What To Do When The Furnace Goes Out In Winter


Even if you have your furnace checked before the winter season begins, sometimes it will break down anyway, usually in the middle of a cold snap or winter storm. You may have to wait for a day or two before you can get your furnace up and running again. In the meantime, you can take steps to keep yourself warm and/or prevent your pipes from freezing.

Backup Generator

For most people with a natural gas furnace, an electrical outage will render it unusable. Most furnaces will not turn on when the power is out. The only safe way to use a furnace under these conditions is to employ a backup generator. These generators come in portable models that can be attached to your home's system in the event of a power outage. They are a particularly good investment if you live in an area prone to windstorms. 

Alternative Heating

If your furnace is not working, you can use alternative sources of heat that are meant for indoor use. Provided you still have power, space heaters are a lifesaver as long as you take a few precautions, such as keeping them away from furniture and drapes. Try to have several models on hand. Do not use the oven for heat. Using a gas stove for heat can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. You can suffer fire and/or burn injuries from electric models. Do not bring any outdoor heat sources inside. Kerosene heaters and camp stoves also pose the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. They are meant to operate outdoors or in large, well-ventilated areas, so bringing them into your home can be extremely dangerous. 

Protect Your Pipes

If you have no power at all, you may be uncomfortably chilly, but your biggest problem can be the threat of frozen pipes. To help prevent that problem until you get your furnace repaired, close the doors to all rooms without plumbing. Also, open the kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets to expose the pipes to as much heat as possible. Remember to keep a slight trickle of water running from each faucet to help keep the lines from freezing up.

Even being without a furnace temporarily during the winter can make life difficult. If you have to endure a power outage or wait for a professional to repair your heating system, you can take steps to minimize your discomfort while keeping your home safe and your pipes unfrozen. Proper maintenance will help keep things running smoothly during the winter, but situations can still arise. Have a backup plan in place and call your HVAC technician as soon as you notice a problem. 

To learn more, contact an HVAC company like Kook & Son Inc


19 November 2015

how to prevent water lines from freezing

How many times have your pipes frozen this winter? Have you spent multiple days with your head under your cabinets holding a hair dryer on the lines drying to thaw the lines before they burst? If so, now is the time to begin making some changes. I worked with my plumber this year to make some adjustments to my home and my plumbing to avoid the taxing and stressful occurrence of frozen water lines. Visit my site to learn what course of action we took to prevent the water lines from freezing in my home even during the below zero temperatures we experienced.