What To Do When Your Furnace Goes Out

Winters in the Northeast can be brutal. If you are unlucky enough to have your furnace break while the temperatures outside are plummeting, here are some steps you can take to make your home more comfortable until repairs can be made. 

If You Smell Gas, Get Out 

If your furnace goes out, your first priority should be identifying if there is a gas leak. If you smell something like rotten eggs or sulfur, you and anyone else in your home should leave the house immediately and call your gas company.

How Do You Know If Your Furnace is Broken? 

It can be tough to know when you need to call in professional help to repair your furnace. If you notice that your home is getting chillier, an important first step is checking to make sure that your furnace is on. Typically, furnaces have will have a switch on the side. Check to make sure the switch wasn’t accidentally turned off. If the switch is turned on, check your electrical panel to confirm that you did not blow a fuse. If you check these items and your furnace still appears to not be functioning, set your thermostat to a different temperature to ensure that is not the issue. If you try all of these items, and your furnace still does not seem to be working, it may be time to call a professional.

How To Keep Warm When Your Furnace Is Out

If your furnace has gone out, there are a couple of ways to stay warm while you wait for it to be repaired. One way is to use a secondary heat source, if you have a safe one in the home. If you have a wood burning fireplace, take advantage of the heat that this can provide, but do so keeping safety precautions in mind. If you do not have a wood burning fireplace, an electric space heater can keep an area of your home warm, just don’t leave it unattended. Remember to place the heater on a level surface, and never place anything on the heater.  Do not use propane or gas heaters meant for outdoor use inside your home, as doing so can create dangerous risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Bundle Up 

If you think your furnace will be out for a while, wear additional layers of clothing. Avoid opening doors to the outside to keep as much warm air in the house as you can. Baking something in the oven can help to heat your kitchen.

Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes 

Ideally, your furnace will be fixed before your home can drop to temperatures that may freeze your pipes. If this is not the case, you can place electric space heaters in areas where you think the pipes would be the most vulnerable, such as the basement. Never leave space heaters unattended. Open cabinet doors to allow the air to circulate around any plumbing.

Protect Your Home 

No one wants to think about a burst pipe in their home and the damage it can cause, but knowing you have home insurance can bring an added peace of mind when emergency situations arise. At Cross Insurance, we work with national carriers as well as local insurers to provide you with options to cover your home. Reach out to one of our offices in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont or Florida to request a quote for your home today.


This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.

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