How To Stay Warm When Your Furnace Is Broken

woman freezing cold inside her house due to furnace malfunction

It’s an unfortunate inevitability: Someday, your heater will break down eventually. When that happens, you may need to find some ways to stay warm when your furnace is broken.

Now, maybe in some place that’s just a minor inconvenience. Not in Minnesota, though.  Suburbs such as Burnsville, New Brighton, and Medicine Lake can expect snow on the ground for almost a third of the year. Minneapolis and St. Paul will see sub-zero temperatures for most of the winter. That makes even a day without heat a potential health hazard. And when it’s this cold out, heaters start breaking down left and right. After all, that’s when they’re working the hardest.

That’s why routine maintenance is necessary. Annual inspection and tune-ups help your heater make it all the way through winter. You can also head off any problems before they start.

But, once your unit goes down for the count, it may be a few days before you’re up and running again.

Aquarius Home Services has an excellent reputation in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. You can check out all our great online reviews and A+ Better Business Bureau rating.

And, we offer 24-hour emergency service. That gets a tech out to you quickly as possible. We’ll make sure to get you out of the cold as soon as possible.

In the meantime, however, we want to make sure you can stay warm and safe when the temps really dip.

Bundle up

This is probably the obvious one. But, it’s worth mentioning. And, we’ve got a few ideas you may not have considered.  

Anyway, the first thing to do is bundle up! Now, we’re not saying go straight for your winter parka. But, layers are definitely your friend.

Put on a thermal shirt and a sweater, and keep your shoes on. Wrap yourself in a blanket or duvet if you want.

Now, if you’ve got extra blankets put them on your sofa. That conserves heat when you’re sitting down. And, you’ll be able to move around a little more than if you were wrapped up.

Seal off one room to stay warm when your furnace is broken

A good way to stay warm when your furnace is broken is to seal off one room and stay in there as much as possible. In this case, you’re using people’s body heat to your advantage.

Choose a room where you can remain for as long as possible. Maybe load it up with some books, a laptop, your TV, whatever. Then, seal it off. Put towels under the doors and cover doors and windows with bedding or blankets.

If you’ve got hardwood floors, cover them up! You don’t want the heat to escape through there. And, you’ll want to keep your feet warm. Put down an area rug if you have one. In a pinch, some towels or a blanket will do.

This way, all the heat you and your family generates remains in that room. The smaller the space, the better. That way, the warmth doesn’t travel as far away from you as when it would in a larger area.

In an extreme case, go with an interior bathroom. Those usually have the least amount of heat loss or air leakage. Another option is a basement. The earth around it acts as insulation.

Finally, limit the number of times you leave the room. Every time you open the door, you lose heat. And, you’ll be back out in the cold.

If you have to leave, open the door as little as possible. And, close it right away to stop any more heat from escaping.

Eat, drink and stay toasty

You know, your heater is not the only appliance in your house that generates heat. Cooking is another way you can stay warm when your furnace is broken.

OK, hard stop for a sec: Do NOT just turn on the oven for heat. That’s a good way to start a fire. And, if you’ve got a gas stove, you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when it’s left on, empty and unattended for a very long time.

However, using your oven for cooking helps out in more ways than one. To start off, go with something that takes a while, like a chili or a stew. You’ll move around a bit while preparing it. That will keep your blood circulating, as they say. Then, the oven generates heat while it’s cooking.

Finally, you’ll warm yourself up a little more when you’re eating hot food. And, don’t stop after your meal is done! Coffee, tea, hot chocolate or any warm drink helps keep your body temperature up.

SPACE HEATERS, ELECTRIC BLANKETS, AND HEATING PADS

This one seems obvious. But, it comes with a few caveats. Sure, these will keep you warm. That’s what they’re made to do. But, they’re also risky if you don’t use them properly.

Really, the big problem is leaving these on too long or letting them go unattended. A space heater, for instance, is only made to warm a small area. You can’t expect it to warm the whole house.

One of these works best if you’re keeping to just one area of your home. But, you can’t leave them unattended. It’s a fire hazard. And, pets or small children can get burned if they get too close.

You can run into similar problems with heating pads or electric blankets. As with any electrical appliances, there’s a fire risk. And, if you fall asleep and have them on too high, you can also get burned.

