The house is cold!

How To Heat Your House When The Power Goes Out

The house is cold!

Can you heat your house even if the electricity is out?

At the time of this writing, many states (especially Texas) have suffered through immense blackouts during a record breaking cold period (“polar vortex”). About 5 million were without electricity. Some for many, many days, a week, with very cold temperatures in regions not accustomed to this degree of cold.

The question is, how do you deal with that? Can you heat your house even if the electricity is not working?

PORTABLE HEATER

I wrote an article about a portable propane heater that I had purchased some time ago. I still think it’s great. It won’t heat your entire house… But it will heat a fairly large space (especially if you have the 18,000 BTU unit). It will certainly work well heating a typical room (or two).

[ Read: ‘Mr. Heater Buddy’ for Winter Survival Preparedness ]

WOOD STOVE

Some of you may have a wood burning stove. Problem solved. Got wood? Wood is the biggest problem if you haven’t stacked enough ahead of time. That said, most everyone who regularly heats with a wood stove will already have a winter’s supply of wood. Right?

FIREPLACE

Most fireplace’s are there for appearances. Special occasions – lighting a fire. NOT for heating a house. An open fireplace is very inefficient at heating a house (chimney exhausts a lot of heat). But of course they do provide some heat. People in Texas and elsewhere were desperately using their fireplaces for heat. But their big problem was wood! Not enough. So they’re out and about – gathering what they can.

[ Read: Improve Fireplace Heat Efficiency With a Fireback ]

PELLET STOVE

Maybe you have a pellet stove. Do you have a means to power it without electricity? That’s important!

[ Read: How To Run A Pellet Stove During A Power Outage ]

SLEEPING IN A SMALL TENT IN THE ROOM

Some people have taken to sleeping in a small tent in their living rooms in the wintertime as the area inside will be warmer than the rest of the house.

HURRICANE LAMPS

Here’s a thought for a stop-gap, light-duty solution. Fire up a few of your Aladdin Lamps, they provide heat and everyone needs adequate light during a power outage. CAUTION with any open flame, especially with children or pets!!

[ Read: An Oil Lamp For Emergency Preparedness ]

FILL YOUR PROPANE TANK

Got an external propane tank for your furnace? Should go without saying to keep it on the fuller side of empty! I feel much better when I top off my propane before the winter.

GENERATOR!

The simplest way to get your heat back on is to use a generator (assuming a safe method to integrate your furnace). If you have a generator ‘transfer switch’ integrated into your home’s electrical panel, you’re all set. Maybe you should look into that for next time. You don’t need to have a whole-house transfer. You can get them for just a few critical circuits.

Otherwise, the issue is that your furnace isn’t like an appliance that has a plug which you can simply ‘plug in’ to an outlet (your generator). The furnace is hard wired into your electrical system.

The following does NOT apply if you have ‘electric heat’ (e.g. electric baseboards) because the power requirements are almost always too high for a typical backup generator to handle:

If you are electrically inclined (caution is advised), you could potentially rig up a ‘plug-n-play’ for your furnace such that you intercept the power source and insert a plug and receptacle between the furnace and electrical panel.

A furnace will be on it’s own electrical circuit (a designated circuit breaker in your electrical panel). If you install a typical 15 Amp plug on your furnace, you could then alternatively plug it directly into a generator. Just a thought.

[ Best Extension Cord For Your Generator ]

SUMMARY
This is intended to get you thinking about possible power outage during the winter, and how you would deal with the resultant cold.

Any further ideas?

(This article has been updated / re-posted given the current event situation in Texas and elsewhere)

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64 Comments

  1. We have a good wood stove that heats the whole house and 2 kerosene heaters for backup heat sources . We use an Ecofan on the wood stove top to circulate the warm air. We also have some Kirkman kerosene lanterns . We bought the “champion” #2 model because it has a 27 hour burn time and puts out 1400 btu’s per hour. So we get light and some heat as well.
    Life without electricity is not so much fun in the winter, be prepared

      1. NRP,
        We have had an ecofan for about 7 years are very happy with it . I replaced the small motor at 5 years , cost $ 10.00 and 8 minutes. It moves warm air very well. When the motor was out we noticed cool spots in the corners of the house , with the new motor those disappeared . Yes we are happy with it.

