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3 Emergency Heat Sources When The Power’s Out

emergency heat power goes out

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Today’s homes are all heated as a requirement of the Universal Building Code. While air conditioning isn’t a regulatory requirement, heating is. The heating must be adequate to maintain the home in the “comfort zone” even in the most-extreme temperatures for that part of the country. There’s only one problem, though: Nearly all home heating systems depend upon electricity to function. When the grid goes down, that expensive hardware doesn’t do us the least bit of good.

Unfortunately, the power grid is the most vulnerable part of our infrastructure. Every severe weather event causes the grid to go down, albeit temporarily. Cyber-attacks have already been committed, showing that the grid can be taken down artificially. Almost anything can cause a power outage.

You’ve probably heard about it yourself. Some city or other has a power outage in the dead of winter and as a result of it, a few people freeze to death. The victims are almost always older people who can’t get out, can’t create heat by alternate methods, and can’t move enough to create enough body heat to keep themselves warm.

The question is, what will you do when the grid goes down where you live? How will you heat your home and take care of your family? Regardless of what type of heating system you have, at an absolute minimum it uses electricity for the control circuits. If you have a forced-air system (like most homes do), you also face the problem of no electricity to run the blower motor.

Don’t think you’re better off if you have a hot-water heating system. These systems still need electricity to run the pump that circulates the water. They won’t work any better in a grid down situation than forced-air systems will.

When that time comes, the best you can probably do is return to the old ways of heating your home. That means a fireplace or wood-burning stove.

Many homes still have fireplaces, although they are more decorative than anything else. Gas fireplaces are purely decorative, but a wood-burning one will produce some heat. A fireplace really isn’t a very efficient heater, as most of the heat goes right up the chimney. To be efficient, some means to capture the heat and distribute it into the room are necessary.

You can buy inserts to put in a fireplace which draw cool air in from the floor and return it to the room as hot air. Essentially, the insert is a series of metal tubes, which surround the fire. These either work by a blower motor or by convection. The best ones for an emergency situation are the ones which work by convection, as you won’t need electricity to run the blower. However, the convection models don’t move as much air as the ones with blowers do.

Benjamin Franklin vastly improved the efficiency of the fireplace by the invention of the Franklin Stove. This is a metal fireplace which allows the fire to be placed closer to the center of the room. The metal stove radiates heat from all sides, as well as from all sides of the metal tube chimney, making it much more efficient than a fireplace.

The wood-burning stove we know of today is a descendant of the Franklin Stove. While it is not usually as complicated, it does have a metal fire box, which is placed away from the wall, allowing heat to radiate from all sides.

The Most Versatile Backup Stove In The World Allows You To Cook Anything, Any Time, Any Where

1. Temporary wood-burning stove

For emergency heat, a wood-burning stove can be installed on a temporary basis. All that is needed is the stove, chimney pipe with an elbow, a piece of plywood and a convenient window. The stove can be placed close to the window and the chimney run out through an opening made in the window by removing one of the glass panes. The extra space in the window can be closed up with plywood.

Modern wood-burning stove chimneys, as well as fireplace chimneys, are triple walled. The smoke travels up the center part of the chimney. The triple walls create two air passages around this central chimney, which are connected at the bottom. Cool air from outside enters the outer passageway, traveling downward. When that cool air reaches the bottom, it is warmed by the fire and travels back up through the second passageway. This ensures that the outer passageway is always cool, preventing the possibility of starting a fire.

If you are using a wood-burning stove for emergencies, you want to be sure that you buy one that uses wood and not wood pellets. The wood pellet ones are more efficient, producing more heat per pound of wood than the others. However, you can’t use them with normal firewood. When you run out of pellets, you freeze.

2. Kerosene heater

kerosene -- flickrAnother very effective option is to use a kerosene heater. I heated my uninsulated attic office for years with a kerosene heater, when I lived in New York. These heaters are relatively clean burning and produce quite a bit of heat. Like the wood-burning stove, they will radiate heat from all sides, allowing you to gain the maximum possible heat out of them. There is no chimney, so the heat isn’t lost out the chimney.

The problem with any of these heating methods, whether using wood or kerosene, is that you have to have an adequate supply of fuel on hand. When your fuel runs out, your heat does as well. Fortunately, both wood and kerosene store well for prolonged periods of time, so you can stockpile fuel without a problem.

