Heating emergencies can cause real problems for homeowners in the winter months when temperatures outside drop. Having your heater work properly during the winter is important for both preventing damage in your home and keeping your household healthy. The following are five mistakes you should avoid if you experience a heating emergency this winter, in order to get through the experience with minimal consequences:
Having no alternative heat source available
It's always a good idea to have both a gas and an electric heat source available. This way, you can rely on an alternative if one of your heat sources goes out. If you rely mostly on gas heating for your home, you can buy electric space heaters for use if your furnace goes out. You can also have a gas fireplace or gas space heater installed somewhere in your home as a backup, if you rely mostly on electric for heat and your power goes out.
Failing to conserve existing heat until things are fixed
If your heater is not working and you're not sure when its operation will be restored, you should start conserving heat ASAP. Close all your doors and windows to make sure you don't let out any of the heat that you already have. Additionally, you should only open doors and windows when necessary until you get your heat working again. This will keep your home warm for as long as possible.
Not arranging for repairs immediately
Don't procrastinate about getting your heating system repaired. If your heater is not working, chances are high that other people are experiencing the same issues in your area. If you wait before contacting an HVAC technician for heating repairs, your technician might be overwhelmed with appointments and you might have to wait until your own heating system can be serviced.
Preventing your pipes from getting maximum exposure to conditioned air
If temperatures are going to drop in your home because of a heating malfunction, you should focus on keeping your pipes warm to prevent freezing. Frozen pipes can burst and lead to extensive plumbing damage. You can increase the circulation of conditioned air around your pipes by opening any cabinets and closets that have pipes located inside. This will help to prevent freezing until the air temperature goes down inside your home.
Failing to take advantage of an alternative place to stay temporarily
If you can't restore heater operation immediately and you have no alternative heat source, it's probably a good idea to stay somewhere else for a while if you have the chance. Your household will be more comfortable and healthy if they don't have to rough it in a cold home. You may be hoping that your heater will start working by itself quickly, but there are no guarantees that your heater will come on again before you've had repairs performed by your HVAC technician.
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