    1. We cannot discount candles. When I was in college with little to no money and living in an old horribly insulated apartment, candles made a difference. I would put candles in the kitchen and bathroom which were at the opposite end of the apartment from the gas heater. It wasn’t toasty by any stretch but wasn’t freezing either. When using the candles it would be in the low to mid 50’s in those rooms. Oh yeah, this was in Butte, Montana. So, not exactly a tropical paradise.

      1. Later, I upgraded to one of those buddy heaters that I had hooked up to a BBQ propane tank. It was awesome and relatively economic at the same time. I would keep it by my desk for many hours when studying and doing homework and was nice and toasty.

  2. When we built our last home, I insisted on (against my wife’s desire) a wall mounted 5 burner catalytic/infra-red heater in addition to the central heat/air conditioning. It’s been a life saver. Since moving in, we’ve experienced nearly yearly adverse winter conditions where we lost grid for anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. It essentially heats the whole house.

    In the “for what it’s worth” column, I have one of each Big Buddy and Little Buddy heaters. They work great, but are propane hogs (about 4-5 hours on a one pound canister). Even with the adapter hose for a 20lb bottle it’s only good for a couple of days. I’ve got two old free standing blue flame heaters that put out similar heat that eat less propane. One is an old Dearborn with three fire brick reflectors, the other is an open faced heater with 5 fire bricks I bought as a kid of 13 years in 1963 at a local hardware store that was going out of business. Both have adjustable gas orifices that allows you to convert from propane to natural gas by just screwing a screw in or out until you get the proper blue flame w/o any red/orange tint. Might check yard sales or estate sales. When I was a child, almost every home in the south was heated with this type heater. Might want a carbon monoxide monitor if using them cause homes are more airtight now. I believe the Big Buddy and Little Buddy have them built in and will shut down automatically if levels get too high.

  3. Good article on reminding folks Winter is coming/here.
    I do have a question, what’s a Snow Shovel?? HAHAHA

    It does get cold here -10F is not uncommon, I have seen many of homes freeze and 10’s of thousands of $$$$ spent on repairing water damage when pipes freeze and burst.

    Heat at the NPR home is NOT a problem, 2 wood stoves, two DX (combo) AC/Furnace’s, and in-floor circulating water heat, all on Propane (Got propane tank filled?). 5 cords of Firewood cut and stacked, a very small generator (less fuel) for the In-floor heat, and if absolutely needed an 8K Gen (propane) for the larger units.

    I do use a small furnace for the separated garage and sheds (gata keep the work/tinkering place warm, right?), but not necessary. Been wanting to pick up a small wood stove for the Garage, but that one’s on the “to do list”.

    One comment on Pellet Stoves, your still buying “Their” fuel for the stove, you run out of pellets your without heat on that little baby, and Pellets are running $260+ a ton here, not really cheap considering you can find “Free” wood most anywhere, even in the desert.

    BTW, if the power goes out I the winter…. Why would anyone need to plug in the Refrigerator/Freezer to a Generator if the temps are freezing outside??????? Move that puppy outside onto the Porch and open the door to keep it cool/frozen. AND ya can always just freeze, aka put outside, a few gallon jugs of water than put them in the Refer to keep it cold….. Maybe?

    Biggest and most important question, do you have your Ice Auger ready for the Ice Fishing?

    1. A snow shovel is a manual device for moving and transporting short distances a material known as frozen Dihydrogen oxide.
      WARNING: Use of this device can be physically strenuous if there is a large amount of frozen material.
      Best use policy: Have own children or neighbors kids utilize manual device.
      Post job cool down: Hot cocoa
      Hehe

  4. Yes, I have my propane heater in my living room and a 500 gallon tank outside. It uses no electricity and heats the whole house. As back up, I have a Little Buddy heater, a one-burner propane stove, and some folding stoves with sterno and some other fuels and I have a Kelly Kettle. I also have two Kandle Heeters. For outside, I have a charcoal grill and about 5 small bags of charcoal. Lots of matches and candles too.

  5. Unfortunately, the house I live in now has an electric furnace, and we haven’t gotten around to putting in a wood stove. Been looking at them but been putting it off. However, the house is very well insulated and the furnace keeps us cozy as a bug in a rug. We did lose the blower fan one winter, and found out it took about 4 0r 5 hours before it started cooling down. Good thing to know. it gave us time to set up alternate heaters before it got to cold. If we lose electric, I have both the Big and small Buddy heaters, 5 cases of green bottles, and three 5 gal. bottles. Probably need more though, especially in an extended outage. In a SHTF situation, it would hopefully buy me enough time to get in a small wood stove. I have a small wood parlor stove I bought at an antique mall for decoration, but it still is in serviceable condition. I also have a good generator that will run a portable tower heater, at least till I run out of fuel. When all else fails, I guess I’ll just freeze to death. There are worse ways to go, you know.

