10 Tips to Stay Warm When Your Furnace is Broken

man weather stripping a window

Imagine this: snow is gently falling outside, the world is blanketed in white, and just as you’re settling in for a cozy evening, you realize your furnace is broken. Panic sets in as the cold starts to creep through the gaps. But don’t despair! Even if your furnace has given up, there are still plenty of ways to keep your home warm and toasty. From sealing your home to using portable heaters, we’ve got the solutions to keep you snug and warm. Here’s 10 tips to stay warm when your furnace is broken.

1. Fortify Your Home Against Winter’s Chill

Weather Stripping

Weather stripping refers to the process or material used to seal gaps around windows, doors, and other openings in your home to prevent drafts and keep the interior warm. Think of it as your home’s winter scarf. Just as you wrap a scarf around your neck to fend off the cold, weather stripping acts as a protective barrier against those sneaky drafts that try to creep in. It’s a simple yet effective way to ensure your home remains a cozy haven.


Ever noticed those minuscule cracks and gaps around your home’s windows and doors? They might seem insignificant, but they’re practically invitations for cold air. By sealing them with caulk, you’re essentially shutting the windows on winter’s face, ensuring your home’s warmth remains undisturbed.

2. Discover the Power of Alternative Heating

space heater placed in a room
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Space Heaters

Portable heaters, often referred to as space heaters, are incredibly versatile. Whether you’re looking to warm up a chilly bathroom in the morning or give your bedroom an extra boost of warmth at night, these heaters can be moved to where you need them most.

Safety tip: While space heaters are incredibly useful, it’s essential to use them safely. Always ensure they’re placed on a stable surface away from flammable materials, and never leave them unattended.

3. Dress Smart, Stay Warm

Layer Up

Begin with a snug long sleeve shirt, layer on a cozy sweater, consider a warming vest, and crown it with a protective jacket. The art of layering is your best bet against the cold, effectively trapping your body heat.

Blankets and Sleeping Bags

These aren’t just camping essentials. In the heart of winter, they transform into your nighttime allies. Drape a blanket over you while watching TV or snuggle into a sleeping bag for an added layer of warmth during frosty nights.

4. Stylish Floor Solutions for Wintry Days

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Area Rugs

While hardwood floors are a visual treat, they can be a tactile nightmare in the cold months. Enter area rugs. Not only do they infuse your space with style and personality, but they also serve as a warm cushion against the cold beneath your feet.

5. Ignite Warmth From Within

Hot Beverages

There’s nothing like cradling a mug of hot chocolate, tea, or even simple hot water. Each sip is like a warm hug, gradually raising your body’s temperature and spirits.

Hot Food

Dive into bowls of comforting soups, hearty stews, or any steaming meal. They don’t just satiate your hunger but also envelop you in a cocoon of warmth and contentment. Baking in the oven also has the added perk of heating up your kitchen!

6. Strategically Heat Your Living Spaces

Draft Stoppers on door of a room
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Zone Off Unused Areas

It’s all about being smart with where you direct your warmth. By simply closing doors to rooms that aren’t in use, you channel the heat to where you need it most. This not only ensures the spaces you frequent are toasty but also conserves energy and reduces heat wastage.

Use Draft Stoppers

Implementing draft stoppers or even simple rolled-up towels at the base of doors can be a game-changer, preventing the sneaky cold air from entering and ensuring the warmth you’ve built up stays put.

7. Mobile Heat Solutions

Heating Pads and Hand Warmers

These aren’t just your winter outdoor companions or relief for aching muscles. Imagine them as pocket-sized heaters. Whether you’re reading in your favorite chair or doing chores, they offer a burst of warmth right when and where you need it.

Electric Blankets

These are not just for bedtime. Drape one around you while seated for a cocoon of warmth or lay it on your bed before sleep to ensure a toasty slumber.

Warm Clothing

Investing in items like thermal socks, gloves, and snug hats can make a world of difference, providing an added layer of warmth even within the confines of your home.

