That's how neighbors should treat neighbors!™

330-262-4100 Open 24 hours, 7 days a week
Being a homeowner comes with its share of household emergencies. Our experts explain how to handle the most common problems!

Handling Household Emergencies

Posted: July 10, 2023 by Hey Neighbor

A home emergency can happen suddenly, but good preparation and knowledge of how to handle them can prevent more headaches, further damage, and perhaps most importantly - more expenses. Whether you find yourself locked out of your house or having to replace an AC unit on the hottest day of the year, here's how you can quickly and efficiently remedy these common household problems.

As any veteran homeowner can attest, owning a home brings with it unexpected twists and turns that are inconvenient and potentially expensive. Even when strictly following a home maintenance checklist, unexpected repairs and other home emergencies just happen. They're almost unavoidable. Even so, a little preparation can keep a seemingly small home emergency from turning into a much larger, costly one.

Let's explore four of the most common household issues and learn the ideal ways to handle them.

Home emergency #1: You've locked yourself out!

Being locked out of your house is a truly frustrating experience, but it's happened to virtually all of us at some point. Let's say you rush out the door in the morning and lock the front door from the inside as you leave. Moments later, you go to unlock your car and realize your car keys are now locked inside your house - along with your house key. Oh no!

Assuming there aren't any open windows or ways to get inside, your first reaction might be to pick the lock or pry the door open. This is never a good idea. You're likely to damage the lock and/or the door, which leads to a costly repair bill. It'll also increase your frustration level and just makes the situation worse.

Instead of trying to get inside by damaging the lock, door, or a window, try these tips instead:

Is there a spare key? Most households have spare keys for each family member or to provide access to friends or neighbors while the family is out of town. In the event of a lock-out, your best bet is to call someone with a key. (Assuming you didn't lock your phone in the house too!) It may be inconvenient - especially when it's late at night - but it's the fastest way to resolve this home emergency without causing damage. If you can't access a spare key, take a deep breath and then call a professional.

Hire a professional locksmith. Don't worry, neighbor! Locksmiths are all too familiar with home lock-outs. It's probably what they're called for most often. Most smiths offer home emergency services and will assist you any time, day or night. Because they have loads of experience and specialized tools, they'll get you back into your house quickly and without causing damage to your lock or door. Of course, you will pay for the locksmith's service, but this will spare you the frustration of trying to gain access on your own, along with repair or replacement costs if you break the lock or door in the process of breaking in.

Prepare for future lock-outs. While nobody means to lock themselves out of their homes, it's better to be safe. Consider trusting a spare key with a neighbor or a nearby family member. Alternatively, tuck away a hide-a-key box or install a digital lock that uses a code or a fingerprint to grant access instead of a metal key. If you go with a smart lock, put a regular check of the lock's batteries on your home maintenance checklist!

Home emergency #2: You've lost power!

Power outages are common during storms, accidents, road work, etc. Regardless of how diligent your home maintenance routine is, losing power is nearly always beyond a homeowner's control. Even so, how you handle a power outage can significantly impact your safety and your wallet:

Check your power company's outage webpage on your smartphone. If the outage isn't widespread, call a professional electrician. We can't stress this enough - never attempt to repair a home electrical issue on your own. It's dangerous and can cause more damage. If the issue is limited to only your home, instead of a widespread outage, immediately have a qualified electrician visit to determine the problem and resolve it ASAP. In the meantime, while the power is out, here are two more best practices:

Keep your fridge closed. We've all been there. The power's out, and it's tempting to check the food inside your refrigerator after an hour or two without power. Don't do this - keep your fridge door shut. Leaving the door closed keeps the cold air in and minimizes the chance of food spoilage for a short period. Even so, please remember that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends disposing of all food in the refrigerator for safety after four hours without power. If you know it'll be an extended outage, a cooler filled with ice can extend the life of refrigerated foods beyond four hours. As for frozen foods, a full freezer will remain cold for up to 48 hours, while a half-full freezer has about 24 hours.

Unplug all electronics. Power surges can damage or destroy any device that's still connected to an outlet. Avoid costly replacements by disconnecting all electronics. Even better, add surge protectors to protect these sensitive devices when outages happen in the future.