  6. We have propane forced air furnace,the blower is a separate circuit that is plugged in a receptacle.In the fall we heat primarily with woodstove in basement.Later we switch to the wood boiler outside that we share with our son whose house is 500 feet away.we heat about 7000 square feet more his than ours boiler is a wood eater .at least 30 Ricks a winter. I would rather son had indoor woodstove also. But Boilers put good heat through our gas furnace and mess is all outside.The other negative of course is the pumps on boiler require electricity .Luckily we’ve never had power outage while boiler was in operation or we would have to pull one of our generators out to power the pumps.

  7. Wood stove back up heat, not enough wood cut yet. Propane cook stove with dedicated tank. My fear is a power outage in summer when mothers nature won’t keep my freezer frozen. We do have a generator.

  8. We have a natural gas furnace but it has an electric fan and thermostat. We also have a vent less gas space heater. We have 3 kerosene heaters. I am going to set up a 55 gal. barrel for K1 and another for gasoline. We can cook on 2 of the kerosene heaters. We can also cook outside on a camp stove and charcoal grill. We also have a generator that will run the furnace and fridge and freezers. If it is cold enough we will put jugs of water outside to freeze then put them in the fridge to keep it cold.

  9. Years ago my parents set up one of the basement rooms as a hot box. It has ventilation through the furnace room, and a wood burning stove. Turn on the furnace fan and it draws hot air out of that room and into the rest of the house without using gas. If the furnace isn’t working, the heat in the room still heats the floor upstairs and keeps the basement from freezing.

  10. From experience
    4 large dogs in a small room raise the temperature 10 to 12 degrees.

    16 candles burning in a large room with the 4 large dogs will keep the heat on 60 degrees when it is 20 degrees outside. This happened when power went out for 4 hours in winter.

    I used a snowmobile suit for Arctic expeditions with snowmobile boots, layered head and hand coverage as a test to 40 below zero and I was very toasty.

    I use a wood stove which is 82% efficient that heats the whole house being centrally located. I used one after the power went out one winter and used the 16 candles back in 2009,

    I use a Witney horse Rug 100% wool blanket on my bed in winter. In a minute under the covers, your own heat will radiate back like an electric blanket would. It helps to have a bed buddy….no man here but a 120 lb dog will do at your back.

    1. Stardust,

      How do you keep those 4 large dogs from knocking over those 16 candles and starting a fire?

    2. We kept an oil lantern on very low for the light in the bathroom that happens to be the coldest room as the heat from the wood burning stove would have to turn two corners in order to reach the bathroom. That lantern heated up that small bathroom more than 15 degree’s. It was actually warmer than the primary bathroom.

  11. You can take a regular patio brick, paver or regular brick. Place it on a camp stove etc. It will catch, retain and radiate heat. Makes better use of the btu’s from the fuel your burning. Think of it like this. Hot air is hot air only when something is heating it up. Have you ever went outside when its 98 degrees. You think, wow its hot out here. Then you step on your patio brick, concrete or even rocks bare footed, and it burns your feet. How long after dark does the brick stay warm? ….
    As a side note. You can put a 12 or 16 inch patio paver in your regular BBQ grill. Charcoal or propane. And turn it into a killer pizza oven. Smokey flavor, bubbly cheese.

  12. We have a wood cook stove in the basement with an eco fan and 6 cords of wood put up. Since this is the first winter in Montana I have no idea how often the power goes out or how much we’ll need that cook stove but I am looking forward to learning to cook on it. I’m more worried about the wood stove being too warm. We have 2 big buddies and a couple of kerosene lanterns. We also have a full house propane generator that we can flip over to for shorter outages. I think we’re set but this first winter will be telling

  13. MontanaHome,
    Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your new place, and if you are on propane for your main heat and cooking, install a combustible gas monitor too. We don’t want to loose you now that you found MSB. To find out how to cook on that wood stove my advice would be to make friends with your neighbors, some of these farm wives can cook up a feast on a wood stove and would probably be happy to give you advice if you ask. Be safe, stay warm.

  14. So winter is a thing where is live. The heater and stove are both electric and I love on the second floor of an apartment building.