3. Gas catalytic heater

There is one other option that I’d like to mention; one that doesn’t require stockpiling fuel. That is of using a natural gas “catalytic” heater. These heaters are highly efficient and burn very clean. They use a ceramic element to provide a bed for the gas to burn in. The burning gas heats the ceramic element, which then radiates heat into the room. These heaters are available in a variety of sizes, intended to be used as room heaters in both small and large rooms.

There are two huge advantages to using this type of heater. First of all, they don’t need electricity, and secondly, you don’t have to stockpile natural gas. Natural gas pumping stations provide their own power, so they will probably still be operating even if there is no electricity. About the only way that they can go down is if the gas pipes are damaged.

Insulating a room

In addition to creating heat, you will also need some way of keeping that heat in the area where you want it to be. During normal times, you heat your whole home. However, in an emergency, you will probably only be able to heat a small portion of your home, perhaps only one room. In that case, you want to be sure that you keep as much of that heat in that room as possible.

The internal walls in a home don’t contain any insulation. Of course, if you are building a home, you could add this as part of your emergency planning. Even without insulation, these walls will help retain the heat somewhat, as a bare wall has some insulation value. Doorways that don’t have doors in them can be covered by blankets, making the blanket into a temporary “door.”

Actually, insulation isn’t the issue as much as holding the heat in the room is. While those may sound the same, in reality they aren’t. You can hold the heat in the room, even without insulation by using heat reflectors.

A “space blanket” or “rescue blanket” made of aluminized Mylar is actually a heat reflector. This material was first invented by NASA for use on the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) that landed on the moon. While not insulation, this material reflects heat from both sides, doing an amazing job of helping maintain temperature.

For maximum effectiveness, coat the inside of your survival room with this material. You don’t have to do this ahead of time, as you can easily tape or staple the material in place. Don’t forget the ceiling, either. This will help keep the heat you are producing in the room, reducing overall heat requirements and adding to your family’s survivability.

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  1. I have a battery operated Carbon Monoxide detector that I use when tent camping
    with my propane powered space heater. It supposedly has a low oxygen detector that
    should shut it off but I like having that backup safety device. I always have a spare 20lb
    propane tank for my BBQ and have picked up and refilled 10 small 1lb(?) bottles that
    I can use on that ‘Buddy’ space heater. The advantage of the propane heater is that it
    is mobile while a Nat Gas heater is fixed in place by the piping. Disadvantage is the limited
    propane supply I have on hand, but the local landfill has a Haz Mat center where I get
    free partial small bottles of propane that people are disposing. I bought a refill adapter
    on eBay and now can refill the small bottles from my 20lb tank.
    I would use the CO detector when using my kerosene heater indoors also.

    • Thanx Dan. I was wondering about this. But I just also learned something quite interesting. Apparently, you can actually do it in reverse too. So you could collect all the gas from several small bottles into your single large one. Perhaps this ability might depend on the exact adaptor you have?

      • The one I have works by gravity. The propane is liquid in the tank. You connect the 1lb and then turn the 20lb upside down and it flows into the 1lb.

        • Your refill adapter should work both ways. Both myself and my buddy have done it in a pinch when the 20lb tank has run out and you have full 1lb tanks it flow into the 20lb tank.

  2. Thank you so much for the Kerosene heater demo. I’ve had one sitting in my closet for a couple of years, and find the instructions a bit overwhelming. Since there are two feet of snow outside my door, and -1 degrees, I think I’ll dig it out and practice. Thanks, again. Watching someone lighting it is very helpful. Peace.

  3. I would llike to know the name of that kerosene heater you were talking about .

    Thanks !


  4. It’s -11 outside right now with 25 mph winds. Our Buck wood stove has been burning all day. The temperature in the room where it is is 75F, the adjoining room is 67F and the far rooms are 57F. We keep our furnace set at 55F so it hasn’t even come one today. The real test will be when it goes down to -17F tonight.

  5. My house is heated with a propane floor furnace. No electricity required. With 400 gallons of propane out back, I’m good for a normal winter on one fill. I did add a setback thermostat which runs on two AA batteries.
    Watch those kerosene heaters. Some jurisdictions have banned their use in occupied dwellings.
    Heck, some places are even banning wood burning stoves.

  6. I’m confused. The article says that gas fireplaces are purely decorative, but I heat my home with a gas fireplace. It’s a propane ventless fireplace with no blower, needs no electricity, and it does a fine job of heating my house. I love being able to warm up next to the fireplace when I come in from doing chores. I do keep my bedrooms closed off because I see no point in heating them and I prefer sleeping in a room that’s a bit chilly. I have central heating and air, but have yet to use the heating. (I do keep the thermostat set on 55, just in case, but I’ve never had it kick on.)

