How cold will my house get without heat?

Living with heat is more or less the normal thing. But it does happen that you may go without heat for one reason or the other. So, how cold will your house get without heat?

Your house starts losing its warmth as soon as the heat goes off. But factors such as outdoor and indoor temperature, the presence of a basement, and insulation determine how cold it gets. To keep it warm without heat; close entry points, use curtains, lock unused rooms, and dress for the outdoor.

It’s uncommon not to have heat in your house, especially during the winter. But natural disasters could lead to loss of power, or economic conditions could make it difficult to afford energy bills. Knowing how to keep your home warm without heat saves you from freezing. Here, we discuss how cold your house can get without heat.

How long will the House Stay Warm Without Heat?

Going without heat can be very uncomfortable, but it’s not strange. In fact, it happens more than imagined. It could be due to a loss of power that can last from a few hours to as many as multiple days. This situation is quite uncomfortable if it happens during the warmer months. But that means your house won’t get cold, at least not during the day. It’s during winter that not having heat becomes a serious problem. Generally, the average home will start losing its heat immediately heat goes off. But it’ll remain warm for 8 – 12 hours as it cools off gradually. Thus, you can expect the house to get almost as cold as the outdoor temperature after about a day or two unless you make conscious efforts to block the outdoor temperature from getting in.

Factors that Determine How Cold Your House Gets Without Heat

Several factors will determine how cold the house gets and how long it’ll take for the house to get cold when the heat is off. They include:

1.      Temperature Outside

The temperature outside will determine how soon your house gets cold and how cold it gets. This explains why you may feel warm or hot inside when you don’t use heat during winter afternoons when the sun is out. Conversely, if the temperature is very cold, you can expect the indoor temperature to get colder faster.

2.      Indoor Temperature When Heat Stooped

The temperature inside will also determine how long your home will stay warm after the heat is cut off. If the home is already cold when the heat goes off, you can expect it to get colder faster. The indoor temperature also drops faster at night, and you could lose around 15 degrees Farheint in just a night. Part of the factors that affect indoor temperature is the number of people within a space. The human body generates heat, and the more people within a space, the slower the place will get cold.

3.      Home Insulation

The insulation of the house affects how cold it gets. This keeps the warmth in and controls how much cold air gets in from getting inside. Thus, a properly insulated house won’t get cold as fast as a poorly insulated one. Of course, if the heat is off for a very long time, it’ll eventually get as cold as the outdoor. But the hope is that the power will come back before that happens. Part of what improves insulation has south-facing glass in your apartment, which can generate solar heating that warms up the space. This is why attic insulation is very important since warm air rises, which means it could escape through the attic.

4.      Presence of Crawl space and Basement

A house with a basement or crawl space will get cold at a slower pace than one that doesn’t. The ground is usually warmer in the winter, which means this part of the house will be much warmer than other areas. That’s why it’s advisable to stay in the basement in the winter when there’s no heat, and it helps to lock out this part from the rest of the house so that the temperature of the rest of the house won’t affect it.

How To Keep Your House Warm Without Heat

If for any reason, you don’t have heat, you can still manage to keep your house warm by trying different methods. These include:

1.      Close The Windows and Doors

The first step should be to close all the windows in the house except when the temperature outside is higher than the one inside. It helps if you have storm windows in the house and ensure they’re airtight. Most time, cold air can still get in through leaks around the windows and doors, and before you know it, your house is cold even with the doors and windows locked. You can get removable plastic or window caulk to seal off any leaks in the window and add door sweep or weather stripping to the doors to ensure that cold air doesn’t get in. At least use towels to cover these leaks. If the heat is off due to power going down, it helps to select a particular room where everyone in the family will stay so that you can retain the heat in that room. This might be a good time to set up a tent if you have one.

2.      Use Curtains

You can also add transparent curtains to the windows to keep out the cold but allow the sun’s warmth to enter your house. Another option is to use plastic sheets for your windows. Heavy curtains will prevent heavy drafts of air from getting into the house.

3.      Make Sure Your House Has All the Possible Exposure to Sunlight

If you don’t have heat for a long time and rely on natural sunshine, you should try as much as possible to get as much sunlight into the house during the daytime. Remove every obstruction that could prevent sun rays from getting to the house during the day. With proper insulation, you can retain all the heat you get during the day for a longer time.

4.      Close Any Unused Room and Use Carpets

Another way to retain warmth inside the house is to reduce the air circulation indoors. You can do this by closing off any room you’re not using. Such a room will retain its temperature, and any cold air inside won’t get outside. It also helps to use carpets and rugs indoors to reduce heat loss through the floor. In addition, they’re warmer than stone or wood.

5.      Dress Like You’re Going Out

If the heat going off is due to an emergency, you should prepare for it like one. In this case, you should dress as if you’re going outdoors. This enables you to stay warm, which is easier than getting warm. Wear suitable materials, avoid cotton and make sure not to shower.

In Conclusion

Staying warm is essential to staying alive. So it’s important to keep your house warm enough at all times. While your electric heater will do this for you normally, it’s also important to know how to keep your home warm when you can’t rely on an electric heater.