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Living up near Lake Superior I have a suggestion.

Invest in a good wood stove and stainless steel chimney system. Depending on the area you live in the price of cord wood is usually cheap compared to other heat sources, and using it now before you have a power failure will pay for the set up in about 5 years if professionally installed and after that you reap a huge savings in heating costs to but more stuff. So by the time you have a power failure you won't be inconvenienced much by the lack of power.

I have used them all, from Natural gas to pellet stoves, propane heaters, kerosene, and wood and I may have forgot a few.

Typically wood is the cheapest and pellet stove heat is great but needs power.

I heated a 1100 square foot home with kerosene only for two years and yes it's okay heat, but with kids, pets, or elderly residents it can be dangerous as a tipped over heater is usually a massive house fire.

Done properly wood heat is hard to beat and when the power is out it's a blessing.

If you decide on wood make sure you get a professional installer and never never cut any corners, get the best stainless steel insulated chimney you can buy. The good chimney systems are a breeze to clean also and creosote is rarely an issue with proper burning techniques.

Everyone I know has the better quality stainless chimney systems and all of them heat year round and only have to clean them once years and they all say there's no creosote, just fine dust. It is all in learning how to properly run a wood stove which isn't rocket science, just takes patience and a tiny bit of learning.

I hope this helps.

PS a good wood stove (EPA Rated) and a quality chimney will emit almost zero smoke when running, the only time you see smoke is when starting a cold stove.



Hey everyone, wanted to see what ideas are out there that could be useful in heating my home when the power goes out. I live in a smaller bi-level house with no fireplaces and so-so insulation in Northeast Ohio, and my biggest concern is the power going out for an extended period of time in the middle of winter. What would you suggest as alternatives to keeping my home warm without electrical power given this information?

Thanks!
 

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Rover,
Make sure when running a large inductive load, like a refrigerator or freezer, that you put some pure resistive load on the generator (a work light with a 60 watt bulb is ideal). Otherwise, you shift your power factor too far lagging and that can damage your genny and/or appliance.

When our power was out for 5 days after Christmas last year, I would run space heaters and the gas stove during the day (CO detector was present, but our house is not "tight"). That would keep the front part of the house warm.

At night, I'd open a hall closet door and clamp a blanket around there to seal off the back two bedrooms of the house. An indoor rated propane or electric heater (once we got our genny) provided heat for the night. 2-Liter bottles filled with hot water and wrapped in a large towel went under the covers. That would usually keep me warm enough that I'd push the bottle away and take off a layer of covers in the middle of the night. The water would usually still be warm in the morning, too.
 

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There's a reason why Goose said that... it's because I've seen him (and others) post *many* times on this (and other subjects). He's posted very good info, which I've learned from, and is *worth* searching for.

By not searching, one is saying that all the work/typing done previous has no value and one would be ****ing in other contributor's cereal.
Agree. Not only here, but many other forums have too many threads with the same questions asked. Either ask a NEW question for discussion, or SEARCH for the discussions that have already taken place on your subject. (Actually SEARCHING first would make much more sense and imply less laziness) There's much learning to be had from searching, not rehashing, IMHO

Some folks say there's no such thing as a stupid question. Perhaps there is--the question that's been answered multiple times before and the answer is available for those that are motivated to look versus having someone else find it for them.
 

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human
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There was a time where RMHs caught my eye, thought of building one but most all those I've seen threads on make claims and show them running on nothing but kindling. I agree/know Matt is right when it comes to how many BTU's can be harvested out of wood, and yes.. different types of wood have different BTU's. Thermal mass does not increase the maximum BTUs that wood has. Thermal mass at best, gives regulation.

I don't recall which thread had it, but there was a recent post where someone purchased a new style wood stove (I think their in NE Wisconsin). That stove had "some sort" of Catalytic Converter which greatly increased overall efficiency. I think that that same wood stove cost more than $3k. I suspect that this new style wood stove would be much better than a RMH running on twigs.
 

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Whatever method of heating you use, retaining that heat is imperative. I think it was the Hermit who mentioned insulation above. My house is very well insulated and I even put in new weather stripping a couple of months ago. Because of that, I have not yet turned on my heat this season even though the last three days or so have brought rare 28 degree weather with tons of rain and no sun.

It's a bit cool in here, probably about 65 atm. I'm wearing silk long handles and sweats and I'm completely comfortable. The past two nights, I've slept in sweats under a crocheted afghan. I thought about getting out a goose down comforter but it has been perfect without it. Well, except for the cats trying to sleep on my stomach and on my neck.