Of course, if your heat is out in the dead of winter, we’re not going to tell you not to plug these in. However, we will ask you to be very careful with them. Make sure you follow the instruction to a T. And, exercise a little extra caution.

Heater repairs are a big enough inconvenience in the winter time. Contact us to be sure you’ll get expert service right away.

Jeff Ericksen
Jeff Ericksen
1717006658
Matt Smith
Matt Smith
1716995221
Sharon Elaine Pudwill
Sharon Elaine Pudwill
1716942491
Both HVAC Technicians (Ethan and Nicholas) were professional and thorough when performing annual AC Service Maintenance
Jerri Turner
Jerri Turner
1716934641
Carol Gooden
Carol Gooden
1716929431
Brad was the lead tech on installing my AC/furnace on May 28, 2024. He was outstanding. Very kind and personable. I couldn’t ask for a better final install. Brad was AMAZING! Thank you so much for a fantastic job.
Susan Tu
Susan Tu
1716924061
Very friendly young man. No pushing to buy more or upgrade any product. He cleaned up every area he worked in.
Lynne Bly
Lynne Bly
1716922742
Great annual check up for our AC system!
Sue Bower
Sue Bower
1716845061
Alec, our technician for this semiannual maintenance check was great! He checked everything thoroughly, documented everything for us, and made a couple of recommendations with no pressure. He also took the time to thoroughly clean the leaves out of our outside AC unit. None of the technicians before him have ever taken the time to do this for us. Extremely impressed with Alec, and his quality workmanship and work ethic. Thanks again Alec!!!
Dale Olson
Dale Olson
1716742254
Great company and fair price. Recommend to all looking for service or upgrade.Wow in and out in less than a day. Brad you were very detailed in all that u did. Replaced heating and air conditioning and the units are so quiet.I am very happy with your work.
Albert Peterson
Albert Peterson
1716679708
The people are incredibly nice. But their prices are insane, they probably give you the best product and best service but you'll pay double for a lot of their services. I also can't recommend their ac/ furnace tune up because it's an absolute rip off. The "6- month guarantee" just means they'll come out for free if your system breaks down in 6 months, that's certainly not worth $250 when even a high end tune up costs about $100 and most go on sales for $50.
Keith Morehead
Keith Morehead
1716654087
Cindy Keating
Cindy Keating
1716601453
My water heater went out 430 pm on Wed, called Aquarius, they had a tech out the next day to replace it! Fortunately they had already quoted a new one. The A Team, Adam and Andrew had it replaced in no time, found a small plumbing problem fixed it and helped me by taking some scrap metal back to the shop for disposal! We will always call Aquarius first!
Martin Ochoa
Martin Ochoa
1716587097
Ronald Prokop
Ronald Prokop
1716585668
From sales to service the most politedown-to-earth people I’ve ever dealt with my life Top Notch quality was above and beyond give me information that he didn’t even know, replaced furnace and AC unit. The cleanliness was impeccable. Kindness was appreciated. Thank you for everything. And one of the installers I went to school with so it was great actually seeing him.
Barb Wilcziek
Barb Wilcziek
1716584871
Alec was great. He performed a thorough inspection of my AC and changed my filters. I’m all set for summer!
Deb Naumann
Deb Naumann
1716582062
Brent Golaski was timely, polite, honest and professional! He repaired our AC unit quickly and charged us extremely fairly. We are quite impressed with Aquarius and will use them again when/if needed. We will also highly recommend them to others who may need HVAC services.Thank you!!
Joserandy Intal
Joserandy Intal
1716581508
Technician is very friendly, knowledgeable
Diane Hageman
Diane Hageman
1716572500
scott albrecht
scott albrecht
1716497294
Technician David was very thorough and professional.
Bruce Burton
Bruce Burton
1716496188
Andrea Rivera
Andrea Rivera
1716425284
Very professional and polite. I never felt in the dark, Nick explained everything so I could understand. I will, for sure, make Aquarius my first call for all my home services.
James Lecuyer
James Lecuyer
1716415402
James Warner
James Warner
1716399596
As always, Aquarius technicians are excellent and professional. They explain things in understandable terms and willing to answer questions. Today Alec was excellent in doing a check of our A/C system.
PJ Jewelle
PJ Jewelle
1716394162
