If you have a gas stove that can still be lit without electricity (some of the electronic ignition ones shut off the gas if there is no electric) then just get a couple of clay flower pots with the size of the tops a little smaller than the rack over the burner. Turn one upside down over a burner of the stove and turn it on and you will be absolutely amazed at the heat it puts off. I used this meathod for my only heat for my first apartment which was a 1 bedroom and so drafty the curtians fluttered in the draft. One flower pot over a burner kept the place hot even in sub zero weather.
I have also used the same method in power outages and while camping though a fan to stir the air dose help. If you want to make sure this is fully self contained get a propane camp stove, a 20 lbs bottle of propane and the hose to hook the stove to it then use the flower pot on this. We did that with 1 up stairs and one down stairs when the power was out a few years ago. A 20 lbs (BBQ grill size) tank of propane will heat the place with this meathod for just shy of a week IIRC, so a couple of these bottles and you should be set for any outage that is likely to be resolved in a foreseeable time frame. Make sure to have an extra pot or 2 since they are a bit fragile and also tend to crack as heating up and cooling off after use but do work VERY well.
Read more: http://www.survivalmo...
|A former member||
My background: Building Performance Institute - Certified Building Analyst. I do energy audits and consulting, and health and safety is a significant part of the house evaluation.
The concern I have with the use of the range and/or oven is CO production and its accumulation within the house. If the burners have a complete blue flame and no yellow tips very little CO is likely being produced, but this is not a definitive means of determination. The oven burner cannot be easily determined with the same method because most are obscured from view and a CO monitor or combustion analysis tool is needed to measure the CO production. If the inside of the oven is coated in food splatter the production of CO is likely because the food burns at a high temperatures in an oxygen deprived environment. I have found ovens producing between 300 – 400 ppm of CO in one third of the ovens that I test, and these are typically older units and have food splatter on the bottom tray.
Since CO is undetectable to our senses it is a dangerous gas and a silent killer. In my profession I am to stop my work and ventilate the house if the inside air concentration of CO is greater than 35 ppm. (PPM = parts per million molecules of air)
Here is a chart that provides the health risks based upon CO concentration:
■12,000 PPM - Death within 1 – 3 minutes
■1600 PPM - Nausea within 20 minutes, death within 1 hour
■800 PPM - Nausea and convulsions – death within 2 hours
■400 PPM - Frontal headaches 1-2 hours life threatening within 3 hours
■50 PPM - Maximum level for continuous exposure in an 8 hour workday
■10–35 PPM - Marginal Small children, elderly, and those suffering respiratory or heart problems
■9 PPM - The concentration often found on busy city streets
■1 – 9 PPM - Any increase of CO from outside warrants further investigation but may not be an immediate health risk
Other information at this link: http://www.cosafety.o...
If the house is fairly air leaky the home heating method wood stove burners is OK because the CO will be diluted by infiltrating air. Very old homes, such as row homes in inner cities, tend to be very leaky with an air change rate of once per hour. Younger homes and older homes that have been remodeled with energy efficiency incorporated into the design, which greatly diminishes air leakage, the air change rate can be less than 0.5 per hour and if and oven is producing over 300-400 ppm of CO and operated for a prolonged amount of time, such as backup house heating, it can accumulate in the house to a toxic level. Typical UL rated CO detectors are set to trigger the alarm when concentrations are above 70 ppm for at least 4 hours. The quality of major brand-name, UL rated CO detectors is questionable because they are manufactured in China and Mexico.
Here is another link for reference information and a high-performance, American-made, low-level CO detection monitor: http://www.coexperts....
Be careful about heating your home with an unvented, indoor combustion appliance for long periods of time. The flowerpot method above is a clever method. Drafty homes tend to be very dry so heating a pot of water, not to a boil, is another way to add heat and moisture to a house. I have used this method when the relative humidity inside my house drops below 30% even when I am using my normal house heating appliance, which happens to be a wood pellet stove. You could also put the hot water in hot water bottles to warm your hands or feet while in another room.
Heating air to keep you warm is an inefficient means of energy use. Radiant heat is much more efficient and can keep you warm even in cold air. This is how I campfire keeps you warm. So an alternative means to keep you warm in your house when there is no electric and you have an operational gas stove, or an outside fire pit or chiminea, is to get a large, high density rock (bricks are good) and place it on a stove burner, or at the edge of the fire, with a very low flame so it heats slowly and evenly. Heating a rock on too high a flame may make it explode! The rock then becomes a radiant, thermal mass which you can then place anywhere in your house to provide heat well away from the stove. Do not get the rock too hot that you cannot safely carry it! Use oven mitts or better yet silicone hot pads to handle the rock. Make sure to set the hot rock on a non-combustible surface or on a brick and that it cannot be knocked over easily onto a combustible surface.
Be smart and stay safe.
Cavecliff once taught me:
If you are able to heat water, pour some hot water into one of those Gatorade bottles made of thicker plastic. Then, take the Gatorade bottle full of hot water and put it into the foot of your sleeping bag. You can sleep with this "foot heater" safely, and it will warm you through most of the night.
I can also see devising a way to strap a few of these to myself or tuck them into oversized sweater sleeves, in order to be able to shuffle around the house and stay warm.
I also did a little research on the bottles and here are a few notes:
There are 2 types of Gatorade bottles.
There is a cold-fill bottle which is very thin and is recognizable by the twist "Cowboy" hat top. This bottle will melt and deform with hot water.
There is a hot fill PET bottle which is much thicker and is a non-squeeze bottle. These bottles are filled with Gatorade at ~204-205*. These bottles will accept several cycles of hot fill before they deform.
The Hot Fill process is used to eliminate the use of preservatives, which can alter the taste of products. If you can find Dole juice PET bottles, Snapple or Nantucket Nectars glass bottles in 6, 17.5 and 20-ounces, 18.5 oz Pure Leaf iced tea PET bottles, or 20oz. SOBE® Glass Bottles with 38mm Metal Caps, they are also hot-filled. (I would opt for plastic, though, as it's less likely to burn the skin)
As a side note, I would not be tempted to cook paste, etc. in a Gatorade hot-fill bottle, nor would I drink even the Gatorade that came in it, knowing how plastic leaches.
Radiant heat = yes, BPA-coated electrolytes=no!
This is such a great discussion--very helpful! Thanks to all who have posted tips.
When we go backpacking, we actually use the tip about warming a large rock by our campfire. Then wrap it in a cloth and put it down in the foot area of your sleeping bag...it feels wonderful on a really cold night!
Thanks again to all who have contributed!
Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being self reliant! --Holly