Alternative Heat for your home

This is a discussion on Alternative Heat for your home within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have been listening to the news and reading stories about families in New York and New Jersey that have no way to heat their ...

View Poll Results: Alternative Heat sources

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  • Wood Burning stove or fireplace

    80 55.94%
  • Gas heater or fireplace that doesn't require electricity

    39 27.27%
  • Space Heater (propane/kerosene

    31 21.68%
  • Shivering under blankets

    22 15.38%
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Thread: Alternative Heat for your home

  1. #1
    Senior Moderator
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    Alternative Heat for your home

    I have been listening to the news and reading stories about families in New York and New Jersey that have no way to heat their homes without power. I was wondering how many of you have a way to heat your home when the power is out, and what type of fuel do you use.

    If you have more than one type please add it in the comments, also state how you and if you can cook with no electricity.


    We have gas heat that doesn't require electricity (as long as the gas works) and an old smokey fireplace. For cooking we can use the fireplace or our camping stoves.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    I live in Wisconsin in the country . If power fails in the winter we are the last to get repaired. Only the cities count.
    So I have always had a wood burner and a pile of wood for a back up. It may not keep the whole house 70 when it 10 below but it will keep it liveable.
    Two generators also. Have o use portable one if you install an house system property taxes go throw the roof.
    Poseidon likes this.

  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I live where its pretty common to loose power. We have a Wood stove, Oil heater, and a Generator. DR

  5. #4
    Member Array GrandZJ's Avatar
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    I've always liked wood stoves. Man they can heat you up quick, as long as you don't let it go out. In my house we have electric heat downstairs, oil heat upstairs, and an electric stove for cooking. When the power goes out we have nada.

  6. #5
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    It isn't very often we lose power here. But, a generator would be a nice back-up. Even a small genset would keep the pellet stove fired and a few lights on. Better put one on my wish list.

  7. #6
    Member Array Goldstar225's Avatar
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    Have a fireplace and a free standing kerosene heater. I also have oil lamps and coleman lanterns for light. I'll be picking up a generator in the very near future.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Currently we have a fireplace, freestanding kerosene heater, a propane buddy heater, and the normal camping gear; lanterns, stoves, sleeping bags, plus a set of cast iron cookware, and a couple Lodge Dutch ovens.

    Last month, we broke ground on our new house on 80 acres we bought. This is using ICF construction with geo-thermal heat/cooling. We’re having installed a woodstove and a 17KW standby generator that runs on propane.

    Chuck
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  9. #8
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    where we are is rural as well....we have 4 fireplaces, oil heat, gas (LP) logs in two fireplaces & electric heaters. We also have a back up generator to run when power is out. I got a diesel genset recently so I can use the heating oil to run if power is out for extended periods.
    pgrass101 and Chaplain Scott like this.
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  10. #9
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    Here in FL, we just open the windows and let the heat in...

    Even in the colder months, if we keep the windows closed, we really never need to turn the heat on.
    There are worse places to be without power than FL.
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  11. #10
    Ex Member Array Doodle's Avatar
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    I'm the one guy who voted shivering under blankets because let's face it... In Houston during hurricane season the problem is AC not heat. I have not run my heat yet this year and I have Window ac units and a gen should the power fail... I'm also looking into wiring the gen to run the whole home including the central air. It just doesn't get cold enough in Houston for heat to really be a problem for me.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Here in FL, we just open the windows and let the heat in...

    Even in the colder months, if we keep the windows closed, we really never need to turn the heat on.
    There are worse places to be without power than FL.
    And the charcoal grill runs year round! Worst case scenerio, there are a couple of cans of Sterno out in the garage somewhere and a Coleman lantern.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    Our house is 100% electric.

    We have a 25kw generator and a large kerosene heater. Between the two, we can run everything in the house and keep it about 70 degrees when it's below freezing outside.

    We also shut off a lot of the breakers to save gas in the generator. Last time the power was out, it cost us about $60 bucks a day to run that thing.
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  14. #13
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    Here in the AZ desert the problem of staying warm isn't a huge challenge... throw on an extra sweater and we're good to go. I can cook for about a week on the LP tank on my gas grill.

    Back in New England, though, I had a wood stove, a fireplace, and a kerosene heater for heat, with lots of candles and oil lamps for light.
    RichB70 likes this.
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  15. #14
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    We have had no power and no heat for a week. Thank goodness the water heater (gas) still works. Was able to buy a small generator (God is good) a few days ago to power some electric heaters for two bedrooms at night, and to keep the refrigerator cool. The lines to buy gasoline to fill gas cans are much shorter than the lines to fill your car.

    We will be installing a wood burning stove ASAP. Plenty of cut up downed trees to burn for the hauling...
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  16. #15
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    I have a main Boiler Hot Water Radiator system but this house also has 5 gas log fireplaces (good in an emergency but, not very efficient) I also have a few little ceramic heaters and there is a cast iron wood stove in the basement. I have used it once or twice and they DO throw off a huge amount of heat.
    I also have one of those catalytic gas heaters that mounts on the wall. It produces a great deal of heat but it also causes a lot of condensation to build up on my windows (since natural gas contains some moisture)...so I never use it.

    This is a big house so we two sets of baseboard radiators that go almost all the way around two rooms & then I think 13 other old large cast iron radiators.

    In this house it would probably be cheaper to just burn Dollar Bills rather than Natural Gas for heat.

    For cooking I have a portable two burner propane cylinder gas stove should we ever need it.
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