10 Things to Keep in Mind About Emergency Heat

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Things to Keep in Mind About Emergency Heat

The winter season has arrived, bringing with it snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. A power outage caused by inclement weather is one possibility during the winter months. If an HVAC system heats your home, you should be prepared to deal with an emergency if one occurs. If you are a homeowner who relies on an HVAC system for heat in your home, there’s something important to know about when the power goes out: how to use the emergency heat switch! Whether you’re a homeowner or not, this guide will explain everything you need to know about using the emergency heat switch and any HVAC Cedar Hill TX issue that arises from it.

What is Emergency Heat?

Emergency heat is when your furnace or boiler switches into a heating mode that uses natural gas instead of electricity. When the power goes out, you’ll need to rely on this backup system in order for your home’s temperature not to plummet and become unbearably cold. The emergency heat switch is designed to activate when the temperature drops below a certain level.

If you’re a homeowner, your furnace should have an emergency heat switch to make sure that everyone in the house stays warm. If it doesn’t, the furnace may have to be upgraded to support running with an emergency heat switch.

If you’re a renter, your landlord should have the system set up so that when there is no power or if someone turns off their circuit breaker by accident, they can easily turn on the gas and use this alternate system. If not, then you should call your landlord and notify them of the situation.

Many local municipalities require home heating systems to be equipped with emergency heat switches, as it’s a definite safety concern. If your power goes out and you don’t have an emergency heat switch, nothing is stopping the temperature from plummeting to below freezing levels. This can be extremely dangerous for those who do not know how to build fires or use alternative heating methods such as kerosene lamps or portable heaters.

When Should I Use Emergency Heat?

Emergency Heat should only be used when the heating system has lost its ability to maintain a constant temperature. It is not intended for extended use. If you have been using Emergency Heat, you may need to get your furnace serviced or repaired before turning it back on again. You can also contact an HVAC Cedar Hill TX professional if there are other problems with your heating system.

When Should I Not Use Emergency Heat?

Emergency heat is an extreme measure to take, so you should only turn it on if the furnace has completely stopped working and there are no other options for staying warm in your home. If you have another source of warmth (such as a fireplace), you may not need to use emergency heat. This can cause your system to overheat, which will result in further damage.

How Do I Use Emergency Heat?

If you need to turn on the emergency heat switch on the furnace, locate it and flip it up or down, depending on how much warmth is needed. Your family may also want to wear extra layers of clothing until the power comes back on.

What Should I do if the Emergency Heat Switch Does Not Work?

If you have tried to use your emergency heat switch and it has failed, first make sure that you are using a working energy source (such as a generator) or other forms of heating equipment such as an electric heater. If all else fails, contact a professional HVAC company to ensure that your furnace is safe.

Ten things to keep in mind about emergency heat:

  1. When the heating system has lost its ability to maintain a constant temperature, the emergency heat switch will kick in. It is important to know how this mechanism works and what you can do about it. 
  2. What constitutes an emergency? This may vary from household to household but ranges from a power outage due to bad weather or if someone has fallen ill and cannot sustain their body temperature.
  3. When the emergency heat switch is activated, you should be aware of any indication that it has been activated. This will either come through a loud noise or an irregular ticking sound coming from your furnace’s fan blades.
  4. Know where your circuit breaker for your furnace is located in case you need to shut off electrical power to your furnace when the emergency heat switch has been activated.
  5. Know where your unit’s thermostat is located and what you should do in case it experiences a power outage with no indication that the emergency switch has been engaged. This will be most likely if there is a loss of power to your home, but not necessarily only from bad weather.
  6. It is important to know that the emergency heat switch will only provide sufficient power for your furnace to run for a limited time, so you may need to prepare yourself if heating is still required after this limit has been reached.
  7. Know what you should do in case someone falls ill and cannot maintain their body temperature or if there are children or pets in your home. If you have a fireplace, make sure to keep it well-stocked with wood and never leave it unattended while someone is using the space heater as a backup source of heat for their room.
  8. Know what your home’s temperature is when you have no heat and what kind of preparations to make if it drops below a certain threshold (like keeping an emergency kit stocked).
  9. If someone in your household has allergies or sensitivities that colder temperatures may exacerbate, know where their medications are stored and how to turn on their humidifier. 
  10. Know where your backup heat sources are in case the emergency heat switch fails or is not activated when it should be, like having a fireplace stocked with wood and ready for use at all times, keeping an oven preheated just enough so that if you need to seal off its vents but leave the pilot light on to maintain a small amount of heat, and keeping your backup space heater plugged in at all times.

Providing Emergency HVAC Service for any Situation

Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling, and Heating is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No matter what time of day it is or how serious the emergency is, our team will always be available to assist with any HVAC Cedar Hill TX issue that may arise. We have technicians on call who are available at all hours of the day and night to assist you. You won’t be left in discomfort during the cold winter months because we provide a wide range of services such as repairs, replacements, installations, maintenance plans, and more! Get in touch with us today to learn more about what we have to offer.

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