Mike did an EXCELLENT job! I have a very old AC unit and I can’t afford to replace it. I was concerned I had caused the AC to not work when I cleaned it off with a garden hose. He assured me that I didn’t cause it; it was just time for the parts to be replaced. He showed me what he replaced and explained where/how each part failed. I have called on Aquarius Home Service for many things in the last three years and will continue to be a loyal customer. I have referred them to others, as well. I highly recommend!
Mary Marette
Mary Marette
1716341978
Very knowledge, he showed me all that would would need to be done during installation of my heat pump/furnace, etc. answered all my questions. When the electrician was here they were very quiet, showed me the work that is being done. Very respective of my home
Susan Klang
Susan Klang
1716330622
JAMES BOWER
JAMES BOWER
1716326737
Excellent service
Eric Hynnek
Eric Hynnek
1716324973
Nick with Aquarius was great. If possible I wish he serviced our home each and every time.
Connie Dageford
Connie Dageford
1716311934
Nick was extremely professional and thorough. We appreciate the service he provided!
Ryan Lill
Ryan Lill
1716306904
Matt Mellenthin
Matt Mellenthin
1716304530
Robert Partyka
Robert Partyka
1716267917
The technician was excellent
Robert Martin
Robert Martin
1716245744
Aquarious is my go-to when I’ve got issues in the house. Brandon was fantastic, thorough and informative. Solved an air flow problem with adjustments I didn’t even know I could do.
mary bond
mary bond
1716234670
Our water heater went out on Fri evening. We called Aquarius early Sat morning and they said earliest they could get out was Mon. On Sun I received a text confirming our Mon appointment but on Mon morning they called and said the earliest they could get to us was the following week !We should be without hot water till then ? We are not a new customer…. 5 months previously we had a new furnace and air conditioner installed at quite an expense. I am appalled at their service or rather lack there of ! As an established customer they felt waiting approximately 10days without water was acceptable Bad, Bad, Bad !
Karen Harshbarger
Karen Harshbarger
1716223680
2022 and 2023 Annual furnace and air tune-ups performed by Brandon and Nicholas, as well as our 2024 annual air conditioner tuneup by Ethan EXCEEDED our expectations - very professional, accommodating and thorough, always take time to debrief, go the extra mile and provide maintenance tips. THANK YOU for taking care of our home.
Andrea Chung
Andrea Chung
1716220631
Nick was very patient and helpful while he was doing a maintenance routine tune-up for the furnace and A/C!
Mark Blomgren
Mark Blomgren
1716219435
Explained everything well
gino hebzynski
gino hebzynski
1716164964
The service rep, Alec was excellant, very efficient, courteous and informative.
D Ringler
D Ringler
1716145650
We have had Aquarius out for several jobs and they have done an outstanding job. This was with Paul and AJ for some exterior electrical work. Installed a fan on our covered porch and two additional outlets. Paul thought of going through the attic to install the fan so we did not need to have any exterior conduit showing. We will definitely have them out as our service needs dictate.
Haley Lasché
Haley Lasché
1716002159
We had an excellent experience with Aquarius. Our plumber, Erik, was efficient and thorough. He made a complete assessment and gave me different options for the repairs I could make. He also prepared me for the costs of the repairs we knew we needed to make now as well as the repairs we will likely need to make in the future. I felt like I was able to make a good choice about what needed to be done today, and I’m ready for what to expect in the coming years as we care for and repair the 75-year-old house we love so much. I will absolutely use them again.
James Pike
James Pike
1715985966
Brad and his crew did an outstanding job and were very informative walking through the system. You should be proud to have those 4 men working for you.
Ronald Peterson
Ronald Peterson
1715970709
Problem solved. Simple error on our part with the power switch turned off by mistake. Quick effective service.
Donn Satrom
Donn Satrom
1715916044
Wanda Bester
Wanda Bester
1715915730
Excellent!!
Jon Roloff
Jon Roloff
1715893001
Christopher Eggert
Christopher Eggert
1715885010
Had a very good experience with our plumbing needs as our service technician Gordy was very knowledgeable and provided solutions for our plumbing issue. Gordy also identified a couple of potential future issues and provided options and bids for those as well.I would recommend Aquarius Home Services to others based on my personal experience
vivek javangula
vivek javangula
1715805530
Nick visited my home today for an AC tuneup, he certainly did a great job beyond expectations and explained how to take better care of my furnace unit and AC unit. Hands down the best
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