When your heating system fails, your home's temperature can drop quickly — especially if the failure happens on a particularly cold evening. While your emergency heating contractor should arrive to the scene quickly, it may take them a few hours to actually make the necessary repairs. It's important to know how to keep yourself and your family warm and safe in the meantime. Here are some tips to get you started.
Take Advantage of Your Window Treatments
If it's nighttime, close your shades, blinds, or curtains. They will serve as an extra layer of insulation against your windows, which are the biggest point of heat loss in most homes. When your home is growing colder by the minute, then every bit of heat you trap inside helps.
If it's daytime and the sun is shining, open the window treatments on windows on the sunny side. The sunshine will help warm your home. You can even sit in the sun if you want to warm up a little.
Eat or Drink Something Warm
Make yourself a mug of hot cocoa or tea. Not only will sipping the beverage help keep your body warm, but just holding onto a warm mug will warm your fingers. Put your drink in a travel mug to keep it warm longer.
Make Dinner in the Oven
Even if it's not dinner time, do some cooking. Bake cookies or take this opportunity to bake some bread from scratch. Gather the family in the kitchen, where the air will be warmer with the oven turned on. When you're done baking, leave the oven open to let the extra heat fill the room. Do turn the oven off, though. Heating your home with an oven puts you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Layer Your Clothing
Three thin layers of clothing will work to keep you warmer than one thick layer. Each layer of material traps a layer of air between it and the previous layer, and this air acts as an insulator — preventing your body heat from escaping.
For expert layering, start with a shirt and bottoms made from wool or silk. For your middle layer, use a fleece or wool pull-over or sweater — and some sweatpants or jeans. Then, put on a jacket. If it's not too cold in your home yet, you can go with a lighter, windbreaker-style jacket. If you're exceedingly cold, then put on your winter coat or a fuzzy bathrobe.
You might feel like jumping into a hot shower, but it's not actually a good idea. After you shower, your body and hair will be moist, which will just make you feel colder. Plus, the air in your home will feel colder after you've been in the warm, steamy shower. If you do need to shower while the heat is out, at least try not to get your hair wet — or be sure to blow dry it when you get out of the shower.
Keep an Eye on Your Pipes
This won't keep you warm, but it will help keep you safe and prevent water damage. Pipes rarely freeze when the outside temperature is above 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can happen — particularly if your home gets very cold while you're without heat. The pipes along outside walls are most likely to freeze. To prevent frozen pipes, turn your taps on to a very slow trickle. This keeps water moving through the pipes so it's less likely to freeze.
Having your heat fail on a cold winter day can be alarming, but with the tips above, you'll stay safe and warm until help arrives. If you're looking for a heating contractor in the Little Rock area, contact Capitol Service Company Inc. We offer 24-hour emergency service and free estimates.