. If it becomes too cold, it may be time to consider staying with a friend, renting an Air B&B, or finding a hotel. Until your heater is fixed, safety should be the top priority.

Find Heater Repair Professionals in Myrtle Beach

It can be stressful when you lose your heat. But the Swift Services team is here to help. We provide heater repair in North Carolina and South Carolina. Don’t spend the winter uncomfortable and cold! Contact us today online or by calling (843) 352- 6427.

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