How To Heat Home When Furnace Goes Out? A Complete Guide


Rima Chatterjee

How To Heat Home When Furnace Goes Out

Discovering that your furnace has suddenly stopped working can be a distressing situation, particularly during the cold winter months. However, there are several strategies you can employ to heat your home temporarily until professional assistance arrives. 

In this guide, we will explore various methods, ranging from simple fixes to creative solutions, that will help you stay warm and comfortable in the absence of a functioning furnace. With safety as our top priority, let’s delve into the world of alternative heating options and ensure your home remains cozy during this unexpected setback.

Immediate Solutions for Heating Your Home Without a Furnace


To keep yourself and your family warm in the house, immediate solutions can be sought when your furnace goes out. With space heaters, ovens and stoves, window drapes, hot water bottles, and blankets, and even using your own body heat, there are many ways to create a warm and comfortable environment. In this section, we’ll explore these immediate solutions under the sub-sections – Using Space Heaters, Turning on the Oven and Stove, Covering Windows and Using Drapes, Using Hot Water Bottles and Blankets, and Using Body Heat.

Using Space Heaters

Heating your home with space heaters can be an efficient and cost-effective way to keep warm in cold climates. Here’s a 5-step guide to using space heaters effectively:

  1. Choose the right size of heater for your room. Don’t get a small one for large, open spaces. Or a large one for smaller rooms.
  2. Place it on a flat surface away from flammable materials like curtains or bedding.
  3. Set the temperature to a comfortable level. Ensure it has safety features like auto-shutoff.
  4. Use the timer to control how long you want the space heater to run per day.
  5. Clean it regularly and service it annually for optimal performance.

Note: Different types of space heaters run on various power sources. Electric, propane fuel, natural gas. So choose which one suits your needs best. Don’t plug multiple electric heaters into one electrical outlet. This could overload and cause hazards.

Other safety measures include avoiding leaves at entryways that might block air vents, or using frost-free hoses when watering plants in freezing temperatures. This prevents carbon monoxide leaks from gas-powered equipment.

A family once had an old house with limited insulation during a harsh winter. The furnace broke down in the dead of night leaving them without heat. They kept three electric space heaters handy until warmth returned with the repairman.

No need for a fancy furnace when you can just heat your home with the power of your oven and stove. Just don’t forget to remove the pizza box first!

Turning on the Oven and Stove

Bake Your Home Warm Without a Furnace!

The oven and stove are great for heating your home. Here are some tips:

1Turn the oven up to 400°F (204°C).
2Leave the door open, let the heat out.
3Put a cast iron skillet or pot in the oven to increase humidity.
4No aluminum foil when heating food or objects.
5Place a pot of water on the gas burner to add more moisture.
6Open windows or use kitchen fans for ventilation.

Also, don’t leave food unattended if you have kids around. And, turn off appliances when the heating is done.

Pro Tip: Close doors to unused rooms to contain heat in the heated rooms. This saves energy and costs. To block drafts and prying eyes, hang some window coverings.

Covering Windows and Using Drapes

Window coverings like insulated shades, drapes, and curtains can stop warm air from escaping through windows. This can help lower energy bills in winter.

To show how effective window coverings are, here’s a table with data on heat loss:

Type of Window CoveringHeat Loss (BTU/hr/sq ft)
No covering50
Single pane glass with clear film38
Double pane glass with low-e coating27
Double pane glass with low-e coating and insulated cellular shades17

Sealing drafty windows and doors also helps. It stops cold air from entering your home and keeps warm air inside.

Window coverings really help to keep your home warm in winter. The US Department of Energy says using insulated cellular shades can reduce heat loss by 40%.

Heating your home takes up almost half your energy bill in winter. Using window coverings and sealing drafty windows is an easy way to save money while keeping warm.

Using Hot Water Bottles and Blankets

Hot Water Bottles and Blankets: A Heat-Up Method for Homes Without a Furnace!

Hot water bottles and blankets are a great way to heat up your home without a furnace. Here are some tips:

  • Fill a hot water bottle with boiling water and place it around your living space.
  • Snuggle up with thick blankets to stay warm, especially during colder nights.
  • Trap the heat in your space by wrapping windows and doors with thick curtains and draught stoppers.

Also, make sure there’s no cold air seeping through your windows or doors. Plug these spaces using weather strips or caulk.

Pro Tip: Use warm-colored bed linens like red or orange to radiate more warmth than cooler hues. Don’t need a hot date? Get cozy with your own body heat!

