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AC/heating system failure during cold weather is no fun; for some people, a heating outage can even be dangerous. Don’t worry, though; if your heat pump or furnace unexpectedly goes out during cold weather, there are measures you can take to help beat the chill until repairs are made. Fortunately, GVEC offers 24/7 emergency AC/heating service (more on that below), but you may have to endure a bit of chill until we get your system running again. Here are five tips for helping weather a heating outage.

Pick One Room and Stay There

You’ll have an easier time staying warm and enduring a heating outage if you limit the area you occupy. Choose the smallest room possible, taking into consideration ceiling height (the lower, the better). Gather your family in—including pets—and pack in plenty of pillows and blankets and anything else that helps generate and retain heat. Don’t forget to bring books, tablets, phones, boardgames, cards, and anything else that might help pass the time and keep your mind off the cold. Lastly, close all the doors, placing towels, sheets or anything handy to fill the gap beneath the closed entryway.

Breakout the Heaters

Under normal circumstances, space heaters should be used sparingly to supplement central heating. If your central heat goes out, though, it’s a great time to break them out. You’ll still want to use them with extreme care, of course, and never leave them unattended.

Electric blankets and heating pads are another good way to generate heat in small spaces during a furnace/heat pump outage—just don’t fall asleep with them on.

Dress for the Cold

Put on thick, warm socks and house shoes—or, better yet, regular shoes—and wear multiple layers of clothing. Hats and scarves add an additional barrier for helping retain body heat.

Candles, Incandescent Lightbulbs and Fireplaces

Candles can be an inexpensive way to generate heat during a heating outage—just be sure to never leave them unattended and to keep them away from children and pets.

Old, incandescent lightbulbs are less energy efficient than LED models, but they generate a lot more heat, and could be beneficial if the furnace goes out. If you have any incandescents laying around, consider lighting them up.

It might seem obvious, but if you have a fireplace, don’t hesitate to light it and to designate that room as the one where your family huddles together during the outage.

Warm Yourself with Food and Drink

You should never use an oven as a heater; doing so can pose a significant fire hazard and, depending on the oven type, a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. However, a central heating breakdown might be a great occasion for a little home cooking. Try baking a pie or making some chili or any other hot foodstuffs you might crave to help keep warm.

Enjoying some hot cocoa while the heat’s out is a great, quick way to get your core temperature simmering, too.

Heating Out? Depend on GVEC Home’s 24/7 Emergency AC/Heating Service

If you live in South Central Texas and experience an HVAC breakdown this winter, GVEC is here to help. We offer 24/7 emergency AC/heating service and repair 365 days a year. We’ll help get your system running again as quickly as possible. For more information or for emergency service, call 877.466.5506.

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