You rely on your furnace to supply your house with heat in the midst of winder. Unfortunately, your furnace can sometimes break due to unforeseen circumstances. Until you're able to get it repaired, you'll need to take steps to ensure your safety and comfort. Here are four things you should do if your furnace unexpectedly stops functioning:

1. Call a furnace repair service.

Call a furnace repair service as soon as possible to schedule a furnace repair appointment. Some repair companies make house calls 24/7, but in case you can't get your furnace repaired right away, you should still call to leave a message. The sooner you contact your repair service, the sooner they can fit you into their schedule.

2. Utilize your own body heat.

Your body heat is one of your best defenses against the winter chill. When you put on a blanket or jacket, the fabric isn't warming you; it's simply helping you retain your own body heat. That means that when the furnace goes out, your first step should be to put on more clothing. Layer clothing, if possible. For instance, put on a tank top, t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, sweater, and jacket. When you bundle up sufficiently, the cold won't bother you as much. Don't forget to protect your feet with thick socks, too.

3. Invest in a space heater.

Space heaters are less energy efficient than furnace heating systems. They're also less effective, especially when it comes to heating large spaces. However, they will warm a room in your house in a pinch. If you're unable to have your furnace repaired immediately due to financial or other concerns, buying a space heater can tide you over in the meantime.

4. Have your furnace serviced regularly.

In order to prevent this problem from recurring in the future, you should make it a point to get your furnace serviced annually. Many furnace repair services also provide routine maintenance. During this process, they'll change your air filter, clean out any clogged ducts, and replace parts that are beginning to wear out. Contact a furnace repair service for more info.

If your heater suddenly stops working, don't panic. This is a problem that's easily solved. Plus, these tips will keep you warm until you can get it working again, so no one catches a cold in your household. It's a good idea to have the phone number of a furnace repair service saved in case of emergencies.