Using Body Heat

The human body naturally produces heat which can be used to warm up a living space. By using thermal energy from our bodies, we can create a comfortable temperature indoors without extra heating systems. Doing chores or exercising will also generate body heat which can be utilized to raise warmth. This is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to heat the house.

Insulating and wearing multiple layers of clothing will help conserve body heat. It’s essential to close windows, doors, and other openings to reduce air circulation and maximize insulation. Investing in thermal blankets or sleeping bags made from wool or fleece can keep us warm during colder months.

History tells us that Inuit people from Arctic regions have been utilizing their body heat for centuries to stay warm in igloos made of ice blocks. Wrapping in animal fur and breathing through a small opening recycled their body heat and kept them warm without conventional heating systems. This proves that our natural body temperature is enough to keep us warm without extra heating.

Checking for Signs of a Broken Heater and Possible Repairs


To ensure you stay warm when the furnace goes out, it’s important to check for signs of a broken heater and possible repairs. Checking for cold air coming from vents and doors, checking plumbing and pipes for damage, contacting a professional HVAC company, inspecting fuel and gas connections, and checking carbon monoxide levels are all crucial sub-sections that will be covered to help you identify potential issues and find ways to fix them.

Checking for Cold Air Coming from Vents and Doors

Time to check your heating system! Look for any chilly drafts coming from the vents and passages. Check all vents and doors for drafts. See if the insulation around the covers is damaged or missing. Hold a flame near the vents and see if airflow direction affects flame movement. Check the filter – may need replacing. Make sure ducts and air registers are connected and sealed. Use dust or smoke pencils to detect leaks.

Remember, small issues can lead to costly repairs. Faulty heating systems can cause financial loss and even tragic accidents due to exposure to dangerous substances like carbon monoxide gas. So be careful when doing repairs!

Checking Plumbing and Pipes for Damage

Identifying Signs of Plumbing and Pipe Damage

To make sure your plumbing system is running smoothly, it is essential to recognize signs of damage in pipes or other fixtures. Here are five steps for checking damage:

1. Scan exposed plumbing fixtures and pipes for dents, discoloration, rust, cracks, or leaks.
2. Check beneath sinks and in cabinets for water stains or wet spots that show leaks.
3. Examine faucets and valves for water pressure issues or loose connections that cause leakage.
4. Test toilet flushing to detect running water or slow-draining problems.
5. Listen for hissing sounds during water usage; they may point to a pressure issue.

It’s also important to inspect the insulation surrounding the pipes to make sure it’s in good condition.

You could try doing regular maintenance checks to help avoid damage. Minor repairs like tightening loose valves or fixing small leaks with a pipe sealant can save you money on potential bigger damage in the future.

Knowing how repairs work helps maintain your home’s plumbing system. So keep an eye out for issues! If you can’t fix a broken heater, it’s time to call a professional.

Contacting a Professional HVAC Company

When you have a faulty heating system, it is essential to contact an experienced HVAC company. They can inspect your unit with special tools and their qualified technicians. They will provide reliable repair and maintenance services to get back the warmth and comfort in your home.

For optimal care of your unit, certified HVAC firms give advice on regular cleaning and maintenance. They will decide if your heater needs replacing or if repairs can solve the problem. This way, you can save costs.

It is important to pick a skilled contractor for high-quality work and the safety of your family. Licensed contractors have insurance policies that protect against unforeseen damage during repair.

Don’t delay professional help or hire an unlicensed contractor. Doing so may cause severe damage and costly repairs or make your unit completely unusable. Choose certified experts who have a record of quality service and customer satisfaction. And, be aware that if you smell gas during inspection, it is not your heater’s attempt at aromatherapy.

Inspecting Fuel and Gas Connections

Analyse the link between fuel and gas when inspecting heating systems. Check all connections, ensure they are secure, and check for leaks. Examine pipelines for blockages that could cause hazardous events.

Inspect ductwork for wear and tear, which could lead to loose connections impeding gas flow. Check the flue pipe for rust or cracks – these can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup.

Every heating system is unique, so get a professional HVAC technician to give specialized advice on inspections and repairs. Inspecting fuel and gas connections can identify problems before harm is done. Remember, only experts should repair/replace findings.

My neighbor’s home had a gasoline odor, due to malfunctioning fuel connections. An HVAC technician found several flawed ductwork between the heater and outside vents. This led to poisonous gases being emitted inside their house. Prompt repairs kept them safe from health problems caused by inhaling toxic fumes.

Don’t forget to test carbon monoxide levels! Or else, you’ll be feeling dizzy, nauseous, and possibly dead.

Checking Carbon Monoxide Levels

Check Carbon Monoxide Levels! It is essential to check for carbon monoxide in your home from time to time. This gas is dangerous and can lead to health problems if inhaled in high amounts. So, checking regularly is very important.

