What To Do If Your Heat Goes Out On Christmas Day

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC repairWinter ushers in Christmas and New Year’s Day which are times for fun and celebration. Unfortunately, winter is also the time of year when the weather can take down power lines or overstress a furnace resulting in a breakdown. So what should you do if it’s cold outside and the heat stops?

Being prepared is always a good idea. Having a power generator, a kerosene heater, a toasty fireplace with plenty of wood or a wood/pellet burning stove, are all great ideas. Unfortunately, having ready sources of backup heat is not always an option, and many of us are caught unprepared when the furnace goes silent. What should you do to stay warm while waiting for the repairman to come?

The first thing to determine why the furnace stopped. Is it due to a power outage? Call the power company and find out how long you may be without power. Knowing what you are facing helps you plan the actions you should take. If the problem is with the furnace, call an HVAC repair service. Once again, determine when a service provider will be able to come out and do the repair.

Next, assess what you have to keep warm. Gather blankets, sleeping bags, winter clothing, and any warming aids (chemical hand and body warmers) that you can find. Do you still have hot water? Empty glass bottles make great warmers when filled with hot water.

Insulate to Keep the Heat In and the Cold Out

Wear layers of clothing to maintain warmth. Start with a base layer, ideally thermal underclothes. These garments are designed to trap air against your skin to keep you warm. On top of the thermal underclothes, add a wool sweater or thick sweatshirt. For the legs put on denim jeans or wool pants. This second layer should be breathable fabrics that still allow airflow. If it is extremely cold, top off these clothes with a jacket or coat – a garment that “seals” the heat. Remember your extremities so add gloves, scarves, a woolen hat, ear muffs, and even boots.

Drink Warm Liquids

Ingesting warm liquids in the form of tea or soup helps the body stay warm. Staying hydrated will help the body generate the heat required to function. Avoid drinking alcohol because the “warming effect” you feel is false. Alcohol does not contribute to warming the body.

Pick a Room

Is there a room in your house or apartment that can accommodate everyone and can be closed off from the rest of the house/apt? Set up camp in that room. It will be much easier to stay warm together in one place than spread out. Whenever possible, bundle up in blankets, sleeping bags, and extra clothing.

Don’t Block Your Radiators

If your apartment has radiators, they should always be kept clean – any amount of dirt and dust sitting on top of them will absorb some of the heat that is produced. You should also remove any radiator covers when the heat is on, as covers can block the airflow through the radiator in addition to absorbing heat.  Move your furniture so that all chairs, couches, bookcases, entertainment units, desks, beds, etc. are not too close to your radiators or heating convectors. Don’t let your drapes or curtains cover them either, as they will divert heat to the windows (and therefore out of your apartment if they aren’t adequately sealed) instead of into the rest of the room.

What Not To Do

  • Don’t use your oven to warm the house.
  • Don’t use propane heaters or charcoal stoves in the house (or garage). Staying warm is important, staying alive is even more so. Carbon Monoxide is toxic and accounts for hundreds of deaths every winter.
  • Don’t use hot showers or baths to warm up as your body temperature will drop to a lower level afterward. When in doubt, stick with extra clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, hot water bottles, and shared body warmth to keep you warm.

Prepare yourself and then have a beautiful, happy, peaceful, and safe Christmas. Enjoy the break and recharge your batteries for work in New Year.

Contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling for emergency HVAC repair.  Call 215-947-1166.

Emergency Service for Heating Repair in Philadelphia

What to do if your heater isn’t working

It’s going to be cold this weekend in the greater Philadelphia area.  For some, they love the look and feel of winter in the air. They get to come into a home that is nice and toasty and out of the cold winter weather. What happens if your furnace is not functioning properly?

Follow these steps to get to the source of the heating problem:

Philadelphia Heating Repair

Philadelphia Heating Repair

  • Is the system selector switch in the “heat” position?
  • If your thermostat is electric, it could be that the batteries are weak. Try changing the batteries to see if it helps.
  • Is the display showing?
  • Check that the circuit breaker is on and that the fuse for the furnace has not blown.
  • Is the temperature set at least 3 degrees above current room temperature?
  • The motor in your furnace may need to be reset if it was overloaded. There should be a reset button near the motor. Press the button. If nothing happens, wait a half hour and try again.
  • Turn off the power to the furnace at the main electrical panel or sub-panel. Look for a fuse on the power switch. If there is one, it may have blown and you should change it by following the manufacturer’s instruction manual.
  • Forced Air Furnaces Only. If your thermostat has a switch to control the furnace fan, switch the fan “ON”. (This switch will usually be located at the bottom of the thermostat, closer to the left side and will be marked “ON” and “AUTO”.) Listen to hear the furnace fan coming on. If you cannot hear the fan, go to one of the supply registers and see if you can feel any air coming up. If the fan is not running, there may be no power to the furnace.

According to How Stuff Works, “Heating systems are usually trouble-free and easy to maintain. Efficient operation is a function of good regular maintenance. No matter what type of furnace you have, there are several things you can do to keep your heating system in top condition. In this article, we will tell you how to service and troubleshoot your furnace, regardless of the type.” Read the full article here.

For Emergency Heating Repair call us at 215.947.1166