Did you have a boiler inspection done this fall? No judgments. If you didn’t, you might make it through the cold winter without your boiler failing. Lots of people neglect a boiler inspection and survive just fine. On the other hand, every winter, we meet tons of homeowners with dead boilers who wish they had gotten an inspection and tuneup
For most people, no heat just makes for a miserable experience. For people with pre-existing heart and respiratory conditions, being trapped in a cold house is a potential life and death danger.
Our first and best piece of advice is to get a boiler inspection to ensure your heat stays on.
However, if it’s loo late and you’re curled under a blanket desperately trying to stay warm, we have some tips to ease your pain — before we arrive to resuscitate your boiler.
Read on for 5 tips to try — and 1 thing to NEVER do.
Keep Warm Tips
1. Dress smart, including socks and gloves
With the boiler dead and the temperature dropping steadily, the last thing you want to do is venture outside. However, if you dress like you’re about to head out on a winter expedition you’ll feel a bit warmer in your home.
In fact, you lose the majority of body heat through your hands and feet. So make sure to wear your socks and slippers and even put on a pair of gloves.
In general, just dress warmly and you’ll make the experience more tolerable—for however long or short it lasts.
2. Block drafts to the outside
With your boiler dead-as-a-doornail you don’t have the ability to heat your home, so you need to keep any heat trapped inside. One of the best ways to do that is block obvious drafts from the outside.
The bottom of any door frames are one of the biggest draft points you need to block ASAP.
You don’t need anything fancy or official to do the job. A dense, insulated material is all it takes.
To block door frame drafts, you can use:
- A Pool Noodle
3. Plastic wrap windows but leave blinds open (daytime)
Your windows let in sunlight, which provides a small amount of heat—a win when you have a dead boiler. On the other hand, because they are not insulated and made of glass, windows let out a large amount of heat.
Treat your windows like dinner leftovers and wrap them in with ordinary plastic wrap. You’ll seal the heat in your house while still allowing the rays of the sun to let in some heat.
Even when you get your boiler repaired, leave the plastic wrap on your windows. This tip can help you save money on your energy bill— all winter long.
4. Cook a hot meal and drink a hot beverage
Speaking of dinner, cook a hot meal—you’ll stay warm in more ways than one. Eating a hot meal and drinking a hot beverage warms up your core body temperature. Plus, cooking with your oven safely provides ambient heat for your home.
5. Stick together
When dealing with the misery of a dead boiler, doing it together as a family is your best bet. If everyone stays in one room, your combined body heat will help to keep everyone feeling warm.
Important: NEVER DO THIS TO STAY WARM
While keeping warm feels extremely important, you should never do something dangerous or possibly deadly to stay warm.
NEVER use your oven to heat your home. Remember tip #4? We said cooking food lets you enjoy the heat of the oven safely. Leaving your oven open will provide heat for your home — but at a terrible risk.
Running the oven with the door open releases the odorless, deadly gas carbon monoxide into your home. Displacing oxygen needed in your brain, carbon monoxide kills hundreds and injures thousands of Americans every year— so no matter how cold you feel, don’t risk it!
No Heat Frozen Pipe Prevention
One other danger that a dead boiler and no heat poses: frozen pipes. Sure, you feel miserable when you’re freezing in your own home, but how much worse would you feel if your pipes burst, spilling thousands of gallons of water? Yeah, that would be costly — $20,000 is an average burst pipe repair bill!
Plummeting indoor temperatures can lead to the disaster of frozen and eventually burst pipes.
You can still try to stave off this disaster, while you wait for the plumber to arrive to fix your boiler.
First, open the bathroom cabinet doors to keep your pipes exposed to room temperature air. Even though your home’s temperature is dropping, it will still be warmer than the outside.
Next, make sure you leave your faucets trickling until your boiler is restored.
If you decided to do without a boiler tuneup to save money, just remember that you’re taking a $20,000+ gamble.
Don’t make the same mistake when it comes to your heat — bring out an expert Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Pleasantville plumber to fix your boiler and bring back your heat.
Staying warm when you lose your boiler is your top priority—follow the above tips to stay as warm as possible. You also know that you should NEVER run your oven with the door open to stay warm — no matter how cold it gets.
If you’re thinking about how miserable it would feel to spend a winter’s day without heat, we can help—it’s not too late to schedule a boiler tuneup with one of our experts.
Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Pleasantville at (609) 604-8364 to schedule a boiler tuneup, to fix your dead boiler, and for all of your plumbing needs.