The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Staying warm during power outages

Fire in a wood stoveDo you have a strategy for keeping warm if the electricity goes out during a winter snowstorm?  Electric heaters clearly won't work, and gas furnaces require electricity to operate.  Even wood heat might not be reliable if you depend on an electric fan to blow warm air where you want it.

An energy efficient wood stove in a central location within your home is the best choice for warmth (and cooking) during power outages, but the time and money required to install a wood stove is beyond the Weekend Homesteader level.  This week's lunchtime series helps you find other options to stay warm if snow knocks down the power lines.


I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Weekend Homesteader: December.  The 99 cent ebook walks you through the basics of planting your first fruit trees, staying warm without electricity, understanding the uses of essential tools, and turning trash into treasures.  If you're interested in other aspects of basic emergency preparedness, Weekend Homesteader: November gives tips on storing drinking water and the upcoming Weekend Homesteader: January will cover backup lighting options.


Weekend Homesteader paperbackThis post is part of our Emergency Warmth lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:





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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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My only complaint about your stove is how often it has to be fed. :D
Comment by Shannon Mon Nov 28 23:53:57 2011
Hi, I actually just installed a used wood insert I got for $500 with the blowers. I cleaned it up, new rope gaskets, painted, and polished the brass pieces on it. I've been burning all month. I love the thing. Once you get a hang of controlling I only load it in the morning and at night. When it gets really cold I'll be loading it mid day. I heat the whole house, its an old 1848 cape with a central fireplace so it heats the house very even. Never going back to oil again, so much nicer and $3000 cheaper every winter.
Comment by Marco Thu Dec 1 06:41:14 2011

Shannon --- Yep, that's the one downside of a tiny stove. On the other hand, if I put any more wood in, the stove is so efficient that it would turn into a sauna in here!

Marco --- I've gone back and forth on whether we should have got our ultra efficient wood stoves sooner. On the one hand, we would have had to dip into our emergency buffer. On the other hand, the heating costs would have paid that back in just a few years! I'm so glad you took the plunge and enjoy it!

Comment by anna Thu Dec 1 10:16:06 2011





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