    Im thinking that my best bet is layers of clothes and warm blankets. The good news is I have tons of both and the building is newer with newer windows. I have a roll of plastic the big sheet kind so I’ll be stapling that over the windows.

    Fire indoors is sketchy at best and ventilation becomes an issue. I suppose I could crack a window but then I’m letting cold air in so. I’m thinking that’s a last resort for heat.

    Thoughts?

    1. – Chad N –
      Welcome to the blog! Sorry to be late but got really busy yesterday. It sounds like you are like a lot of the rest of us, you know something is not right but didn’t buy the right lottery ticket. That’s okay, just remember the little train that could and keep chugging along. You’ve gotten a number of very useful replies, so just get started and do what you can as you are able. Good luck!
      – Papa S.

    2. – Chad N –
      Sorry, meant to say you should check into a kerosene heater for your apartment. Yes, you will need to crack a window, but your net gain in heat should more than offset the loss through the crack. A few years ago, we put plastic over the windows with around a foot of snow on the ground for the MOUT buildings at Fort Hood, heated a couple of those concrete shells just made to resemble bombed-out buildings with about 4 or 5 kerosene heaters, and were really pretty comfortable. Didn’t even need much of an air vent, either. And for anyone who doesn’t believe Texas can get pretty cold, let me invite you down here. Find out why Papa Smurf and the rest of the clan are blue LOL.
      – Papa

  15. I have a blue flame wall heater that runs on propane and is vent free. I know it will heat the house even when it’s 10 degrees outside (last year).

  16. Here’s a thought for a stop-gap, light-duty solution. Fire up a few of your Aladdin Lamps, they provide heat and everyone needs adequate light during a power outage.

    1. yep, replying to a two year old comment.

      That might work for the lamps that use that clean burning(scented?) oil.
      Mine, I only have kerosene and that stinks even with trimmed wick and proper flame.

      1. – Found prepacked kerosene K1) at one of the local propane suppliers today. 5 gallons for a grand total of $46 even. It’s put up for now. K1 kerosene is not as stinky as regular, especially if you do as we do and refuel, light, and shut off Propane is non-existent at the moment, although
        I did find a convenience store with about three 5-gallon/20 lb bottles available that was just a bit off the beaten path.  

        All vehicles are full on gas. I also was able to fill one of my empty 5-gallon gas cans for my generator, although I haven’t treated it yet. Clerk told me no on the second one, but that’s not any problem (I did let him think it was). Weather is warming up. Still no water at the house.

        – Papa S.

        1. – Supposed to be, “light, shut off and refuel outside!” on the kerosene.

          – Papa

  17. I am lucky…
    I have and old generator that I can back feed power to my furnace. When that fails, I have extra propane tanks and a Mr. Buddy gas line that I can use with my Mr. Buddy heater. When that fails, I made a wood stove from an old propane tank.
    When that fails….

  18. I dont envy you folks in the cold country.
    our only source of heat when we need it is a wood stove. Rarely use ours. Even on a cold morning like the other day, 44 at 5am it got up to high 50s by 9am so not bad

    Stay safe and warm yall on the cold continent!

  19. Make sure that even though it seems reasonable to ‘cord and plug’ the electricals on your natural gas or propane heating system, check the code in your area. Also, the manufacturer of the Air Handler or other components may have specific instructions on how to power it. No need to inadvertently get your butt in a crack w/ the Goobers…

    This suggestion applies to making changes in the System for regular use ahead of any emergencies.

    In a disaster, of course, you do what you have to do…

    <bb

  20. Sleep in a tent in the living room. Put covers (blankets) over all windows and doors, make sure there are no leaks. Live in one room, block all other heat vents. Wrap up if you need to leave that one room. You may go crazy with everyone in a small space, but you’ll be warm. Any kind of flame should NOT be kept in the tent. If you have power, change light bulbs to incandescent (they use more power but put out significant heat).

    1. – Lauren, we had an incident back in the eighties when a backhoe cut our power and gas (killed the operator and two others). Temps at the time around single digits.
      We were living in a 12×65’ house trailer.

      We blocked off the rest of the house with blankets over the doorways, and used a propane camp stove and a catalytic heater to warm the living room and kitchen. The bathroom was cold, but did not freeze.

      We had a hide-a-bed sofa in the living room, and put everyone in that for the three days we were in trouble (That’s when I learned oldest daughter kicks in her sleep). A sheet over the bed helped a great deal, set up like a tent.