I did only one thing that probably added a little heat. For the past two days, I've had the slow cooker on all day. I don't even have thick, heavy draperies. I have only some fancy girlie ones but the insulation is so good that it doesn't matter.
 

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Sleep inside a tent, inside your house, it will hold in some extra heat for you.
You know the idea of a black plastic bucket filled with water in a greenhouse, setting so that the sun heats it by day, and it releases heat at night...WELL...maybe this same concept would work inside your home, get a 55-gallon , black, plastic barrel and set it in a window where the sun is the hottest and last the longest during the day, and maybe it will release heat in the house at night...worth a try.
 

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Red Dot Patrol
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55 galllon barrel with water.... make sure your floor can hold the weight (460 lbs.) in a 30" diameter area.
 

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Has Deplaned - Adios
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The idea of a tent in side has merit, and here's an idea to consider: From the big box stores one can purchase the 4X8 sheets of insulation covered with silver foil on the outside (some on both sides), Inside tents could be "cut to order" and the parts taped together to form most any design imaginable. They could also be knocked down in the day time to make room.

Along the same lines, they could double as insulation in windows and glass doors, they could be pushed into the window casing and door frames without having to nail anything in place.

Conversly, I am going to be getting a couple of sheets of the stuff to cut into rectangles and place them on the inside of my garage door, which faces a brutal Texas sun most of the year. Our problem in South Texas is holding down the heat
 

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We had the power go out for a few days a few years back in Kentucky. My basement is well-insulated compared to the upstairs, so that's where we spent most of our time. We used wool blankets to cover our sliding glass door and windows at night, but left them open during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the basement when it could. Slept on mattresses next to the gas fireplace in the basement. Nice and toasty.

Supposedly we're out for another bad winter this year in Kentucky. If Mother Nature feels like setting me back in front of a nice fire every night, I've no problem using that excuse.
Since I am home for the weekend I thought I would run a fire in the stove much of the weekend, so I started one last night. The stove is in the "sun room" (who points a sun room to the north? *sigh* - I would have oriented this house differently, but PO wanted the "view", but now 15 years later the trees block the "view"), on a wall next to the master bedroom.

I woke up about midnight and between the mattress heater turned on "1" and the stove, I was sweating, so I turned the heater off. I got up about 2AM and put another log on the fire to keep it going till morning. When I got up at 6 AM the temp in the house was about 60*F. That is about what I like it to stay at, maybe a little less, when sleeping. I bump it up to 62* to 65*F during the day.
 

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I like the idea of indoor tents made of 4x8 insulation board :thumb:

I can't even fathom a sunroom on the north side......
 

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...it's a good idea to have your heating unit rewired with a regular 110v cord, considerably cheaper than a mechanical interlocked switch, from a gen. to landlines.
the newer LED bulbs allow you to run much more lights cheaper and with less power also. I don't trust them completely yet though, lot of fires from a few cheap Chinese LED bulbs.
I've had a higher failure rate with the low cost LEDs - regardless of source (Costco or Home Depot).

BTW - lighting is a very small part of the load on a genset or even a solar system. Unless you have a lot of lights. Most of the lights in my house are now either LED or CFL, but if I only use enough lights to get by, I would be using maybe 100 watts. Even with incandescents, I could get by with 200 watts.

Hot water and well pump are the two biggies. If the power was out over a week, then I would need to use the washer and dryer for laundry and the dryer is 30 amps at 240. Yes, I could theoretically hang clothes to dry, but a generator is about convenience, not necessity. The only real necessity I have for a generator is keeping my food cold/frozen until it can be used up (which is a problem because the freezer is in the shop which is a separate power system from the house - I am going to buy a small Honda eu2000is for the shop and RV).
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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There is a Korean war surplus tent stove (Yukon stove or something like that) that Yankee Prepper showed off about 11 years ago. I bought one and it is stashed far back in the shed somewhere. Can't imagine ever actually using the thing, but Yankee Prepper made a convincing video. When I called Coleman surplus, they said they just had a massive run on people buying them and they were sold out. (I got the last one at the time they said). I assume they restocked. I told them about the video likely being the cause of the buying frenzy, and they thanked me for the info, since they were not aware of it. Got mine for $50 since it was a bit rusty and was the last one.


I think this was it.


 
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