What to Do if Your Furnace Won’t Heat in the Middle of Winter?
A pair of adult male hands feeling the flow of air coming out of an air vent on a wall near a ceiling. Man with hands in front of an air vent feeling for air flow.

Last Updated on January 8, 2024 by Umer Malik

Did you know that only 37% of US households have a backup plan if their main heating source stops working?

Common furnace issues are a nuisance, but in the winter months, the issue can become more serious. If your furnace won’t heat your home, you need to take action fast to avoid an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous winter.

What are the best things to do to keep yourself (and your family) safe?

Keep reading to figure out what you can do to stay warm when you’re experiencing furnace issues.

Try Troubleshooting the Furnace

The first thing to check is whether a circuit breaker has been tripped. After this, you can see if your thermostat schedule needs to be reset.

Next, look at the filters on your furnace. You want to make sure that there is enough airflow to get through. Last, you want to check the pilot light (on a gas furnace) and the blower motor.

These are all basic things that you can fix on your own to get your furnace back on.

Use a Space Heater

As long as a power outage wasn’t the cause of your furnace issue, you can still access your electricity to make sure that you’re warm at home. If you own a space heater, this is an easy way to keep warm from room to room.

Your whole family can stay warm with the help of a space heater if you use it in a central room, such as the living room. Staying in one spot as a group will help.

Stay Inside

Each time you are opening doors or windows to the outside, you’re letting that cold air in. In the same vein, any heat that has managed to stay in your house will escape at the same time, making things much colder.

Try to make sure that you and everyone else in your household are staying inside as much as possible to avoid this issue.

Dress in Layers

When you don’t have access to your main heat source, you’ll need to wear more clothing to bring your core temperature up. It’s time to break out your winter gloves, hats, and scarves until you can get your home to a more reasonable temperature.

In addition to this, wearing layers under your clothing will also help trap the heat in. This is more effective than just wearing a large sweater or your thickest sweatpants.

Try to Insulate Gaps

If you have a drafty home with a lot of gaps between windows or doors, this is the time to try and fill those to create an insulated room. Much like our recommendation with the space heater, if you stay in one room as much as possible, this will help to create a more comfortable, warm environment.

Use towels and blankets to block any gaps or cracks that you see in these spaces, and hang towels over windows that don’t have any insulation treatment. Close the door to any room that you’re not using.

Light Your Fireplace

Obviously, not all homes have access to a fireplace, but if you do, this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get a home warmed up quickly. Be sure to only use the fireplace in rooms that you’re actively in to avoid any fire hazard concerns.

It is not more efficient to use a fireplace than a furnace, but if you don’t have access to your furnace, your fireplace will make do in the meantime.

Cook or Bake a Little More

While it isn’t a good idea to use your oven simply to heat your home, there is no reason for you to avoid using it when you are dealing with a cold home. Instead, you should try to cook and bake more while you are dealing with a cold home since you have to eat anyway!

Not only is this a simple way to heat up your house, but it’s also a fun way to pass the time while you’re waiting for the heat to come back on.

Contact the Professionals

This tip isn’t going to help you get warm right away. However, if you want to learn more about what is happening with your furnace or even some potentially easy tips on how to fix a furnace, it’s important that you call the pros.

They will help you with the issue better than anyone else and get your furnace back on so that you can warm up your home.

Further, if you need a new furnace, they can give you some great options. For instance, you can find out about Carrier furnace prices and see if they can help you get the installation done sooner rather than later.

Stay Warm When Your Furnace Won’t Heat

Although it can be very difficult to deal with a cold home, when the furnace won’t heat, you have to turn to other methods.

If you have access to space heaters or a fireplace, these are some of the best ways to keep a room warm. Keep together with your family in the same room to avoid opening multiple doors or windows, and make sure that everyone is dressed in layers to add insulation near their bodies.

Keeping yourself warm is possible with a little creativity! If you want some ideas about taking care of your furnace so that it doesn’t break down, check out our home improvement section to get a few tips.

Read more: Six Warm and comfy winter outfit ideas for plus size women