After my experience with our central heating breaking down last Friday night, I can confirm that it isn’t a pleasant experience to spend 24 hours without heating in the company of two sniffly children, a whingey husband and a dog who hates the cold!
I did learn a few things from my experience though and I thought you’d be grateful for my little pearls of wisdom so you’ll know exactly what to do when the heating isn’t working in your house.
First of all, hot chocolate can pretty much stop all whinging immediately so make sure you always have some in your cupboard. Squirty cream and marshmallows help a lot too.
(I know I used this photo the other day but I don’t think you can ever have too many gratuitous shots of hot chocolate 😉
Secondly, if you don’t have boiler insurance (which I now strongly recommend and will be getting myself) you can expect to have to go through your phonebook and be told that everyone’s busy for at least a day or two – including those who offer 24 hour emergency call out! Pretty much the only people who you can get to come out straight away will charge you the earth because they know you’re desperate. Most quotes we got were £129 upwards from the larger firms who have someone available straight away. More expensive as it was weekend AND after hours but still! As it was the people we booked for the small fortune rang us up to tell us that they couldn’t make it until Monday as they were held up at their previous job which was turning into a disaster apparently and by some miracle we then somehow managed to get through to a lovely one man business and someone was with us within the hour for £40 so please, please ring around – no matter how desperate you are!
And if you do have to spend time with no heating you need to make sure that you retain every single degree of heat that you can in the house. Close all curtains and blinds and make sure that any draught, no matter how small, is blocked. Mr Frugal even put towels down in front of our front and back doors to try and keep as much heat in as possible.
My next suggestion would be blankets – lots of!
We brought all our blankets downstairs and snuggled up watching movies until bedtime and as long as you don’t need to leave the warmth of the blanket for a toilet break and you’re not sent to a kitchen as cold as Siberia to make more hot chocolate, you’ll be fine snuggled up under them.
A hot water bottle under your quilt before bedtime will make getting into bed a much nicer experience and if you’ve only got one, just stagger bedtimes a little bit. Even five minutes under the quilt is enough to take the chill off.
There’s lots of tips here to keep warm without heating that might help you a little bit as well.
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