So You’ve Woken Up With No Heating – What Happens Next?

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Morning dawns. Winter sunlight is streaming through the window, filling the room with light as you stumble through your morning routine. The coffee is brewing; you’re running through your schedule for the day, and then you realize – isn’t it a little cold in here?

 

You go to check your heat source – depending on what you use. It might be a furnace, a duct system or just individual space heaters. You hold your hand over them, expecting the heat to radiate across your skin… but nothing happens.

 

You take a moment to glance outside, wondering if you have time to take on the problem yourself. But you don’t, and the weather isn’t playing ball either. You notice now the chill in the air as the winter weather bites.

 

You have no heat, and it’s the middle of winter. What do you do next?

 

Step One: Health Concerns First

 

The first matter to attend to is a simple health concern. If you have any family members who are frail, vulnerable or have a condition such as asthma, check that they’re okay.

If possible, take anyone suffering from the above out of the house. Being cold for long periods of time is bad for health anyway, but especially so for those who are already vulnerable. If you have a friend or family member’s house nearby where they can vacate to, then do so.

 

Even healthy family members need to start to wrap up warm. Depending on when you lost heat there might be some residual through the property, but this will soon dissipate. Try and layer clothes the way you would if you were going for a walk in the snow; don’t forget extremities like your fingers. If you’re worried about operating your cellphone with gloves on, then you can buy touchscreen gloves that will still work.

 

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Try and keep your inner body temperature up by walking around as much as possible – now might even be the time for a quick go on the exercise bike you’ve had gathering dust. Drink hot liquids like tea or coffee to keep warm, but not alcohol – despite a common myth, alcohol actually makes you colder rather than warmer.

 

Step Two: Call In The Professionals

 

It’s time to find a heating systems company to examine what’s wrong with the system. Unless it’s a known fault you know you can handle yourself (or you have previous expertise), then call someone in to examine the problem. Heating systems can be potentially dangerous; the day is already bad enough, so don’t make it worse by needing a trip to the ER!

 

Try and explain the problem as thoroughly as possible when you make the call. If necessary, write down beforehand when you last remember there being heat and how everything is at the moment. If you have tried any fixes yourself (against this better advice!), then tell them what you’ve also done. It’s important to give as much information as possible – a pro might suspect what the issue is before they even arrive. If that’s the case, then they can ensure that they’re bringing the right tools for the job.

 

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If you’re concerned about finances, now is the time to deal with it. If necessary, call your bank or ask a family member to help cover the potential costs. You can even tell your chosen tradesperson; many will be able to give you time to raise the funds you need to pay for a repair, using an invoice system.

 

Don’t confirm an appointment with someone until you know you have the means to pay – and that’s know, not “hope” or “assume”. It’s not fair to the company in question, who are relying on you for their livelihood.

 

Step Three: Taping Time

 

In almost every circumstance, you’re going to have a wait on your hands until someone can get to you.

 

Luckily, there are a few ways you can use this time to try and preserve heat in your home. This is useful anywhere, but particularly in rural areas where you may be waiting up to 24 hours for someone to be able to get to you.

 

Grab some duct tape; if you don’t already have some on hand, then know for future and buy some immediately. It’s the kind of thing every home should always have a stockpile of; it’s amazing stuff. With the tape in hand, go through your home and look for anywhere heat may be able to escape. Pay close attention to window and door frames, taping over any hairline cracks you see.

 

Then you can look at other methods for creating heat. If you have an open fireplace, then this is an obvious option – but few of us do anymore. Don’t be tempted to start a fire inside without the proper hearth conditions to house one!

 

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What you can do is look to cooking equipment, particularly anything that works off electricity. Slow cookers are perfect for this, as they will generate a noticeable amount of heat. Throw anything in there – it doesn’t even matter if you intend to eat it – and use the longest cooking setting. You can also move this from room to room if you don’t want to stay sitting in the kitchen while you wait.

 

Step Four: Take A Hot Bath

 

If time is ticking on and the house is getting progressively colder, then the ultimate option to keep warm is to take a hot bath or shower.

 

The idea might seem like madness at first. While the heat of the water might be pleasant, you imagine, it’s going to be horrifying when you step outside. There’s also the fact that your water may be cold anyway, depending on your primary method of heating the house.

 

If the water is cold, then obviously there is no point. But there is still a point if you can enjoy some hot water, even if you’re stepping out into the cold. It will raise your internal body temperature and particularly help your extremities – just be ready to wrap the biggest, warmest towel around you when you’re done!

 

Soon, help will arrive, and the problem will be fixed – but do your best in the meantime wherever you can!

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