The table below shows the typical sources and levels of carbon monoxide:

SourceCO Level
Vehicle exhaust (indoors)6-8,000 ppm
Gas heaters or stoves (indoors)1-400 ppm
Tobacco smoke (indoors)4-60 ppm
Smog or urban pollution30-60 ppm

Remember: any reading above 9 ppm is a serious risk and requires immediate evacuation. So, make sure to do this check often as part of your home maintenance.

Ventilation tests are also important. Proper ventilation helps keep the air clean and protects against possible CO poisoning.

A tragic story: someone close to us once lost a family member due to carbon monoxide poisoning at home. This is why we should all take preventive steps like these checks. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Preventive Measures to Keep Your Home Warm in Case of Furnace Malfunction


To keep your home warm in case of furnace malfunction, you need to take some preventive measures. In this section, we will discuss some solutions that you can use to maintain a warm temperature. These solutions include installing additional insulation, sealing cracks and drafts in the home, installing fireplace inserts or wood stoves, checking and maintaining HVAC systems and parts, and having a backup heating source available in case of emergency.

Installing Additional Insulation to Improve Temperature Regulation

Increase the temperature regulation of your home by installing more insulation! Here’s a guide on how to do it:

StepInstructions
1Check your current insulation levels to know where extra coverage is needed.
2Choose an insulation type like batts or blown-in.
3Hire a professional or use online resources to install it correctly.
4Seal off all air leaks for improved energy efficiency.

Make sure you also get adequate ventilation with the insulation. Moisture can reduce the effectiveness, but ventilation will help it dry and stay balanced. Seal off cracks and drafts to prevent cold air from coming in. It’s like patching a leaky boat, only it’s cold air instead of water!

Sealing Cracks and Drafts in the Home

Struggling to keep your home warm in the cold winter months when your furnace kicks out? Don’t fret! Here’s how to seal gaps and prevent heat loss.

Follow these five easy steps:

  1. Check all doors & windows for air leaks. Use weatherstripping or caulking to fill any gaps.
  2. Find openings on electrical outlets, fireplace dampers, vent pipes, and sealing plates. Use foam or caulk to seal.
  3. Seal attic hatches with adhesive-backed foam tape or draft guard.
  4. Inspect the dryer vent regularly. Vacuum debris periodically and ensure the outer vent flap closes after use.
  5. Cover holes/partially open windows with plastic films or magnetic covers.

Don’t forget to check garages, basements, crawlspaces, and attics too. This prevents temperature fluctuations that can lead to discomfort.

Keep track of your progress by making a list. Then you will be ready for a warm winter season!

Installing Fireplace Inserts or Wood Stoves

If you wish to upgrade your home’s heating system, a wood stove or insert is an option. Here’s what to do:

  1. Check the existing fireplace dimensions to make sure the new appliance will fit.
  2. Choose a spot that is distant from walls, furniture, and other flammable materials.
  3. Install a stainless steel liner in the chimney for heat protection.
  4. Hire a licensed professional to install it, according to local building codes.
  5. Add safety features like screens, doors, or glass fronts to avoid burns and reduce fire risks.

Furthermore, wood stoves are an eco-friendly heating source as they burn cleanly and use renewable sources of fuel.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration states that around 10% of American households use wood as their primary or secondary heating source.

Don’t forget: overlooking your HVAC system is like skipping your yearly checkup – it may seem fine now, but it will catch up with you in the end.

Checking and Maintaining HVAC Systems and Parts

Maintaining Your HVAC Systems and Parts

It’s essential to keep your HVAC system and parts in good condition. Here are some tips:

  • Clean/replace air filters regularly.
  • Check and adjust thermostat settings for comfort.
  • Inspect ductwork for leaks and seal them ASAP.
  • Schedule a professional to clean, inspect, and repair annually.

Different types of heating equipment (boilers, furnaces, heat pumps, etc.) require detailed checks before maintenance. Invest in programmable thermostats to get the most efficiency. Make sure air vents are unobstructed. Install carbon monoxide detectors close to potential sources of CO gas. Choose high-quality, anti-bacterial filters.

These preventive measures reduce energy consumption and keep your family healthy during winter. Have a backup heating source on standby – don’t get caught out in the cold!

Having a Backup Heating Source Available

Prepare for a furnace breakdown! An alternative warming system is a must. Choose from portable space heaters, electric blankets, a generator, or a fireplace. Make sure these are serviced and maintained properly. This way you’ll avoid health hazards and financial losses.

