A broken-down furnace is never welcome, but it can be especially problematic when it happens over a holiday and you have to wait for a furnace repair technician. Staying warm so you can still enjoy time with the family is of the utmost importance. The following tips can help you do just that.
Tip #1: Insulate all openings
This is no time to enjoy natural light. Instead, close the drapes to help block out the cold and conserve heat. If you only have thin drapes, hang some extra blankets over the windows. It's also a good idea to hang a blanket over the door so that less cold air is let in or warmth let out when someone enters or exits the home.
Tip #2: Get a space heater
The right type of space heater can provide a lot of warmth to a small area. Sealed, electric, radiator-style space heaters and ceramic heaters are relatively safe, even around children, because the surfaces don't become as hot as other styles of heaters. Choose a space heater that is equipped with an auto-shutoff in the event it's tipped over or overheats. Also, turn off the heaters at night or if no one is home to monitor them.
Tip #3: Heat a smaller space
Instead of trying to keep the whole house warm, just heat the main living area. The living room is a good choice, especially if it has a fireplace. You can hang blankets over open doorways to conserve the heat. You can even bring in blankets and pillows and make it into a fun indoor campout for the family.
Tip #4: Get your baking done
Running the oven can add some residual heat to the home, so now is the time to do your holiday baking. Skip stovetop dinners and instead make a roast or a casserole. It's also a great time to try out a cake or bread recipe. You can freeze the extras so you can take a week off cooking once the furnace is fixed.
Tip #5: Layer up
Don't skimp on layers. Long underwear or leggings beneath your usual pants, extra socks, a sweater or coat, and a hat can go a long way towards keeping you warm indoors. If it gets really chilly, you may even want to put on a pair of gloves or fingerless gloves. Of course, you can also curl up under a blanket with a loved one to read or watch a favorite movie.
These tips will help you stay warm while awaiting a furnace repair. Contact a repair contractor as soon as possible, though, as some do offer emergency service on holidays.