    • Hi Jan,

      I could not agree with you more, a vent less propane fireplace or vent less propane heater could not be better, they work without electricity and are 99 % efficient, and burn very clean, I have two wall mounted vent less propane wall heaters that are my main heating source, I have two 100 gallon propane tanks that will get me through a winter. I used to use wood, but it is dirty and requires a lot of work, Propane I think is the best all around, I also have a cook top in my kitchen that is propane. It’s the best

      • Hi, I was using a ventless propane stove & the condensation it causes has produced mold in every room, especially the bedrooms. I learned from the propane company that for every gallon of propane used, a gallon of water is released into the air. My landlord now wants me to use the crappy electric baseboards that are in the bathroom & 2 bedrooms. I also have to use my oven to heat this place up enough to be warm. Is there something I’m doing wrong? The landlord did get me a dehumidifier & the first night we used it I was amazed at the amount of moisture it was pulling out of the air..

  7. I picked up this one from the Natural Cures Not Medicine e-newsletter. You take a candle and light it between 2 clay flower pots (one on top of the other to retain the heat), on top of a tin (aluminum) pie pan. This is supposed to keep a room (probably small) warm for about 25 cents. (Haven’t tried it but I do have the parts). Also I enjoyed the story / video about the man who makes solar panels from painted aluminum cans. Since the earth is abundant with aluminum, sounds like it could spread like wildfire! Thanks for posting this. And how about some tips on keeping your water pipes warm?

    • I saw a video on youtube about the claypot heaters and the guy said how much it costs per hour to heat a small room…so I figured it up based on his cost per hour…it came to about 38.00/mo to heat one room…not very cost efficient if it even works very well and many people posted that it was radiant heat and you had to be really close to the pots to feel the heat off it.

    • Are there links to the clay pot heaters and the aluminum solar panels?

  8. Experienced most at childhood farm home which had a floor mounted propane heater, only electric was the thermostat and somehow could operate when electric was out. Was great winter location for the fold-out clothes dryer rack. Only problem was fishing out anything that dropped thru the floor grate.
    A 2’x3’x3′ kerosene heater heated the back rooms on especially cold days. This larger kerosene was replaced with a similar size propane heater and moved to adjacent 600 sq ft cabin which was kept comfortably warm. A small kerosene, about same size as in video, was excellent warmer in the uninsulated workshop/garage (and kept my parents warm in their current electric only home a couple years ago).
    We had a small propane heater in the bathroom, but would have preferred the small ceramic style.
    Later added a wood stove which performed majority of heating. NOTE: you do need the triple walled pipe at penetrations, but you do not want triple wall in areas that will benefit from the radiated heat.
    Reminds me to check if I can light my new natural gas cook stove with a match or will I need to attach an inverter to get it lit for cooking and heat???
    Any suggestion where to obtain an insert for the inefficient fireplace or what materials to build one with?

  9. Would also like to mention the rocket mass heater. Which is a more efficient version of a wood stove. I can see some room in the plans for them for improvement to make them more efficient. They are usually made into a bench. Which would provide you with a warm seating area

  10. great info on heat sources. the kerosene heater demo was especially helpful! there are also the terracotta heaters (homemade, easy but for super small spaces) or propane heaters.

    • Those little terracotta heaters work very well in one of those insulated rooms in the article. Remember those work by a different physics principle than a wood stove. The heat won’t register on a thermometer, it’s heat transfer from one warm item to another. They do work, I have two. Started with 10 inch pot and bought one just smaller, then a smaller one. They help release the heat, it’s the bolts and nuts which hold them together, also hold the heat so the terrracotta can release it. I plan to make more which can be more portable as in camping. I make my own scout buddy burners for them and then I can double the top as a warmer for food or water as needed.

  11. i love the idea of the terra cotta pots and tea candles and aluminum pie tin is easy, takes small amount of space and remember matches or lighter to light tea candles. low cost and effective for complete outage of electric and natural gas.

  12. I have a blue-flame ventless heater I have been using to heat my whole home for over 10 years, it has a thermostat on it from 1- 10 I keep it around 3 for a constant 70+ inside temp, it’s – 12 today. I have a CO2 detector and not once has it even beeped, It doesn’t need electric and all the heat stays in the house. Very economical to run even here in Northern Ohio by Lake Erie. I’m going to build a rocket furnace with a 55 gal drum and lava rocks over the pipes in my basement this year for fun.

