The winter snow brings in a cold blow to many homes across the nation. While you may perform your due diligence by having your HVAC system serviced in the fall, sometimes unforeseen breakdowns happen. If you’ve found yourself stuck in a home that has lost its heat source one of these winter nights, here are some excellent tips on how to stay calm and survive.
Identify The Problem
There are many reasons that your heat may go out this winter season. The most obvious is that the power goes out. Most people’s HVAC system relies heavily on electricity to run. If there is no power to run the system, it will stop working. You can identify whether or not your power is out by simply notating what else is working.
If your lights and other appliances went out, it’s likely the power. See if your neighbors are out of power, and if so, contact the power company to let them know what is going on. If you notice that your power is still on, then it’s likely a problem with your HVAC system.
Check Your Pilot Light
A pilot light is a small flame that you’ll see illuminated on your furnace. It’s what’s used to turn your fuel source into heat for your furnace system. If you head down to your basement and notice that your pilot light is out, then it may just need to be relit. Depending on the system that is in your home, you may need to use a multipurpose lighter, or your system may have an ignition button on it.
Before relighting your pilot light, turn off the gas to your system and let it dissipate for about five minutes. If you still smell gas within this time period, you may have a leak, and you’ll need to call in a professional. Once the pilot light is relit, give it about a minute to run. Then, switch your system back to the ON position.
Contact A Professional
If you’ve determined that the pilot light is not the problem with your furnace, then it’s time to call in a professional. Many HVAC companies have technicians that are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They know that just a couple of hours in the cold of winter can be devastating for any family. It’s always a good idea to have the phone number of your chosen HVAC provider ready in case of an emergency outage.
Have Blankets Prepared
When the threat of cold winter weather happens, it’s always a good idea to prepare ahead of time. Have some blankets already at arm’s length so that your family can stay warm when the heat goes out. Consider having each family member prepare a cold box where they can put in items like winter hats, gloves, and other layers that they can put on if there’s no more heat being produced in your home.
Prep Your Fireplace
If your home has a fireplace, then you should always get it prepared for the winter months. This means stocking up on firewood and getting your flue cleaned out. Even if you don’t plan on using your fireplace that much, it’s always a good idea to have it prepared. You never know when the power may go out this winter. Having an adequate supply of wood and a fireplace ready for use can mean the difference between being frozen and staying comfortably warm. Make sure to also prep lighters and firestarters so that you can get your fire started quickly.