Home emergency #3: Your pipes are frozen!

Frozen pipes are a major issue that many folks in Northeast Ohio face each winter. When your pipes freeze, they can burst, which results in a costly repair and potentially thousands of dollars more in flood damage. Here's how to handle this emergency:

Turn off the water at the main valve. If you don't know where this valve is, then now is the time to find it - in the summer, long before you might have frozen pipes. Once you've located your home's main water valve, inspect it to make sure it opens and closes correctly. Then, make a note of the valve's location, so you're not scrambling to remember where it is when you urgently need to find it.

Call a professional plumber. If your pipes are frozen or have burst, the very best thing to do is to call in a pro. They have access to the specialized tools needed to remedy the situation quickly without causing further damage to your home. They'll also be happy to help you prevent your pipes from freezing in the future.

Winterize your home. To avert frozen pipes, prevention is key. Add home winterization to your seasonal maintenance checklist before those temperatures dip. This includes disconnecting garden hoses, draining the pool, and adding insulation to pipes in your attic, basement, or garage - all areas that are prone to freezing.

Home emergency #4: Your heating and cooling system isn't working!

Whether in the heat of summer or the cold of winter, it's vital that your heating and cooling system is up and running as well as possible. Mindfulness is the key to avoiding a breakdown that'll leave you without air conditioning or cooling in your home:

Replace your filter and schedule professional maintenance. We say it often, but it bears repeating - you should replace your HVAC system's filter at least every three months, but each month if you have pets or a large family. Likewise, make sure to schedule professional maintenance twice a year - once in the fall for your furnace, and once in the spring for your air conditioner. Also, be aware of any strange noises, smells, or sudden spikes in utility costs. These can indicate a severe problem. It's best to call the neighborly HVAC experts at Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling at the first signs of trouble to schedule a thorough inspection. We'll spot minor issues before they become major, costly ones.

Go somewhere else, if possible. If your HVAC system fails during extreme winter weather or the height of summer's heat, leave home if possible. Extreme heat or cold can be dangerous, especially for those with health challenges. Visit a neighbor, go to a movie, or head out to eat while you're waiting for our technicians to arrive - which won't be long!

Hire our professionals for HVAC system repair and replacement

Even with proper maintenance, your heating and cooling system won't work forever. Like any machinery, an unexpected HVAC breakdown often occurs at the worst possible time. From your air conditioning unit suddenly failing during a heat wave to your furnace stopping during a blizzard, you can't really predict when this home emergency will occur. However, repairing or replacing HVAC systems is a job for an HVAC expert - us! We're your local Trane Comfort Specialist, and we'll happily get your HVAC equipment up and running again, whether it can be repaired or needs replaced. We'll ensure you're ready for whatever home comfort emergency comes your way!


more great articles...

Thunderstorm = AC Killer?   |   Egg-cellent HVAC Best Practices

Preventative Maintenance Is A Savvy Move   |   Is A Whole-House Humidifier Right For Me?

The Best New Year's Resolution   |   A Neighborly Guide to Furnaces

Maximize Your HVAC Tax Credits   |   Why Natural Gas Furnaces Trump Electric Ones

Why Background Checks And Drug Testing Matter   |   Why Is My Filter Wet?

Smoke and CO Detector Best Practices   |   Banishing Humidity Woes

Beware the Dog Days of Summer!   |   The R22 Phase-Out And The Importance Of AC Maintenance

Smart Thermostat Best Practices   |   Severe Weather Can Harm Your AC

Dirty Ductwork Dilemmas   |   Handling Household Emergencies

Why Isn't My AC Working?   |   SEER2 101

Better HVAC = Higher Home Value   |   My AC Sounds Like Running Water

Beware Animal Hair!   |   Air Purifier Q&A

How To Set Your AC When You're Away   |   Save Money This Summer

My AC Won't Turn On!   |   The Benefits Of A Central AC System

8 Handy Spring Cleaning Tips   |   Can I Finance An HVAC System?

My Furnace Won't Turn Off!   |   Before You Buy A Smart Thermostat

How Much Insulation Do I Need?   |   How The Inflation Reduction Act Can Help You

HVAC Basics For New Homeowners   |   5 Common Winter HVAC Problems

Programmable Thermostats 101   |   Can A Furnace Catch Fire?

