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How to Keep Your House Warm in a Disaster
We’ve already discussed ways to start fires in order to stay warm, but if you’re in your home, you can’t exactly build an open fire. You’re going to need something to build your fire in, or another source of heat that’s safe to use inside. There are many different options for house warming in a disaster, but here are a few of the best, in my opinion.
Note that unlike many other sites, I didn’t include a generator. This was a conscious decision because though they’re great to have, they’re expensive, large, and most depend upon significant amounts of diesel fuel or gasoline. In a true disaster, it may not be a sustainable source of energy. For a few days, they’d be great but after that, you’ll need an alternative source.
Heating Your Home with a Wood Stove
I love wood burning stoves for several reasons:
- They’re multi-use. You can cook on them, heat with them, and dry wet clothing near them with relative safety.
- They’re one of the safer methods of heating your home.
- As long as you have access to wood, you have heat and a way to cook.
- They’re perfectly usable in everyday life, so a wood burner isn’t just some piece of survival equipment taking up space in your home.
- In a pinch, you can burn about anything including coal or any other flammable object in place of wood.
- You can buy ones that insert into a fireplace or stand alone.
Solar Heating System
Though these can be a bit pricey up front, solar heating and cooling systems will save you a ton of money over the long term. You can virtually eliminate electrical or gas heating and cooling bills and solar energy is clean so you don’t have to worry about fumes. Since the sun is a sustainable source of fuel, you don’t have to worry about running out or bartering for ways to run your heating and cooling source.
In the case of a disaster, you’re already off the grid and ready to stay warm. As with a wood burner, you don’t have to wait for a disaster for a solar heating and cooling system to be tremendously useful. If you can make the investment, solar is great for house warming.
The Earth’s temperature remains constant once you get beneath the surface and geothermal heating and cooling methods take advantage of that to keep you warm and cool. A liquid runs through underground pipes then back through an extractor that removes the heat and pumps it into your home. This is sustainable and your existing pipes can be used so it may not be an unaffordable option for house warming.
Gas Burning Space Heaters
These are affordable options for short-term heating needs. Be careful using them for house warming because they present a bit more of a fire hazard than a wood stove.
- Make sure that the room that you’re using a space heater in is properly ventilated in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure to store the fuel in a place where a leak won’t cause a safety or fire hazard; preferably outside.
- Never use gasoline or any other fuel that isn’t approved by the manufacturer
- Let it cool down before you put it back in storage.
- Keep small kids and pets away from them.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your house warm and toasty with minimal effort or energy loss. Since you need to conserve both heat and fuel, it’s important that you don’t waste any at all.
- If you have older windows, put clear shower curtains or plastic on your windows to block drafts without blocking sunlight.
- If you’re not using your entire home, consider blocking off just a room or a floor by hanging blankets over separating doorways to keep the heat in those areas.
- Make sure that your home is well-insulated prior to an emergency.
- Use weather stripping around doors or windows that don’t seal well.
- Wear warmer clothing so that you don’t have to get your house any warmer than necessary. This will conserve your fuel source.
These methods, with the exception of wearing warmer clothing and using the clear plastic on the windows (substitute with aluminum foil) will also help keep your home cool. Do what you can to use as little of your fuel as possible because you may need to bug in for a while and won’t want to run out. Be careful, use your head, and stay safe and comfortable!
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