  13. Regarding Rich M.s statement that gas fireplaces are just all simply decorative and not good back-up heat sources for the home in a power outage, Rich’s statement is incorrect. There are plenty of gas fireplaces that are purely decorative, but there are also a good number of very efficient gas fireplaces with AFUE efficiency ratings in the 70% range that requite no power to operate and are excellent back-up heat sources. When you factor in the fact that these fireplaces are zone heating with no duct loss, they are actually more efficient than the average furnace at delivering heat to a room.

    see. as 1 very good example.

    Peter Ross
    Hearth Patio & BBQ Association

  14. A couple of comments:

    My dad has a gas fireplace that he uses as both supplemental heat and a backup heat source. It warms up his place pretty nicely, even when it’s the only thing on, but he has a very open floor plan.

    I have a kerosene heater that’s burning right now in my woodshop. It keeps things fairly toasty, and I even put a pizza stone on top of it so I can keep a pot of hot tea ready when it’s fired up.

  15. I use a ventless Natural Gas wall unit, I have used it as my only heat source for over 10 years with or without power, I have a CO detector and not once has it even chirped. My best investment ever.

  16. Know that lowering your gas heating unit’s temperature just 1º would help you save 3% in your energy bill.

  17. I was using a ventless propane heater for the past 4 winters. The moisture from the propane caused mold in all the rooms, especially the bedrooms. The propane dealer said that for every gallon of propane used a gallon of water was released. My landlord did spring for a dehumidifier which is some noisy & makes it cold. This year he wants me to use the crappy electric baseboards that are in the bedrooms & bathroom which means I have to use my oven to heat up the kitchen/living area. So am I doing something wrong with the propane because I sure prefer the kind of heat that generates,plus when the power goes out I’m good, altho it is useless for heating anything on, but that’s what my Coleman’s for..:)..thanks..

  18. I use paraffin heaters every Winter and it’s probably one of my best investments.

    I’ve never had a peep from my Carbon Monoxide detector and it always warms the room up really well. It’s great for in my conservatory where it’s hard to heat up effectively.

  19. Unfoetunately I have asthma and multiple severe allergies to fumes from gas and kerosene and propane and wood burning stoves. Is there another alternate heating source that doesn’t require electricity to use if the power goes out in my ranch home during a power outage in winter due to a storm? If there is a wood burning stove that could be vented outside where one couldn’t smell the wood burning that would be good.Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • Heidi, if your asthmatic you could install an outside wood burning unit. They are a bit pricey but well worth the initial cost.

    • Heidi, our house is heated with a natural gas furnace. We never smell fumes in the house. That would be hazardous. We also have a wall vented natural gas fireplace. The front is sealed with a glass panel. It heats our family room just fine and also does not put fumes in the house. And a properly used wood stove should not put smoke in the house. For the record, I also have asthma.

  20. We already know about the heating types and using blankets, etc., to keep heat in a small area but what about keeping the pipes (on three floors of a house) from freezing? The only possible solution my father told me about was to keep the water dripping so that the water doesn’t freeze in the pipes. This happened once in our new home and it cost a good bit (opening walls and repairing them) as well as plumbing bills. Are there any other ideas?

    • A) design your house to keep the plumbing in a small area of the house. This house has most of its plumbing in a 12′ x 12′ area on all 3 levels only the water input and water heater out side that area. makes much smaller area that you need to keep warm.
      Also keep it out of outside walls.
      B) have shut offs in the basement or lowest level that will let you drain back the water from fixtures in unheated areas and use RV antifreeze in traps.

  21. Great video. I have one but I’m a bit of a coward and the other videos I had run across were not as informative. I’m glad to have found yours because if there had been a major power outage I would have frozen to death. LOL Thanks from Minnesota.

  22. Regarding the gas catalytic heater, wouldn’t a direct vent natural gas fireplace serve the same purpose so long as the pilot is lit when the electricity goes out? That seems like a good short term solution for temp outages but if we’re talking SHTF don’t think one could count heavily on the gas company to keep pumping. Kerosene heater with a supply of fuel would be more self reliant over the long haul. Arctic sleeping bags, insulated room with lowered ceiling using fabric, the clay pots and taking advantage of solar gain from windows during the day will help extend kerosene supply.

    I know this is coming in late but just came across this thread.

