Snow and ice can seem like a winter wonderland from the safe haven of your warm, cozy home in Kansas City. When your furnace stops working, the weather can turn visions of sugarplums into a freezing cold nightmare. Losing heat can be uncomfortable or even dangerous, depending on the conditions outside.
In addition to the discomfort you feel when you lose heat, your furnishings and fixtures could also suffer from the cold or get ruined entirely. Floorboards can buckle and there is always the danger of pipes freezing.
If your heater can't take the freezing temperatures in Kansas City anymore, don't worry. We'll help you stay comfortable indoors without heating until your friendly neighborhood repairman shows up. Here are five tips on how to keep a house warm without heat.
1. Cover Windows and Doors
Even the smallest crack in your caulking can cause you to lose heat – fast. If you have gaps in your windowpanes or a couple of inches of wiggle room between your door and your threshold, block these openings before the hot air escapes. If you have drafty windows it is a good idea to take care of this before the winter season starts. Purchase a tube of caulk and line the windowpanes or purchase plastic to cover the windows as an extra layer of insulation.
For visible holes, use a rag or dishtowel to block airflow from the outside. Roll it up and stuff it where the crack is allowing in cold air. For smaller nooks and crannies, caulking can seal up the openings or a layer of gauze covered with duct tape can work in a pinch. Window coverings, like blinds or curtains, may also add an extra layer to help insulate your home from the cold, especially ones designed to be energy efficient.
When your heat comes back on, learning how to keep a house warm without heat can also save money on your energy bill. Investing in curtains designed to insulate from extreme temperatures can actually save up to 30 percent on your energy bill, making them a great return on investment.
2. Generate Heat With Your Appliances
You don't need a space heater to energize a lukewarm room in the winter. Even if your central air system malfunctions, you can use everyday appliances to heat up the surrounding air.
When disaster strikes your home, get creative on how to keep a house warm. If you still have power, turn on the dryer and heat up your winter sweaters. Climbing into a nice warm pair of jeans and a sweater can take the chill right out of the air. Blow dry your hair, or use the dryer to warm up cold hands and feet. A few other options include disposable hand warmers and electric blankets and heating pads to keep warm.
3. Close off Unused Rooms
Try to keep the heat circulating through the rooms you use most often. Close off any doors that lead to your attic (since hot air rises), and seal off your basement (where cold air currently resides). Your body heat, combined with a few devices listed above, will heat a small area much faster than a large one.
4. Enjoy Hot Water
One risk you face during a winter storm is frozen or burst pipes. To prevent this problem and heat up your house at the same time, use your water heater to your advantage.
Keep steady streams of warm water running through all major pipes to make sure they don't freeze before the repairman comes.
You can also cope with the lowering temperatures by taking a hot bath or shower. Hot drinks like cocoa or tea will also relax you during this stressful time, and you'll feel heat generating from your stove as you boil the water. Even rinsing your hands under hot water for a few seconds will spread warmth to your entire body, regardless of your external temperature.
5. Stay Together
If you live with other family members or friends, avoid splitting up into individual rooms and letting the heat dissipate.
Instead of isolating yourselves, huddle together under a blanket on the couch. Not only will you feel closer together, but your combined body heat will also make the waiting period much more bearable.
Though none of these solutions will fix your heater, knowing how to keep warm in a house without heat can come in handy in an emergency. You'll find that you can have fun and remain safe and comfortable even without a functioning heat system for a little while, at least.
Call a comfort advisor to fix your heating system and diagnose any potential problems to ensure the best performance of your system. With a little ingenuity and professional help, your home will stay the perfect temperature all winter long. For more tips on how to keep your house warm, visit our blog regularly and look through our other posts.