      – Papa S.

      1. – BTW, if you have bubble wrap, cut it to size, spray the window with water and stick it up. It makes very good insulation and is easy to remove, plus you can still get heat from sunlight and can (almost) see what is going on outside.

        – Papa

  21. We have two 500 gallon tanks, that gives us 800 gallons of propane. We fill the tanks in mid summer when the price is down. We estimate that we could last for three years without refilling. Our heat and hot water come from propane and a 110V service that the generator provides. We also use a wood burning stove.

      1. Left Coast,
        Good suggestion for propane users. We own our 325 gallon propane tank . We bought it refurbished from the propane company and we can buy gas from the lowest priced company, usually in August. We have 1 gas appliance so we get about 5 years usage from the tank.

          1. Wow, that substantially less than what I was quoted. <>$2.50 and that’s into one of their tanks. If you own your own tank is it that much cheaper. I have zero experience with propane. Have always been on natural gas.

  22. Don’t forget a hot meal or drink can go a long way to making you feel better. For $50 you can have a caterers 1burner stove with propane from Amazon. Mine was even cheaper from a resturant supple store. Comes in its own case and easy to store!

  23. Thanks to Ken for running this site. Thanks to Bluesman for mentioning the “Ecofan”. I have never heard of one and I will have to obtain one or several of them in the near future.

    One of the primary problems of a power outage was the lack of circulating air. Radiant heat feels good in one small spot. Radiant heat coupled with an Ecofan could be the answer.

    Though I lost power, we still had gas to run our water heater and the gas cookstove worked. I spent a lot of time cooking and the windows were cracked open with a baffle set up to minimize the icey blasts from outside while allowing for some air circulation for safety sake.

  24. Cook stove is gas, tank fed.
    Heat with wood only, outdoor boiler during the cold days, indoor burner in fall/spring.The indoor burner will keep the inside livable even on the worst days.
    Still have several tons of 4′ logs outback that will last well into spring.

    I have one Double Burner 30,000 BTU Radiant Tank Top Propane Portable Heater and full 20# tanks if it’s necessary.(not CO safe) but can heat a room or keep pipes thawed,

  25. Some might want to voluntarily turn off their electricity, from Zerohedge:  Days after power prices jumped from $50 per Megawatt to more than $9,000

  26. I was mid restoration on an old Perfection 750 Firelite Kerosene parlor heater. Funny how parts immediately went “unavailable” at most stores. (Un)Luckily I live in CA so not an issue yet, but just waiting for it to hit us, or power outages, or whatever.

  27. The greatest heat loss in the winter, and heat gain in the summer, is from air moving in and out of a house. Weather stripping, caulking, spray foam and other method of sealing openings will not cost a lot and can be done by the owner. Let the sunshine through windows onto black or other dark surfaces during the day time. Back up heat will go a lot longer when the heat loss has been controlled.

    1. Carl:
      Agreed 1000%.
      Plus the kids leaving the doors open after the run to play in the Snow don’t help any.

  28. We were one of the lucky ones. We only lost power for 6 hrs. We do have a generator, electric heaters and propane heaters for backup. Hand warmers etc.. I was so happy we just replaced all the windows in the house. Made a huge difference. As others had mentioned we placed beach towels to stop door drafts. And used painters tape on the french doors. We have a gas water heater so the grandbaby had a glow stick bubble bath and bundled up with 4 blankets in bed with us. She also throws a leg over. Daughter and her family ended up staying with us. They just got power and water back yesterday. Gave out emergency candles and oil lamps to a friend. I keep 6 oil lamps with extra oil and wicks always. I have 3 older lanterns I would like to refurbish soon. Ordered replenishing supplies today, more than I normally carry because well, things just seem off nowadays. Be safe everyone

  29. Thanks for the Heater Buddy idea.

    We will be ordering one soon, given what happened here in TX.

  30. NH Michael talked of alternative currency on open forum. During last ice storm, currency and trade goods took the form of: warm and windproof clothing, propane and kerosene heaters + fuel for each heater of choice. charged batteries and working flashlights and headlamps.

    1. Yes indeed Calirefugee. Things I like to remind folks about are pretty basic.

      Know who you are “Trading with”. Some *might* be MORE interested in Becoming the Local Supplier of… By force sad to say. Some Good folks here on MSB remind us of Trade Bullets can be RETURNED with Interest…

      A GOOD Trade is when BOTH parties feel they did Good in the exchange.