Microwavable Rice Heating Packs

Microwavable rice heating packs have become a popular and versatile tool for providing warmth and relief to sore muscles. Made from simple materials, often just a fabric pouch filled with uncooked rice, these packs can be heated in the microwave and then applied to the body. 

8. The Versatility of Hot Water

ill man with hot water bottle suffering with cold
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Maximize Your Water Heater

When the furnace goes on a hiatus, your water heater steps into the limelight. It’s not just about hot showers. Fill up hot water bottles and let them be your personal heaters, whether you’re snuggling in bed or lounging on the sofa.

Warm Compresses

A simple towel soaked in hot water, wrung out, and placed on your neck or lap can be a surprisingly effective method to spread warmth throughout your body.

Hot Foot Soak

A basin filled with hot water can be a mini spa treatment. Soaking your feet not only warms them but also offers a relaxing break from the cold.

9. The Air Conditioner’s Hidden Talent

Heating Capabilities

Some of today’s air conditioning units are dual-purpose, equipped with a heating feature. This can offer a comforting layer of warmth, especially when the main heating system is down.

Regular Maintenance

Keeping your air conditioner’s filters clean and ensuring the system undergoes routine maintenance checks can optimize its efficiency, whether you’re cooling down or warming up.

Optimal Settings

Dive into your air conditioner’s manual or settings. Using the right mode and temperature can efficiently warm your space without straining the system or hiking up energy bills.

10. Embrace Social Warmth: Stay Active and Celebrate Together

Dance It Out

Put on your favorite playlist and dance around. Moving to the rhythm not only lifts your spirits but also generates body heat. It’s a fun way to stay warm and boost your mood simultaneously.

Indoor Activities and Exercise

Engage in indoor games, simple home workouts, or even yoga. Regular exercise not only keeps you fit but also helps in maintaining and elevating body temperature.

Host a Gathering

Invite friends or family over for a casual get-together or party. The combined body heat and energy from social interactions can naturally warm up your living space. Sharing stories and laughter can make even the coldest nights feel warmer.

FAQ About Efficient Heating Solutions for Homeowners

What’s the difference between a space heater and a radiator? Which one is better for my home?

Space heaters provide quick, targeted warmth using electricity, while radiators offer consistent, longer-lasting heat and can be electric or water-based. The best choice depends on whether you need instant heat or sustained warmth. Consider room size and heating duration when deciding.

How can I ensure that my portable heater or space heater is safe to use?

Always place space heaters on stable surfaces away from flammables. Opt for models with safety features like tip-over protection. Regularly inspect for cord damage and never leave them unattended. 

How can I maximize the efficiency of my air conditioner’s heating function?

Ensure clean or replaced filters for smooth airflow. Seal home gaps to prevent heat loss. Schedule regular maintenance checks for optimal unit functioning.

How do I know if my home has adequate ventilation when using alternative heating sources?

Regularly clean vents and chimneys and ensure rooms using heaters have airflow. Install and check carbon monoxide detectors. If you feel dizzy or nauseous, seek fresh air and medical attention.

Seal the Warmth: Your Next Steps in Home Heating

In the journey of mastering home warmth, knowledge is your first line of defense against the biting cold. But while DIY tips and tricks can offer temporary solutions, nothing beats the expertise of a professional. 

If you’re looking to optimize your home’s heating, ensure safety, and enjoy a cozy environment regardless of the season, it’s time to take the next step. Reach out to trusted HVAC professionals today. They’ll not only address furnace repairs and your immediate concerns, but will also provide long-term strategies to keep your home comfortably warm. Don’t leave your comfort to chance; let the experts guide you to a toastier tomorrow.

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Rela Catucod

Rela Catucod is a dedicated writer with a love for DIY projects. Her hands-on approach to home improvement means she's always eager to learn and share how to fix common household issues. From patching up walls to unclogging drains, Rela enjoys empowering others with practical home solutions.