    • Don’t forget that for short term power outages in cold weather, a deep cycle marine battery that’s kept on a “smart” trickle charger, a small DC-AC inverter, and an electric blanket can really go a long way in keeping inhabitants warm. In tough times, keeping the person warm vs keeping a room warm, can really help quite a lot for comparatively little cost. Plus, the battery bank approach can also provide a lot of lighting needs, recharging communication devices, powering emergency radios, etc. Don’t forget the comfort emergency foods (candy bars and hard candies), as well as the mainstay food stores! People burn a lot of calories when they shiver!

  23. Thanks for the kerosene heater info. The box mine came in says to be sure to open a window in the room where its being used, which defeats the purpose. Is this necessary? Kind of afraid to use it due to that. Don’t mind cracking a window instead, though. if need be. Haven’t heard anyone mention it here. We live in Tennessee. Could be the difference in the laws? Is the only alternative heat source for me and my family. Thanks!

  24. Please do not DIY a stove installation – have a professional do this to avoid a house fire. Proper clearances to combustibles and the right kind of pipe and connector must be used. Much better to have a stove already installed and ready to go in case of an emergency.

  25. is a kerosene heater save for cats/dogs if fumes begin to smell & is it safe to carry from room to room while lit. where do you purchase the aluminum blankets to keep room warmer. is it best to store the kerosene in the gargage in below freezing conditions in Mn. can keroscene freeze. Th.

    • If you are getting a lot of fumes, turn the wick down a bit. You do not need a huge flame to get heat. If you are using the heater in a small room, you should crack a window open. Not so much as to “defeat the purpose” as mentioned above, but enough to keep fresh air circulating in.

      As to moving it once lit, there should be a safety handle which allows this. Move it slowly, and only lift it as much as you need to. If it is on carpet, lift it just enough to slide it along the top. of the carpeting without catching. Most heaters have a safety spring which will retract the wick completely if the heater tips. Also, remember that most of the heat will be going up towards where your hand is. Not enough to burn you, but enough to be uncomfortable. Try to light it as close to where you want it as possible.

  26. rookies!!!! I heat solely with wood and when i run out, i just put more clothes on. LOL

  27. Really a fireplace is an essential for protecting from winter.

  28. Very informative about kerosene heaters.

  29. I like the ideas proposed in this article and agree a birdcage type kerosene heater, which even a small one typically produces over 20k BTU, can be a lifesaver to have on hand but if you have your insulated pipes located to prevent or delay freezing already and your only concern is you simply want an effective (and economical) heat source for a small/tiny “emergency” room then you might find it difficult to keep comfortable manually regulating that type of heater.

    I was living in an area prone to power outages so I had a portable generator on hand but one morning I woke up shivering at 3AM in a dark house and the temperature had already dropped well below freezing in my bedroom. Listening to the fridgid wind whistling across the frozen pond picking up ice crystals to throw at my window, I was in no mood to get dressed to tromp through the snow to fire up the generator. Instead, I dug out my yard sale “collection” of kerosene lamps and lit up four of them. I was amazed how fast the bedroom thermometer started climbing! I was sleeping in the smallest room in the house so the big (normal size) bedroom might have needed a couple more lamps or at least taken longer to recover to the comfort zone.

    NOTE: I did have a CO detector mounted in the room already.

    When I finished sleeping and woke up well rested in a warm bed, I braved the elements to fire up the generator so I could energize my router to look it up online and was able to confirm what I suspected I had discovered:

    Oil lamps burn about 1 oz of kerosene per inch of wick every hour.
    There are 1055 btu in 1 oz of kerosene.
    1055 btu is equivalent to 309 watts of electric power.

    Conclusion: 4 oil lamps with 3/4″ wicks (3 inches of wick total) burn about 3 oz of kerosene per hour and approximate the heat of a 900 watt heater, which happened to be the maximum setting on my bedroom heater. That is plenty of heat for a small insulated room and one gallon of kerosene will last over 40 hours. To approximate the heat of a 1500 watt electric heater, which is the largest you usually find in stores, you would need about 5 inches of wick so a gallon of kerosene would last about 25 hr constantly burning.

