How to Stay Warm When Your Heater Breaks

Wintertime always comes with its unique challenges, whether you like the season or not. However, there’s one thing that most people have in common— a dislike of being cold. And when your heater breaks down in the middle of the winter months, this can be a pain. But don’t worry, there are ways to keep yourself toasty even if this happens!

1. Stay Within Smaller Rooms

It’s much easier to warm up a smaller room without using your heater, so make sure you stick to the areas in your home that have less square footage. You will notice a difference in temperature quicker there than in a larger room.

2. Close the Doors

Make sure to close the doors to any room you are in. This includes closets, storage or crawl spaces, and guest rooms not currently occupied. You should also close the vents in those rooms to prevent further air seepage. This prevents any remaining warmth from escaping into other parts of the house, and you can focus on only heating one room. 

3. Close Your Curtains

Additionally, it’s important to shut the curtains in your home to keep out any drafts and prevent heat from escaping. It might seem like a small step, but closing your windows treatments will help keep you warm!

4. Cover up the Cracks Around Doors & Windows

Grab some towels and roll them up to create homemade insulators that can be pushed against the bottom of closed doors, or for better protection, invest in some professional draft excluders.

You should also address any cracks or gaps in your windows, especially if you live in an older home. These can be plugged with strips of window sealant tape or even more towels strategically placed to insulate the cracks.

5. Layer on the Layers

Anyone who has gone on an outdoor adventure during a cold, wintertime day knows the benefits of layering clothes. And it also works when you are at home without a working heater.

Layer on the undergarments such as thermal leggings, sweaters, and more. You can even wear a hat, scarf, and mittens around the house if you’re still cold!

6. Turn On an Electric Blanket

One of the best investments for anyone living in a location where temperatures can fall drastically is an electric blanket.

And if you own one when the heat goes out, you will barely notice a difference! Just make sure to turn off these types of blankets when sleeping and keep an eye on the cable for overheating.

7. Dig Out Some Sleeping Bags

If you have any good camping supplies like high-quality sleeping bags, now is the time to dig them out of storage! Swaddle yourself up and use the room as a pretend campsite by eating marshmallows and watching YouTube fireplace videos.

8. Snuggle up in Some Flannel or Fleece Sheets

It’s a good idea to have a set or two of sheets made of flannel or fleece for the cold weather. When your heater breaks, pull out your winter sheets and wrap yourself up in some soft and warm bedding.

9. Cuddle With Your Pets

Who doesn’t love a reason to sit down and give your furry friends a cuddle? Pets are a great source of warmth and comfort when cold, and the heater is broken. Plus, it’s an excuse to drape your cats or dogs over you and have a nice nap!

10. Fill up Hot Water Bottles

This is an excellent trick for sleeping when the heat is out. When lying down for long periods and not moving, your body will get much colder. Combat this by filling up hot water bottles and hugging them close all night long.

11. Do the Laundry

Not only will the process of collecting dirty clothes and getting them into the wash help warm you up, but the machine itself will help contribute to heating the house a bit as it does its wash and dry cycles.

Plus, when the laundry is done, you can bury yourself in those fresh linens and clothes as they come right out of the dryer!

12. Get Moving

Whatever you choose to do, getting your body moving is a sure-fire way to warm up and get the blood pumping.

Go for a run with your dog, do some aerobic exercises in your living room, play tag with the kids in the backyard, or even have a dance party all to yourself— they’re all great ways to kickstart your body into heating itself up.

13. Drink Something Hot

Warm yourself up from the inside out when your heater breaks with a nice, hot cup of something. It’s one of the best ways to get warm fast, and there’s nothing quite like wrapping your fingers around a steaming mug of goodness.

Put some hot chocolate mix in a pot, boil your tea kettle and select your favorite Earl Grey, or grab some whiskey and honey for a Hot Toddy that will be sure to drive the shivers and blues away.

14. Eat Some Hot Food

A bowl of hot soup or another warm dish is another great way to beat the chill of a broken heater. If you enjoy the tang of spicy foods, try eating something with plenty of chili flakes to add some extra zing to your meal, like spicy noodles.

15. Leave the Oven Open After You Are Done Using It

If you have decided to roast or bake something in the oven, make sure you leave the door open after turning it off and taking out your food. This will add a shocking amount of heat to the kitchen without worrying about wasted energy.

16. Use Portable Electric Heaters

When your heater breaks down, it’s time to pull out the portable ones! It’s a good idea to always have one or two electric heaters in your house for such occasions, as they will quickly warm up a room and keep you feeling nice and toasty.

17. Light a Fire

If you have the ability, lighting a fire is a great way to warm up your home without electric heating. Fireplaces are perfect for this, and getting a log crackling in the hearth not only produces heat but also creates a comforting sound and smell.

But for those without indoor wood hearths, try an electric fireplace that will still generate heat or light a fire in a backyard fire pit and gather around that instead.

18. Burn Candles

Channel your inner Victorian-era self and light some candles. While they are not likely to warm an entire house, if you spark up enough in the room that you’re in, you should notice some temperature difference— and the aesthetic is wonderful!

19. Turn On the Lights

It might seem silly, but lightbulbs (particularly the incandescent ones) can actually generate enough energy to give off heat. This likely isn’t enough to heat an entire room on its own, but it can help increase the temperatures a bit.

20. Put Down Some Area Rugs for Heat

Wooden, tile, and even laminate floors are notoriously cold on the feet, as anyone who gets up on a cold winter morning without socks or slippers can attest.

Roll out some area rugs and cover up as much hard flooring as possible to avoid chilly toes when your heater breaks. This will help insulate rooms and prevent your feet from getting too cold as you walk around the house.

21. Put the Kettle on & Boil Water for a Bath

If your heater breaks and it controls your hot water boiler, another good option is to put your kettle on and boil enough water for a nice, hot bath. Just make sure to add enough cool water, so you don’t scald yourself when getting in!

22. Schedule Your Heater Repairs

As you wrap up in blankets and drink something warm, don’t forget to call a repair specialist for your heater. It can sometimes take a couple of days for them to fit you in, so get the process started as soon as possible.

23. Warm Up Knowing Your House Is Insured

When the heater breaks, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not the rest of your home is covered for damages or accidents. You want to focus on warming up your feet and fingers and making some warm drinks!

To give yourself peace of mind whether the heater is working or not, make sure you talk to your insurance agent about a comprehensive homeowner’s insurance policy that can cover a wide variety of incidents and be tailored to fit your budget.

With the right insurance, you can protect yourself, your home, and possibly that pesky heater from a range of damages, disasters, accidents, and even theft!