Surviving a Furnace Outage: 7 Essential Tips

Imagine it’s the middle of a bone-chilling winter, and your furnace unexpectedly breaks down — an absolute nightmare, right? If you’ve experienced this, you know just how essential a functioning furnace is for your comfort and well-being. While 24-hour furnace repair services exist, it could take some time before help arrives, especially during peak demand periods. So, how do you keep warm and safe during a furnace outage? This post will provide you with seven indispensable tips for surviving a furnace outage. 

Layer Up 

The number one rule during a furnace outage is to stay warm, and there’s no better way than to layer up! Put on your thickest, warmest clothes, including sweaters, socks, and hats. Don’t forget to have extra blankets ready for added insulation. Remember: The more layers you have, the more body heat you’ll retain. 

Use Alternative Heating Sources 

Besides layering up, another way to stay warm during a furnace outage is by using alternative heating sources. These may include space heaters, electric blankets, and even your fireplace (if you have one). Before using these sources, read the instructions carefully and practice proper safety precautions. Also, never leave them unattended or use them near flammable objects. 

Close Off Unused Rooms 

During a furnace outage, it’s essential to conserve heat as much as possible. One way to do this is by closing off unused rooms in your home. This will help contain the heat in the areas where you spend most of your time, making it easier to stay warm. 

Keep Your Curtains Closed 

While natural light is great for your mood and mental health, during a furnace outage, it’s best to keep your curtains closed to retain heat. This will help prevent cold drafts from entering your home and reduce heat loss through windows. When the furnace is repaired, you can open those curtains and enjoy the sunlight again. 

Stay Active 

The more you move, the warmer you’ll feel. So, instead of huddling under a blanket all day, try to stay active. Do light exercises or house chores to keep your body moving and generate heat. You can also take warm baths or hot showers to raise your body temperature and soothe your cold muscles. 

Don’t Forget About Your Pipes 

During a furnace outage, it’s not only you who needs to stay warm but also your pipes! Frozen pipes can lead to costly repairs and even water damage, so insulate them during an outage. You can wrap them in blankets or towels, open cabinet doors for warmer air circulation, and keep a small trickle of water running to prevent them from freezing. 

Have a Plan Ahead of Time 

Last but not least, have an emergency plan in place ahead of time for furnace outages. This includes knowing how to shut off your furnace safely, having contact information for 24-hour furnace repair services, and stocking emergency supplies like food, water, and flashlights. It also helps to have a backup generator for power outages during furnace repairs. 

Remember: A little preparation can go a long way in surviving a furnace outage! With these seven tips, you’ll be better equipped to handle unexpected breakdowns and stay warm until help arrives. And remember to schedule regular maintenance for your furnace to prevent future outages.

14 thoughts on “Surviving a Furnace Outage: 7 Essential Tips

  • Eek, this wouldn’t be fun. You have some great tips should it happen.

  • This happened to me on Christmas Eve one year! Now I definitely plan ahead & have the furnace cleaned & checked before every holiday season.

  • A couple of years ago, our furnace was leaking carbon monoxide on the coldest day of winter. Thankfully, we were able to get a new one the next day.

  • I remember when we had to go without heat while our gas line got fixed. It was not fun, but we got a few free space heaters from Centerpoint to keep us warm.

  • Closing off unused rooms is such great advice. It’s important to know what to do in situations like this!

  • I am glad to hear about it! I appreciate the tips you’ve shared and found them helpful!

  • Layering up, closing off unused rooms, and keeping those curtains closed—such simple yet effective ideas.

  • These are great tips for sure and our house in PA has to have heat as it gets so cold in the mountains. We do have a pellet wood stove and a good Generator in the event the power ever goes out but having an alternative heat source is always a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

  • You have some great tips! Boy, I remember when this happened to us, and it wasn’t a pleasant time especially because it happened during the winter month. I would tell everyone take these tips into account for real, they will help!

  • As outage would really be problematic. Thanks for the tips, they’d be super-handy.

  • This happened to us in the past, and it was tough! It was of course a really cold night. Good to have some tips for hanging in there!

  • These are some great things to know when it is really cold outside. Thanks for sharing your useful tips.

  • Such great tips; closing unused rooms and curtains too really helps as does layering
    Thankfully we don’t live in an area where we have to worry about freezing pipes

  • I’m thankful that I don’t have a gas furnace or that it’s ever gone out. I do have electric throws for both me and my son though. I use mine frequently so that I don’t have to turn my heat up in the winter to save some money.


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