Recently, one family was unprepared when their furnace failed in winter. Resulting in costly repairs and temporary relocation. Don’t let this happen to you! Investing in emergency heating is much wiser than paying for unexpected repairs.

And finally, don’t forget, using a toaster to heat your home is not only a bad idea, but also makes toast!

Ensuring Safety and Avoiding Risks While Heating Your Home Without a Furnace


To ensure safety and avoid risks while heating your home without a furnace, with various alternative heating options, a number of potential hazards need to be addressed. In this section, we will discuss the important safety measures to consider while you keep your home warm and comfortable. The sub-sections of this section are: avoiding the use of candles or open flames, avoiding overuse of space heaters and keeping them away from flammable materials, keeping areas around heaters or fireplaces clear, monitoring temperature and movement around the home, and ensuring proper ventilation and fresh air circulation.

Avoiding the Use of Candles or Open Flames

Heating Your Home Without a Furnace? Avoid Fire Hazards!

Candles and open flames may seem like an easy alternative to a furnace. But they can cause fires and carbon monoxide poisoning – so don’t use them!

Electrical space heaters, baseboard heaters, or oil-filled radiators are good alternative heating methods. They provide warmth without the risk.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions before use and keep flammable materials away from the heater.

Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Prioritize safety when heating your home. Then you can reduce the risk of fire hazards this winter.

Remember, a space heater won’t be the same as a furnace.

Avoiding Overuse of Space Heaters and Keeping Them Away from Flammable Materials

When heating up your home without a furnace, take precautions to stay safe. Avoid overusing space heaters and keep them away from combustible materials. Using them per the manufacturer’s instructions and never leaving them unattended is crucial.

Also, avoid placing space heaters on combustible surfaces like rugs or bedspreads. Place heaters on a level surface away from flammable materials, such as curtains, paper, or furniture. Keep kids and pets out of reach, too.

Before plugging in space heaters, inspect the power cords. Look for any visible damage or wear and tear that might cause electric shock or fires.

You can have warmth and safety. Follow the safety measures when heating up your home! Don’t put yourself at risk – stay warm and stay safe!

Keeping Areas Around Heaters or Fireplaces Clear

For safe heating without a furnace, keep the area near heaters or fireplaces clear. Place portable space heaters away from combustible materials, like drapes and furniture. Ensure fireplaces have no flammable substances nearby and always use a screen.

Declutter the area and remove all unnecessary materials. Don’t store combustible items near heaters or fireplaces.

Open the doors between rooms for better airflow. This prevents surrounding materials from overheating and causing a fire.

History is full of fires caused by negligence around heaters/fireplaces. Many lives have been lost due to fires that could have been prevented with simple safety measures. So, be sure to keep your surroundings clean and a safe distance from heat sources. Keep an eye on your thermostat and your nosy neighbors!

Monitoring Temperature and Movement Around the Home

Monitor Environmental Conditions and Movements at Home

For safety and risk avoidance while heating up a home without a furnace, it’s key to keep an eye on environmental conditions and movement. Consider these points:

  • Use a thermometer to track the indoor temperature and adjust the heat.
  • Check for drafts or air leaks that can impact heating efficiency.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector to prevent any exposure to this harmful gas.
  • Monitor people and pets to make sure they don’t get too close to heaters or other heating appliances.
  • Inspect heating equipment like space heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves regularly to make sure it’s working correctly.

Ventilate your living space by using exhaust fans and opening windows for short periods, especially when cooking, showering, or using cleaning products.

Take into account how the design of your home affects heat distribution and retention. Big north-facing windows can reduce sunlight but let in cold air.

A few years ago, my friend and I had an experience without central heating that made us understand how important monitoring environmental conditions is. 

We relied on a portable heater for warmth, but then we noticed some unusual steaming. We acted quickly and avoided a nasty situation because of an overheated machine. It taught me that safety and risk avoidance need constant attention, even in regular daily life.

Ensuring Proper Ventilation and Fresh Air Circulation.

Effective home heating needs good ventilation and fresh air circulation. How to get this?

OptionProcess
Open windowsCross-ventilation lets air move easily.
Extractor fansRemove humid air from bathrooms and kitchen.
Air purifierGet rid of particles in the home.
Check HVAC systemInspect to make sure it’s working and not blocked.
Indoor plantsFerns, spider plants and bamboo palms purify air.

Good airflow saves energy too. It stops warm air from staying too long and keeps the temperature consistent. Heating with proper ventilation helps retain warmth, saving money and avoiding waste.

Remember, bad ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Install detectors for early warning signs of leakage, preventing major health risks.

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.