You shake yourself wake up in the middle of the night with icicles hanging from the side of your mouth. It is suddenly a scene from your worst nightmares — the furnace has quit on the coldest night of the winter and the temperature is dropping fast.
Half asleep and half frozen you probably won’t be doing your most rational thinking in solving the problem. Family Danz strongly suggests you take a moment to plan ahead for these heat’s out emergencies, because you know they will strike at the most inopportune time. Don’t be afraid to call your friendly Family Danz representative with any questions about your heating system, or to have a professional technician come out to take a look. We’re here to make sure you are comfortable all winter long.
Before a heating emergency, make sure to:
* Learn how your heating system works. You should already know whether it’s powered by electric, natural gas, propane, or fuel oil, so you can check if you simply need a fuel refill, or whether the electric power out in your neighborhood. If it’s not a problem in your home and it’s a minor fix you’ll just have to wait until the utilities company finishes their repairs so keep as warm as possible.
* Know in advance the reset methods for your heating system. Generally, if you have steam heat, turn off the unit, check the water level in the boiler and add water slowly if it is low. In a forced air heating system reset the circuit breaker if it is tripped. In hot water systems, check that all temperature and pressure gauges are set to normal and clear system of excess air. In a gas furnace, check that the pilot light is on and relight if necessary.
* Check your heating thermostat to make sure someone hasn’t accidentally turned it down too low. Hey, it happens, and that’s probably the easiest fix.
You will need to get the heat back on as quickly as you can — not only for personal comfort but to prevent water damage from frozen pipes. The pipes carrying water through the house need to be protected from the cold. Turn on your faucets so the hot water drips slightly but constantly — that will keep the water inside flowing and will inhibit the buildup of ice. Open the cabinet doors under your sinks to allow warm air to get to the pipes. If pipes aren’t already covered, wrap them with insulation or newspaper and then plastic to keep out any moisture. Hang a towel between the outside wall and the pipes to insulate them away from the cold.
If you have a generator for electric heat or a kerosene or other supplemental source of heat available turn it up. Light your fireplace. Close the curtains and make sure any cracks under doors are covered with towels or blankets to keep the heat inside the home.
Keep everybody bundled together in a warm area of the house until the heat is back on. It’s a great time for some family togetherness, so take advantage of it!
Being ready for a heat’s-off emergency will give you the ability to think clearly and act quickly if the dreaded moment comes. And remember you are never on your own — call Family Danz at any time you need expert emergency service.