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How to Keep House Warm When Furnace Breaks


How to Keep House Warm When Furnace Breaks

During the winter months, a working furnace is crucial to keep your home warm and comfortable. However, furnaces can sometimes break down unexpectedly, leaving you in a chilly situation. Although it’s essential to call a professional to fix the issue as soon as possible, there are several steps you can take to keep your house warm when the furnace breaks.

1. Utilize Space Heaters: Place electric space heaters strategically in the rooms you spend the most time in. Make sure to follow safety guidelines while using space heaters and never leave them unattended.

2. Insulate Windows and Doors: Use weatherstripping or draft stoppers to seal any gaps around windows and doors. This will prevent cold air from entering your home and keep warm air inside.

3. Close Off Unused Rooms: Seal off any unused rooms by closing doors and shutting vents. This will help concentrate the heat in the areas you regularly occupy.

4. Layer Up: Wear warm clothing, multiple layers, and cozy blankets to stay warm when the furnace isn’t working optimally.

5. Use Curtains and Blankets: Close curtains or blinds at night to insulate your windows and prevent drafts. Additionally, hang heavy blankets over windows and exterior doors to provide extra insulation.

6. Make Use of Sunlight: Open curtains and blinds during the day to let sunlight in. Sunlight can naturally warm up your home, even during colder months.

7. Cook and Bake: Use your oven frequently to cook or bake. The heat from cooking will help warm up your kitchen and nearby areas, providing additional warmth.

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8. Insulate the Floor: Place rugs or carpets on the floor to insulate it. This will add a layer of warmth and prevent cold air from seeping through.

9. Use Hot Water Bottles: Fill hot water bottles and place them under blankets or near you while sitting or sleeping. They provide localized heat and can keep you warm for hours.

10. Keep Doors Closed: Make a habit of closing doors behind you to prevent warm air from escaping into unused areas of your home.

11. Consider Alternative Heating Sources: If available and safe, use portable electric heaters, wood-burning stoves, or fireplace inserts to generate heat. However, exercise caution and follow all safety precautions.


1. Can I use a generator to power an electric heater during a furnace breakdown?
It is not recommended to use a generator indoors as it poses a significant risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators in well-ventilated areas.

2. How long can I rely on space heaters until the furnace is fixed?
Space heaters can temporarily provide warmth for a few days, but it is advisable to get your furnace fixed as soon as possible.

3. Is it safe to leave space heaters unattended?
No, it is not safe to leave space heaters unattended. Always turn them off before leaving the room or going to bed.

4. Are there any DIY fixes for a broken furnace?
It is generally not advisable to attempt DIY fixes on furnaces as they can be complex and potentially dangerous. Contact a professional HVAC technician for repairs.

5. Can insulating my windows really make a difference?
Yes, insulating windows with weatherstripping or draft stoppers can significantly reduce drafts and heat loss.

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6. How can I tell if my home is properly insulated?
Check for drafts, cold spots, or high heating bills. These signs may indicate inadequate insulation and sealing.

7. Can I use a space heater overnight?
It is not recommended to use a space heater overnight, especially while sleeping, due to safety concerns.

8. How can I prevent frozen pipes during a furnace breakdown?
Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Let faucets drip slowly to prevent freezing.

9. Is it safe to use a propane heater indoors?
Propane heaters are not intended for indoor use as they can produce harmful fumes. Only use them in well-ventilated areas or outdoors.

10. Can I use my electric oven as a heating source for my home?
While you can use your oven for short periods to generate heat, it is not a safe or efficient long-term solution.

11. Should I cover my windows with plastic wrap to insulate them?
Yes, covering windows with plastic wrap can provide an additional layer of insulation and reduce drafts.