Imagine: it’s a chilly winter day, you’ve just finished shopping, and you can’t wait to go home, kick up your feet, enjoy a warm sofa, and watch your favorite movie.
However, when you open the door, the inside seems oddly chilly. You quickly check and discover that your furnace is no longer working.
When you call to get your furnace repaired, you are informed that the expert won’t arrive until tomorrow.
What can you do, then, to stay warm while you wait? With that in mind, here are a few ways to identify if your furnace is out. Plus, how to heat your home if it is!
Potential Tell-Tale Signs Your Furnace is Going Out
Listed below are a few indicators of a malfunctioning furnace:
High Heating Bills
Your heating costs will grow quickly as your heating system gets less efficient. This occurs when your heating system runs for extended periods to attain the desired temperature.
This is probably one of the first signs to watch out for that can point to a furnace failure.
Is it difficult for your house to achieve the temperature you’ve set on the thermostat? Does your house have warm spots and noticeably chilly ones?
If so, get in touch with an expert immediately to have your furnace inspected and diagnosed. By doing this, further damage can be avoided.
Your furnace is in charge of managing your house’s humidity levels in addition to providing heat. It may indicate that your furnace is starting to age if there is an abrupt reduction in air quality.
So, pay attention to this warning sign. If you experience dry air, then your furnace is probably shot.
Pilot Flame Color Changes
The flame of a gas furnace should be bright or vibrant blue. A faint, wavering, or flickering flame is a sign that the gas is not being burnt all the way through.
Another sign that carbon monoxide is not securely venting out from the system is a change in the color of the pilot light.
An obvious indication that the gas is not burning correctly is a yellow flame. A dirty or partly obstructed furnace system can cause this.
It’s just another tell-tale: you should contact your go-to HVAC contractor before your furnace goes out.
Noises are sometimes a clue that a furnace needs to be repaired. When detected early, many of these problems can be easily corrected, even though they can occasionally be irritating and distressing.
So, if your furnace is making strange noises, it might be time to get your furnace fixed before things get worse.
Different smells might come from your furnace or duct system, depending on the problem. But the gas smell would be the most problematic.
This odor can indicate that your furnace system has a gas leak. If your blower motor gets stuck, it may overheat and perhaps start to melt the electrical wire attached to it.
Furthermore, bad odors might also signify build-up on burning heating coils. So, if you smell such strange smells, you must contact furnace maintenance services immediately.
Tips to Heat Your Home without a Furnace
Here are a few ways you can heat your home if your furnace goes out:
Utilize Your Windows
Place a heavy, translucent shower curtain over the windows if it’s sunny outside. The thick material blocks the cold from the windows, while the translucent layer lets warm rays in.
Construct a Make-Shift Heating Pad
Use a hot water bottle or a warmly wrapped block in place of a heating pad if you don’t have any electrical heating gadgets. But, properly wrap the bottle or block with a cloth to prevent injury or burns.
Use Electrical Heating Devices
Bring out your space heaters, heating pads, and heated blankets immediately. They are excellent heat sources for small areas.
However, avoid dozing off on the electric blankets and pads and leaving the space heater on.
Furthermore, don’t run it continuously for more than 4 hours. Otherwise, there will be a chance of electrical shorts. Typically, there are five types of space heaters you can use to heat your home:
Panel Space Heaters
A relatively recent technology, panel space heaters are quickly gaining popularity.
A panel space heater may either be floor-mounted or wall-mounted using the stand that comes with it. Panel space heaters are similar to oil-filled heaters as far as functionality goes.
However, the key difference between the two is that oil-filled heaters use oil to heat air rather than electrical current.
While panel space heaters might appear to be the best option, most of them are used to increase the temperature of a room rather than completely heat it.
Propane Space Heaters
The only kind of space heater that doesn’t need electricity as a power source, propane space heaters run on liquid propane.
The most portable space heaters you can buy are propane models since they run on fuel. They continue to function even if the electricity in your home is out.
The fact that propane space heaters generate the highest possible heat is another significant benefit. Additionally, they cost roughly 20% less to operate than an electric space heater.
Oil-Filled Space Heaters
“Radiator heater” is a common name for an oil-filled space heater. These heater models resembled older radiator heaters common in older homes.
Diathermic oil is located inside the heater’s body. As the oil warms up, it moves through the columns (or fins). As those fins warm up, heat is discharged into the atmosphere as the surface temperature rises.
Oil-filled space heaters cannot utilize a fan to assist heat spread since they heat a large outside metal surface using an internal fluid.
In fact, only the convection mechanism allows the heat to escape from the device.
Infrared Space Heaters
An infrared heater warms a place via electromagnetic waves it emits into the air. The method is comparable to how the sun heats the Earth by radiating energy.
Infrared heaters heat the surrounding items (such as walls, rugs, and furniture) as well as people’s bodies rather than the air. There are two varieties of infrared heaters: fan and fanless.
Typically, they don’t require a fan since infrared uses electromagnetic waves rather than a heating element to warm up a space. This type of heater is perfect for smaller homes.
Ceramic Space Heaters
A ceramic space heater has metal coils connected to ceramic panels and is powered by electricity. The coils conduct electricity, heating the ceramic surfaces.
The ceramic plates are still absorbing the electrical heat, but since it needs to go someplace, it is released into the atmosphere.
The major benefit of ceramic heaters is that they warm up quickly and spread heat equally through a space.
Snuggle in Your Sheets
Do you want to stay warm at night, especially when your furnace is out? If so, purchase thicker, warmer bed linens!
When it’s cold outdoors, wear flannel or fleece instead of a light cotton shirt as you might in the summer. Lastly, snuggle up under the sheets with your significant other to keep warm as you sleep.
Cover the Cracks
The heat loss from gaps around windows, beneath doors, and elsewhere in or around your home can be significant. So, try covering the gaps under the doors of the different rooms in your house with a towel.
Furthermore, it would be best to consider caulking your windows to ensure that heat stays trapped inside your home.
Place Some Area Rugs
You will want some soft area rugs if your house has tile or hardwood floors to keep your room warm if the furnace malfunctions.
Ultimately, area rugs do a good job of preventing your flooring from losing heat. They are also warmer underfoot than bare flooring.
Close Unused Rooms
Do you have a spare guest room or storage area in your house? Keep the doors closed and the vents in those rooms as much as possible.
When the weather becomes chilly, the more room you have, the more difficult it is to heat your home, especially without a functional furnace.
Even small-scale measures can significantly reduce the amount of space. So, to force the hot air into the sections you want to be heated, close all doors and windows and ensure no air is passing through.
Also, don’t forget to block the vents in those rooms. Of course, this will make these rooms stuffier. However, doing so will trap heat and warm your entire home.
Leave Your Oven Open
Are you making a wonderful dessert or preparing dinner in your oven? If yes, turn it off once you’re done, but leave the door open.
Why not let the heat from the oven spread throughout the remainder of your kitchen because it will remain there for a little bit longer?
This will do wonders when it comes to spreading the heat across your entire home.
There are various ways to keep your house warm when your furnace goes out. However, keeping your house warm can be easy if all your family members play their part.
Whatever the case, the obvious choice would be to hire furnace maintenance services to fix your heating system. That way, you will get back to your everyday life in no time.
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