Staying Warm During Extremely Cold Weather   |   Is A Heat Pump Right For Me?

Is My Heater Broken?   |   Let's Talk About Carbon Monoxide

HVAC: Why It's A Great Career   |   Winter Storm Safety Tips

4 Tasks For The Pros & 3 To DIY   |   When Should I Replace My HVAC System?

How Does a Gas Furnace Work?   |   6 Things To Know About Smart Thermostats

Do I Need A Humidifier?   |   These Mistakes Will Spike Your Energy Bill

How Long Will My Furnace Last?   |   All About Furnace Tune-Ups

How Does HVAC Zoning Work?   |   That Dirty Filter Is Costing You Money!

Thermostat Best Practices: Fan ON or AUTO?   |   Choosing The Right HVAC Equipment

10 Things To Do Before Using Your Furnace   |   What Affects Air Conditioning Efficiency?

Is Air Quality Worse In The Summer?   |   Keeping Your Upstairs Comfortable

The Dog Days Of Summer   |   Help! My AC Is Leaking Refrigerant!

Summer Furnace Upgrades Are Ideal   |   4 Common AC Buying Mistakes

Remove Those Hot Spots!   |   Older ACs Can Be Health And Safety Hazards

Prepping Your AC For Summer   |   Help! My AC Is Leaking Water!

A Bigger AC Isn't Necessarily Better   |   Landscaping Best Practices Around Your AC Unit

How Old Is My Central AC System?   |   Whole-House Dehumidifiers Vs. Portable Units

Air Scrubbers And Why You Need Them   |   Why Is My Home's AC Not Running?

Turn On Your AC After Winter The Right Way   |   Stop Those Pesky Air Leaks!

Why Spring HVAC Maintenance Is Important   |   Copper AC Coils vs. Aluminum

Your Thermostat Can Save You Money   |   6 Furnace Safety Features

Change Your Thermostat Batteries Yearly   |   Super Bowl Party Tips

How Your Gas Furnace Works   |   Winter Heating Safety Risks

Help! What's This Blinking Light Mean?   |   HVAC Maintenance Goals

New Year, New AC!   |   New Year's HVAC Resolutions

The 12 Days Of Safety   |   7 Signs You Need A New Furnace

Trane Comfort Specialist - What It Means   |   Optimal Winter Thermostat Settings

Ideal Humidity = Ideal Comfort   |   Avoid Cold Spots In Your Home

Save Money This Winter   |   Beware Of HVAC Systems That Go Bump In The Night!

Is My Water Heater Dying?   |   5 Reasons To Upgrade Your Thermostat

Debunking 7 Common Radon Myths   |   It's Annual Furnace Tune-Up Time!

HVAC Tips For Pet Owners   |   Fall HVAC Preparation Checklist

Back-To-School HVAC Maintenance   |   Let's Talk About Air Filters

How Does Central Air Conditioning Work?   |   Air Cleaners vs. Air Filters

4 Signs It's Time For A New AC   |   Exploring Your Central AC System

AC Repairs - Least & Most Expensive   |   Air Conditioning's Top 10 Benefits

Does My Water Heater Need Repaired Or Replaced?   |   Protect Your AC Condenser From Bad Weather

Air Purifiers 101   |   3 Factors That Affect AC Efficiency

Don't Let Mold Harm Your Home And Your Health   |   What Type Of Furnace Is Right For Me?

Add UV Lighting For Your Family's Health   |   Stop Wasting Energy!

Here's 5 Great Home Makeover Ideas For The New Year   |   New HVAC System On Your Christmas List?

5 Easy Tasks To Prepare Your Home For Winter   |   Let's Talk About Your Leaky Ductwork

Please Don't Cover Up Your Thermostat   |   Tame These HVAC Scares This Halloween

What Do All These Letters Mean?   |   6 Easy, Affordable Ways To Boost Your Home's Value

Low Temperature = Quality Sleep   |   What Does HVAC Mean, And What Does It Stand For?

My AC Runs But Isn't Cold - What's Up?   |   Is Your AC Prepared For Summer's Thunderstorms?

Something's Wrong With My AC!   |   How Can I Afford A New Cooling System?

