Tips For Dealing With A Home Heating Emergency

image of a couple with a broken heater

Picture this, it’s mid-winter and there are inches and inches of snow on the ground. You’re indoors and you notice that the house feels cold. Your heating system is not working properly. What should you do if you find yourself with a home heating emergency?

Unfortunately, many homeowners are faced with the above. The truth is that heating systems often breakdown during the middle of winter, which is when you need it the most. If not taken care of, then your comfort and safety could be put at risk. If this ever happens to you, then you’ll want to contact an HVAC contractor. With that said, here are some tips and advice on dealing with a malfunctioning furnace in the middle of the winter.

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Home Heating Emergency: What Is It?

An emergency, no-heat situation is one where the heating system of a home becomes inoperable or malfunctions during the winter, when homeowners rely on it most. In some situations, the heating issue is simple and anyone can take care of it. For example, a circuit breaker or a power source can be the reason behind a heating system malfunction. Checking the fuel supply is a smart idea too, as it might need to be refilled. If that’s the case, then schedule a delivery as soon as possible. The goal is to figure out what the problem is. The quicker you do this, the sooner the problem will be fixed.

Emergencies can cause safety issues within the household. If you don’t have heat, there are several issues you’ll have to deal with. The most common problems include:

  • Discomfort- Discomfort is the most common issue you’ll deal with. This is because you’ll be forced to deal with low temperatures within the home. Also, you might be at risk of getting the flu or a cold. Falling asleep can also be difficult. Also, you might be at risk of developing respiratory issues too.
  • Health Risks- You can be at risk for developing hypothermia, which occurs if temperatures become too low. You may struggle to think and/or move when your body temperature is low. Furthermore, you will be at risk of getting frostbite. Those who have arthritis or heart disease can be at a high risk of developing health issues due to cold temperatures.
  • Frozen Pipes- Pipes can freeze without heat, due to water that turns to ice. When this happens, pipes can expand. In turn, they could end up bursting and they can cause a lot of damage to nearby items.
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image of a woman using a space heater


Staying Warm While Waiting For The HVAC Professional

If you’ve checked your heating system and the problem is still ongoing, then you’ll want to call in an emergency HVAC contractor. While waiting for them, there are a few things you’ll want to do to stay warm. This includes the following:

Turn The Heating System Off

If you cannot use your heater, then turn the power off. If your furnace is powered by gas, then turn the gas supply lines off. This will keep your heating system isolated. It’ll also keep you safe.

Use A Space Heater

Space heaters are small and portable. They usually blow warm air via a small fan, and they are available in a range of capacities. You should choose a 3kW capacity heater if your room is small. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to use a large heater. When using a space heater, take safety measures, such as following the guidelines in the manufacturer’s instructions. You also want to never leave a space heater unattended.

Everyone in the house should stay in one room. If other rooms are not being used, then close the doors to them. The key is to isolate the heat in the room the household is residing in.

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Drink Warm Drinks

Warm drinks keep your body warm. Drinking warm beverages can provide you with comfort. Choose drinks such as herbal tea and coffee, which contains caffeine. Ginger tea is another good drink to have. However, you want to steer clear of alcohol. Besides that, you can consume a hot bowl of soup.

drinking hot tea to stay warm during a heater failure



Exercise helps with blood flow circulation and it increases the heart rate. Performing simple exercises can improve the flow of blood to your extremities and they keep you limber.

Bundle Up

In order to preserve body heat, you should bundle up. You can keep yourself warm by wearing coats, jackets, shawls, gloves, socks and more. Make sure the elderly and children are warm and comfortable too. Don’t wear clothing that’s too heavy or too tight because this can result in constricting your body.

bundling up while waiting for heater repair


Preventing Heating Emergencies

Being prepared is the top way to prevent heating emergencies. By taking preventative measures, you’ll be a step ahead and will be more prepared to handle home heating emergencies when they do arise. That being said, a few actions you can take include:

Annual HVAC Maintenance

One of the best ways to prevent malfunctioning of your HVAC system is to have annual heater maintenance performed on it. Regular heating system checkups ensure your system is in good working condition.

furnace tune-up


Call An HVAC Contractor

If you notice trouble with your system, then contact an HVAC company as soon as possible. Troubleshooting the problem is a good idea, but if the problem is serious, then only let a professional handle it. Ideally, it’s best to hire a contractor as soon as you notice your HVAC system isn’t working properly. The sooner you address the issue, the sooner the system will work properly.

Replace Heater Air Filters

HVAC companies often remind homeowners that their air filters should be kept clean or they should replace them regularly. Airflow is negatively affected when filters are clogged. In turn, your heating system will be forced to work harder, be less inefficient and use up more energy. Besides that, clogged air filters may eventually lead to more serious issues with the system. In turn, you’ll have to pay for costly repairs. Check your air filters 1-2 times per month and replace it if necessary.



You want to make sure your home is comfortable and safe during wintertime. This is why preventing furnace malfunctions is crucial. All you have to do is take a few steps to increase the chances of avoiding heating emergencies. Just make sure you take care of small problems before they turn into bigger ones. Furthermore, make sure you only work with a reputable HVAC company.


Call McAllister Energy For Your Home Heating Needs

McAllister Energy
McAllister Energy offers heating and cooling services throughout the region. Our technicians are NATE certified, highly skilled, and capable of providing quality services. This includes HVAC replacements, repairs, tuneups, and installations. All of our techs will properly service your HVAC system, the first time around. Our technicians have received extensive training and they have worked on many systems throughout the years. By hiring us, you’ll receive nothing but the best service from people who truly care about their customers.

Do you have a system that needs to be replaced or repaired? Don’t worry because when you do business with us, you’ll be in good hands when you hire us. We guarantee that our rates are competitive, regardless if you need your furnace repaired or replaced. We also provide affordable emergency, no-heat services for those unexpected situations. If you want to learn more about our services or you want to set an appointment up, then give McAllister Energy a call today.

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