How To Stay Warm if Your Furnace Gives Out This Winter



An unexpected furnace breakdown is not only inconvenient—it can be deadly depending on the weather outside your home. Prolonged freezing temperatures can be deadly to anyone, but they are especially dangerous for the elderly and infants. It pays to be prepared for the unexpected, including a lack of heat during the winter.

Electric Space Heaters

Keep a few electric space heaters on hand, in case your furnace stops working. You’ll need an electric heater for each bedroom so that your family can sleep safely. Electric heaters can also be moved from room to room as needed. However, make sure you don’t overload your circuits. Electric space heaters draw a lot of energy, and running several on high all at once could blow your circuits. Unplug unneeded appliances, and once the rooms are comfortable, turn the heaters to low.

Small Propane Heaters

There is always the possibility that both your furnace and the electrical grid will go out at the same time. You can typically get small, portable propane heaters at a camping store or a ranch supply store. These take the small canisters of propane that also power camping stoves and portable grills. They’ll run for around four hours per canister. Be sure the rooms where you use these heaters are ventilated.

Warm Clothes and Bedding

If the furnace goes out, pull out your sleeping bags and pile them on the blankets. Of course, you may also need to wear a heavy sweater or even a coat inside until the furnace is repaired. Be prepared to bundle up if your furnace goes out unexpectedly.

Don’t Forget Your Pets

Animals can have a hard time surviving freezing temperatures. This is especially true for reptiles and fish. Develop a plan to keep your cold-blooded pets alive if the furnace goes out. Birds can also be sensitive to cold, as can dogs and cats. Make sure you have a plan to keep your animals warm too.

Furnace Repair and Maintenance

One of the best ways to prevent a furnace breakdown is to schedule regular furnace maintenance. A heating and cooling service can often find issues before it becomes a problem. 

A furnace repair company can find a faulty ignition system or pilot light. They can also replace worn belts and lubricate the system. If your furnace is too old and worn, an HVAC maintenance and repair company can replace it. 

If your furnace goes out due to a lack of maintenance, old age, or random damage, you’ll want to contact a furnace repair company as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to keep the number of a repair company that you trust handy.

Weather emergencies and power outages happen, and you should prepare your home for the possibility of them. However, you don’t need to panic about the possibility of your furnace going out in the middle of winter. Prepare your home with alternate ways to keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe and warm. Sticking to a maintenance schedule for your furnace can prevent it from failing during normal times. Even if it does go out due to an unforeseen issue, having a repairman that you trust can make the possibility much less stressful.


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