      I suspect you didn’t DO any real trading during your recent storm outage as folks that NEED a Kerosene Heater and Fuel are likely NOT to HAVE anything to trade with unless you value Dead Presidents as even the Credit Card system was AWOL.

      Please correct me if you actually traded with some family in dire need of heat-food-warm clothing and or batteries-light sources. What did you get in return?

      Now if your referring to my 3 part Weimar Germany comment I DO have much more I could say about Trading AROUND the Socialists. But I didn’t want to abuse Ken’s comment section with parts 4-7 or so given the small paragraphs we can use.

      Maybe a little later I can continue if there is interest.

  31. Just my plan
    I made a wood stove as shown on a web site called Far North Bush craft and Survival. The best part of this stove is the small amount of wood needed. i have never had to rig it up in the house for survival, but would probably put 3″ pipe through a screen or removed window with tin foil and plywood cover. It’s cheep, easy to make, portable, light, can use 3″ furnace pipe. YES I know its not the safest but your not going any where, your staying buy the heat. fire extingusher at hand is up to you.

    1. Dan, simple works most times. Biggest danger is heat transfer from exterior of the flue pipe to combustible material. I installed alot of prefab fireplaces many years ago. We used a metal “firestop” to keep the flue spaced away from combustibles.
      It was a sheet metal square with a hole for the pipe to fit through. It was made to fit between studs on 16″ center spacing.It was nailed in place to secure the pipe. You can make one with flat sheet metal and some tin snips. If you are going out a window on an angle the hole will need to be elliptical instead of round to accommodate the pipe. Totally doable and will make it that much safer to use. You could prefab it now and test it inside. That way you would be ready for immediate install in an emergency instead of having to do it while other things may need your attention first.
      Would give you peace of mind too knowing you had a heat stove already to go in your preps…

  32. Reply to NH Michael: I did not trade with anybody during this past ice storm. I am cleaning up and digging out like everybody else. ( less digging and more cutting up branches and other tree parts.)

    Earlier we discussed what I thought was a lack of crime in my area/neighborhood. Some of my CNA coworkers live in the poorer section of the nearby larger city. They reported an increase in petty theft crimes mostly consisting of trying of locks and doors. Some of these people are people I have worked with for almost 10 years. Some of these people were given 5 – 10 rounds of buckshot for their shotguns this past year. They stayed behind their barricaded doors with their families and their shotguns waiting for the power to return. I have met their families and we help and support each other at work. We do not have a mutual support group on a formal basis but we are pretty tight.

    Over the years I have lived here, I taught a few people how to reload, I won a few local tournaments prior to retiring from all types of competitive shooting events. In this time of shortage, I have some materials to reload butt I save a lot of money and time by simply not competing.

    1. Your an good neighbor Calirefugee :-) Emergency heat, clean up, helping with self defense, dealing with spoiled or suspect food all good neighbor things. That’s how Americans got through so many serious situations in our history. Thank you.

      We are not trading but giving a can of kerosene or a few shells to friends who need.

      Most of us are a little like the “Staying behind barricaded doors mode”. Again Thank you for going past your doors and being a good neighbor. We are going to NEED a lot more of that willing assistance of Good Neighbors.

  33. – I don’t recall if I posted this elsewhere or not. Apologies if I did, but it does need to be here. Our normal response to a power outage (all our power outages tend to be of the sudden, middle-of-the-night variety.) is to fire up the fireplace in the living/great? Room.
     
    As we currently have an electric stove (it was new when DW inherited the house) it is probably going to remain for a goodly number of years yet. The house is plumbed for natural gas, but a former son-in-law sold the gas stove we loaned him when he needed money. Central heating is gas, but requires electricity to run.

    This fall I had had surgery and did not get more than minimal wood stocked up. Four days with minimal commercial power at unscheduled intervals, and the house getting cold, I used what is an old standby for me, a kerosene heater. I think DW has a new favorite back-up heat source. 

    1. The twelve-year-old boy can manage it. (the ten-year-old knows how, but is a little bit small in stature) Fire it up outside, bring it in after about five minutes or so, so the stink is outside, and take it outside to shut down and refuel, same reason. In the meantime, 10-12 hours of quiet, dependable nonelectric heat that lasted for four days without any problem and kept the whole house at 62 degrees.

      – Papa S.

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