What to do if the heat goes out?

cartoon image of hvac technician holding stethoscope to furnace

Although uncommon, from time to time area homeowners may find themselves in a situation where their furnace is not working properly. There are several reasons why this may be the case. Today we’re going to look at what you should do if the heat goes out.

First things first
Before assuming the worst-case scenario, there are a few things to check first. One, is your thermostat set too low? You may just need to adjust it a few degrees and wait for it to kick back on.

Two, if you have a propane tank, are you out of fuel? Or, is there a problem with the natural gas company? Both of these may explain why your furnace stopped working.

Three, did you or your neighborhood lose power? This will be obvious, of course. What’s important here are our next two tips.

Turn off your furnace
In terms of power outages, if you notice that the power is trying to turn on, yet keeps flickering back off, stop. Head over to your thermostat and turn your furnace off. Leave a light on, perhaps in the same room as your thermostat. When it comes back on, and stays on, then turn your furnace back up.

Unplug your electronic essentials
Meanwhile, as a quick aside you should probably unplug any essential (and expensive) electronics. Even if they are on a power strip, multiple surges can still play havoc with their systems.

Let your faucets drip
If the heat goes out and stays out for more than an hour, we recommend you let the faucets in your kitchen and bathroom drip. Although it’s likely your heat power will be back on before the pipes freeze, it’s better to be safe.

Layer up
Depending on the length of the outage, it may be time to throw on a couple of layers. A pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt on top of your normal clothes can help keep you warm while you wait. Likewise, dig out a couple of extra blankets and use those to stay warm.

Stick to one room in your home
If the outage persists, another tip while you wait is to localize your activities to just one room in the house. Have all of your family get together in a larger bedroom. Shut the door so that your body heat helps to keep the space warm.

Have patience

Barring a problem with your furnace outside of what we’ve described below, more often than not the best thing you can do is to have patience. Let the power or gas company know you’re experiencing an outage. Then layer up, bundle up, and congregate in a single room. 

If the ETA for restoration is longer than expected, you could also seek temporary shelter at a local community center or library.

Proactive maintenance with Beehive Heating and Air
Proactive maintenance is one way to minimize the risk of the heat going out in your home. We’ll help to keep your furnace system working all season long. If you want to schedule a maintenance visit or need assistance with your furnace working properly, give us a call. You can also send us a message HERE and we’ll be in touch ASAP.

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