5 Easy Tasks To Prepare Your Home For Summer   |   The Problem With A Clogged Filter

5 AC Myths That Are Costing You Money   |   My Air Conditioner Smells Gross!

6 Signs It's Time For A New AC   |   5 Easy DIY Projects While You're Social Distancing

Choosing The Right Thermostat   |   What Does SEER Mean?

5 Easy Tasks To Prepare Your Home For Spring   |   Improve Your Winter Air Quality

The R-22 Ban: Do I Need To Replace My AC?   |   8 New Year's Resolutions For Your Family's Comfort

Using Your Programmable Thermostat Well   |   I Need A Quieter Furnace!

Know The Signs Of A Cracked Heat Exchanger   |   Carbon Monoxide FAQ

What's The Best Air Filter For My Allergies?   |   14 Easy Ways To Winterize Your Home

What's Up With My Weird Thermostat?   |   A Yearly Furnace Tune-Up Is Essential - Here's Why

Window AC Units Can Be Dangerous!   |   Prevent Summer Weather From Damaging Your Home

Why Is My Air Conditioner So Loud?   |   Keeping Cool In Hot Weather

Is It Time To Replace My AC?   |   Central Air Is The Best Cooling Option

Is An HVAC Tune-Up Really Worth It?   |   Does My Air Conditioner Need Repaired?

How To Reduce Dust In Your Home   |   The Importance Of Annual AC Tune-Ups

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality   |   Reduce Allergens In Your Home

Warmer Weather And Your Thermostat   |   Prepare Your AC For The Season

Time To Replace Your Furnace?   |   Handling Extreme Cold Well

Home Insulation Saves You Money   |   Humidity Isn't Just A Summer Issue

My Furnace Won't Stay On!   |   How Long Should My HVAC Equipment Last?

Tricks To Stay Warm This Winter   |   Winterize Your HVAC System

Don't Close Those Vents!   |   Phew! Furnace Smells You Shouldn't Ignore

Leave Furnace Repair And Installs To Us   |   Preventative Maintenance Matters

4 Important Tasks Before You Use Your Furnace   |   Prepare Your Home For Fall And Winter

Caulk And Seal Like A Pro!   |   Dealing With Extreme Heat

Don't Neglect Your Furnace In The Summer!   |   Preventing And Dealing With Water Damage

Why You Should Test Your Air Quality   |   Smart HVAC Technology For Your Home

Keep Your Vents Clean And Stylish   |   Save Money With A Home Energy Audit

Why Is My AC System Blowing Warm Air?   |   Reduce Humidity To Stay Cool

Summer Energy-Saving Tips   |   Create An Allergy-Free Home

Is My Air Conditioner Low On Refrigerant?   |   4 Essential HVAC Safety Tips

16 Easy Spring Tasks To Save You Money   |   My Air Conditioner Is So Noisy!

5 Ways To Stay Cool This Summer   |   4 Common AC Problems

Spring Cleaning Checklist   |   The Importance Of A Clean AC Condenser Coil

Improve Your Home's Indoor Air Quality   |   Prepare Your Cooling System For Summer

Why Is This Room Warmer Than The Rest Of My Home?   |   Retire Your Old Thermostat

About Our Blog

Containing the most current and easy-to-read expert information in the world of heating and cooling, our blog is intended to help you stay "in the know" and make the best decisions when it comes to keeping your home and family comfortable and your HVAC system trouble-free. That's how neighbors should treat neighbors!™

Recent Posts

Why Choose Hey Neighbor?

We're committed to providing fast friendly emergency service 24 hours a day 7 days a week for residential heating and air conditioning systems in Wooster, Millersburg and the surrounding areas.

Our 24-hour emergency on-call service means you'll never have to go through another cold winter night or a hot, humid summer day. We service residents of Wayne and Holmes counties with no after-hours or overtime fees, so you'll never have to worry about paying extra because your furnace or air conditioner decided it wanted to quit on the weekend or a holiday!

Our service trucks are ready for your emergency after-hours service call with over 5000 stocked parts so you don't have to wait for us to chase down the parts you need.