  30. I’ve prepared for a “no grid power situation,” I’ve see it coming for a while and acted on my concerns. I was able to obtain military grade solar panels the best money can buy for pennies on the dollar… along with everything I need to use them, solar charger, wires, plugs, inverters… I also have a Gasifier that will create wood gas that will run my converted gas generator, so when all the gas is gone and nobody’s gas generators are running and providing them electricity,,, mine will from burning wood in the reactor. I have a small cast iron pot bell stove that will burn coal or wood also, I walk the Rail-x-Roads and pick up chunks of coal fallen from trains, I made a coal bin in my basement and it DON’T take long to amass a large amount either. I have lined a wall with compressed wood bricks from Tractor Supply to run my gasifier also. Americans BETTER start thinking about things that matter instead of spending their time and money on things that won’t matter in a hard times because it’s coming.

    • Joe Taylor, I have the same concerns as you do. 5 years ago I would have never thought this might happen but, now I wonder how bad it will be when it does.

      I live in a Sunny area of the southwest and can benefit from an array of solar panels. I have been searching for an affordable source of panels to start building my system. I’ve just been recently laid off from my career as an electrical engineer for the 4th time in 31 years and I’m not going back to the rat race So, I have the time to do this and

      Most people reading this are incapable of assembling a safe off the grid power system, any chance you could contact me so I can learn about your source?

      please contact me at MyFullName62 at Ya hoo dot c o m


    • How do you store your water..where and how much? We lived offgrid for six years..woodstove..12 volt..3500 kW generator..propane cookstove for summer..propane frig..lights..instant water heater..on gravity fed water but learned to keep 300 gallons of water stored in two square water containers. Ours were by the garden and one at the cabin.. Now in town we follow the same set up with added electricity..have neighbors who believe in being provident.. Life is good..pam.

  31. Our gas fireplace heated our raised bungalow great when we went 2 days without power during an ice storm. The blower didn’t work but the fireplace was hot enough in the basement with the door opened that it heated the house.i want t get another gas fireplace upstairs.

  32. Your incorrect about chimney systems …..especially about triple wall pipe.
    Triple wall pipe is merely air insulated….it does not draw cool air between layers….it is merely airspace thats all…..and a temporary piece of plywood around it in a window will definetely ignite within the first hour without proper thimble and termination of chimney.
    As per your comparison of modern day woodstoves to a franklin stove….you have it backwards…..the franklin stove in essence is just a metal box designed to be partially inserted into fireplace and the rest outside to act as a radiator.
    Modern day inserts are done in a similar fashion…except way more complicated with use of firebrick and baffle systems to hold heat longer…..burn hotter and much more efficient.
    Then the use of secondary air or a catalyst to burn off smoke…….a modern day woodstove or insert with the proper venting is the best way to heat and be off the grid. And should be considered a primary heatsource……followed up by wind or solar

  33. Hello: Do you have a source for natural gas catalytic heaters? Everything I find is industrial ie. pipeline/remote equipment enclosures The residential units seem to be propane/lp. Are any of the propane units convertible to natural gas?

    • To Robert:

      I believe the article is incorrectly referring to gas infrared plaque surface burner heaters as catalytic, they are not. They are simply the bare ceramic substrate that a catalyst metal could be applied to but wasn’t. Plaque heaters are available in both fuels and do work great. In theory the jet on an LP true catalytic unit could be drilled out for NG operation but you would be entirely on your own at that point safety wise as it would void all warranties and safety certification/listing. And if your insurance finds out they might refuse to pay a fire claim.

      Oh and as far as the votive candles under pots idea goes, calculate the cost per unit energy VS other fuels. You’ll find that it is fairly expensive.

  34. Gas fireplaces do not have to be purely decorative. I lived in a house with one that was sealed off behind glass (and was quite useless for heat), but I just recently moved into a house with one where the glass is hinged and can easily be opened. If the glass is opened, the fire is quite warming and would certainly be adequate to survive an outage. I think the mistake then is that too many of these fireplaces have no way to open the glass so the heat has no place to go but up the chimney.

  35. Please remember an important safety factor when using alternative heating resources, in addition to smoke and CO2 detectors…Fire extinguisher! We have supplemented with kerosene heat for years with no issues, and recently had an incident in which the wick was extended fully, into a ‘lock’ position, which we didn’t know existed. Thankfully, we lived and learned. I keep a pot of water on top of our kerosene heater to add humidity to the dry winter air. Adding various spices/citrus fruits/etc adds a pleasant smell and infuses the essences into the air, which I think helps in keeping us healthy. I have also used it to make coffee on when the power was out. I could also see cooking on top of it, if needed. It would make a great pot of soup at the end of the day, for example.

  36. What is the best way to heat a 1-bedroom apartment in a power outage situation? Mostly hearing how to heat homes/houses. Thank you.

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