Being without central heating and hot water is the last thing you want in the cold weather. Unfortunately, boilers have a bad habit of breaking down exactly when the temperature begins to drop. It’s no fun sitting around in a cold home, so while you wait for an engineer to come out and fix the boiler, here are the ten best ways to keep you toasty. 


No rocket science here. If your central heating is on the blink, the easiest way to add warmth is to fire up an electric heater or two. There are a range of types of heater that are good for different things.

If you just need a quick blast of heat in a room you can use a halogen or fan heater, whereas if you’re warming a room for the whole day it’s better to use a convection heater or an electric radiator as they hold their heat for longer. However, it’s worth noting that excessive use of electric heaters can lead to an unpleasant electricity bill and there are plenty of other ways to keep warm.

Keep the heat in

When you’re without central heating you need to keep hold of any residual heat you can. Draw the curtains and use draught excluders (a rolled up towel is afine makeshift alternative) to make sure the heat stays where you need it. 

The art of layering

Retaining body heat is important and the best way to do it is through wearing more clothes. A jumpers and a woolly hat are a must, and you need to protect your extremities too. Fingers and toes get cold because blood syphons away from them to keep the vital organs warm, so pull on some gloves and wear an extra pair of socks.


The blanket is your new best friend. It can come with you wherever you go and will keep you warm whether you’re watching TV or lying in bed.

Hot water bottle

Don’t forget a hot water bottle either. A portable mini radiator, there’s nothing more comforting in the cold. It’s an absolute must when you go to bed but can be used throughout the day as well. 

Electric blanket

Everyone loves a nice warm bedroom to drift off to sleep in – but this becomes a big problem when the boiler breaks down. This is because you’ll probably have been heating the lounge or another large room during the day and the bedroom will just be sitting in the cold. In this case it’s a great plan to invest in an electric blanket. Rather than going through the lengthy process of heating up the whole bedroom with heaters you can simply turn on the electric blanket to heat the bed.

Double up your duvets

Aficionados of the tog rating system will know that not all duvets are created equal. A good winter duvet is at least 12 tog, so you should definitely buy yourself a new one if you’ve still using your summer duvet. Better yet, buy a new one and use both for an extra layer of comfort. 

Invite people round

This might not sound like a brilliant idea with your heating out, but remember that having more people in a room will warm it up. Your family and friends will have a great time, and they never have to know they are simply pawns in your scheme to heat up your home.

Hot meals and drinks

It doesn’t matter if you’re on a healthy eating regime:chuck that salad. You need warm, hearty stuff when your home is cold.  

Get it repaired as soon as possible

Clearly the best way to warm up in the event of a broken boiler is to get it fixed as soon as possible. Working on a gas boiler without the accreditation to do so can be both dangerous and illegal, so make sure you call out a Gas Safe-registered engineer.  

You should also consider whether now is the right time to have your boiler replaced. If breakdowns are becoming a regular problem or you’ve had the boiler for a long time you’ll definitely feel the benefit of a replacement. Modern boilers are more efficient and economical, so it’ll save you money in the long term too.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Sussex-based specialist BSW Energy, who were consulted over the information contained in this post.