Expert Local Service

Furnace and AC Repair

Furnace and AC Repair

Fast and done right the first time

We'll keep your Wayne County furnace running smoothly, and we service gas and electric heaters, heat pumps, ductless mini-split systems and more. Our local, licensed, friendly HVAC technicians drive fully-stocked service vans so when we troubleshoot your Holmes County HVAC system and find a faulty part, we can replace it right then! Whatever you need in the area of heating and cooling repair in Wooster, Millersburg, and the surrounding areas, we've got you covered!

Installs and Upgrades

Installs and Upgrades

The right system for your home

Whether you're a homeowner in Rittman who's in the market for a new, high-efficiency furnace, a mobile home owner in Shreve who's tired of baking in the summertime or you're a property manager in Dalton looking to replace old, temperamental air conditioning systems in apartments with new reliable units, our experience enables us to quickly and accurately assess your HVAC needs. You'll get the new furnace install and central air conditioning upgrade that's right for you.

System Maintenance

System Maintenance

Protect your investment

While we don't mind visiting your home for a dead-of-winter breakdown (it's what we do), we want to help you avoid that unfortunate situation altogether. That's why we offer affordable Wayne and Holmes County seasonal HVAC maintenance to reduce the future need for heating and cooling repairs. Our thorough inspections catch little problems before they become big ones. An annual HVAC tune-up by one of our expert techs saves you money, time, and stress!

Latest HVAC Articles

Can a thunderstorm destroy your central air conditioning system? Our experts provide information your family needs.
Apr 29, 2024

Thunderstorm = AC Killer?

So, you're enjoying a cozy evening at home, maybe watching your favorite show or snuggled up with a good book, when suddenly, you hear the rumble of thunder in the distance. Yep, a... more...

Are you eggs-periencing trouble with your HVAC system? Hey Neighbor can fix that!
Mar 28, 2024

Egg-cellent HVAC Best Practices

As Easter approaches, many of us are eagerly preparing for egg hunts, family gatherings, and delicious feasts. But amidst all the excitement, it's essential not to overlook the comfort... more...

Don't neglect your HVAC system investment - enroll in our Preventative Maintenance Program today and protect it year-round!
Feb 26, 2024

Preventative Maintenance Is A Savvy Move

Are you ready to keep your cool (or stay cozy warm) all year round? Well, listen up, because we've got some insider tips on how to make that happen hassle-free. Let's talk about HVAC... more...

Schedule service

Communities We Serve

Wayne County, Ohio ~ Apple Creek, Ohio 44606 ~ Armstrong, Ohio 44214 ~ Burbank, Ohio 44214 ~ Burton City, Ohio 44667 ~ Congress, Ohio 44287 ~ Craigton, Ohio 44676 ~ Creston, Ohio 44217 ~ Dalton, Ohio 44618 ~ Doylestown, Ohio 44230 ~ Easton, Ohio 44270 ~ Fredericksburg, Ohio 44627 ~ Funk, Ohio 44691 ~ Kidron, Ohio 44636 ~ Lattasburg, Ohio 44287 ~ Marshallville, Ohio 44645 ~ Mount Eaton, Ohio 44569 ~ Orrville, Ohio 44667 ~ Pleasant Home, Ohio 44287 ~ Riceland, Ohio 44667 ~ Rittman, Ohio 44270 ~ Shreve, Ohio 44676 ~ Smithville, Ohio 44677 ~ Sterling, Ohio 44276 ~ West Salem, Ohio 44287 ~ Wooster, Ohio 44691 ~ and more!

Holmes County, Ohio ~ Baltic, Ohio 43804 ~ Becks Mills, Ohio 44654 ~ Berlin, Ohio 44654 ~ Charm, Ohio 44654 ~ Farmerstown, Ohio 43804 ~ Glenmont, Ohio 44628 ~ Holmesville, Ohio 44633 ~ Killbuck, Ohio 44637 ~ Lakeville, Ohio 44638 ~ Millersburg, Ohio 44654 ~ Mount Hope, Ohio 44627 ~ Nashville, Ohio 44611 ~ Saltillo, Ohio 44654 ~ Stillwell, Ohio 44637 ~ Trail, Ohio 44624 ~ Walnut Creek, Ohio 44681 ~ Winesburg, Ohio 44624 ~ and more!