When it is cold outside, the last thing anyone wants to think about is if the heat goes out. While we may not face the same bitter cold in Peoria as they do in other parts of the United States, the reality is that our winter nights can get very chilly when there is no heat. Here are some tips for helping you make it through a loss of heat in comfort.
First, determine what has caused your loss of heat. Sometimes the furnace is not really out and a simple fix can have you warm and toasty in no time.
Did you switch it from “cool” to “heat”? Is the thermostat set at least five degrees higher than the current indoor air temperature? If not, adjust accordingly and see if your heat turns on. If your thermostat appears to have lost power, but there has been no power loss to your house, check and see if it is a battery-operated model and try changing the batteries.
Is the furnace getting power?
Somewhere near your furnace, there should be a power switch. Oftentimes, these switches are turned off when air conditioners are serviced for the coming season. Check to make sure the switch is in the on position.
Is the panel in front of the blower motor secure?
For safety purposes, a blower motor cannot operate if the front panel is loose; a safety switch located at the front panel disengages when the panel is loose.
Have you cleaned your filters recently?
Clogged air filters can reduce air output and even cause some furnaces to shut down.
Does your furnace have a pilot light? If so, is the pilot light lit? If not, you can light the pilot light, which you do manually on older furnaces and electrically on most newer models.
Has your circuit breaker blown?
resetting the circuit breaker to see if it restores power. However, be cautious- a tripped circuit breaker indicates potential problems with power draw and means you want to have a professional examine why the circuit breaker would become overheated. If the breaker trips again, leave the furnace off and contact a repairman before attempting to run the unit.
If that’s not the problem and you have a newer model furnace, you may want to try turning off the heat for about five minutes and then restarting it; a simple reboot can often fix your heating problem.
If you have taken these steps and your furnace still is not working, contact Worlock Air Conditioning. We have a 1 hour response time and we will beat any written quote from our competitors!
Of course, many times a heating loss will be due to a power outage. Have you lost power to your house? Do your neighbors have power? If the loss of power is the reason for no heat, call the power company and let them know that you have lost power.
Hopefully, if you have a power outage, you already have a home preparedness kit. If not, you can find tips on how to create on at the FEMA website.
If you have lost power, you will want to go around the house and unplug your major appliances and electronics to prevent them from being damaged in the event of power surges or spikes that often occur when power is restored. If you have an auxiliary power source, this is the time to use it. A standby generator can power a space heater to provide heat, but both generator and the space heater need to be located for safety. Space heaters can cause fires if they come into contact with flammable items like clothing or bedding.
No extra power source? You can stay warm using layers: gloves, thick socks, and hats can help your body retain its heat. Fireplaces or wood stoves can be a great source of heat while you are home, just make sure they are properly extinguished if you leave the house. Drafts can make the house extra-chilly, so make sure all doors and windows are closed and close any curtains or other window coverings to prevent cold air from getting inside.
Whatever you do, do not bring in outdoor heating items to try to heat the inside of your house! Grills, propane heaters, firepits, and similar devices are built for outdoor use. Not only do they present a fire hazard, but using outdoor devices without proper ventilation can result in a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.