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My Heating Experience during the Snowstorm

2011 February 14

By Denise Owens

After last year’s snowstorms, I decided to purchase a heater for my home in case the power goes out again. The fireplace helped, but it just wasn’t warm enough. I needed more.

After visiting several stores, I realized that there were a variety of heaters to choose from. I saw several energy efficient heaters, but they all required electricity; therefore I decided to purchase a fuel heater.

That required me to also purchase fuel, so I was thinking to myself, do I really want to do all of this? But then I realized that my electricity seems to go out for every weather condition.

Once I purchased the heater, I decided to try it before the next snowstorm actually arrived. The heater felt great and it kept my house extremely warm. But when I turned it off, I then noticed there was some smoke. As soon as I noticed the smoke I began to think to myself, what are the side effects from this heater?

After the power was restored I decided to do the research I should have done prior to purchasing the fuel heater. I then realized that it is not the best thing to use, but what do you do for a heat source when your power goes out for days?

Check out DOE Energy Savers and EPA’s Burnwise Program information.

About the author: Denise Owens has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency for over 25 years.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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12 Responses leave one →
  1. Whitney permalink
    February 14, 2011

    You could try a canned fuel ethanol product. Commonly refered to as a sterno, (although there are other great brands out there like Blaze!) It is clean burning so it’s totally safe to use indoors (but with any flame be sure and give it some space). It isn’t the hottest thing you can get but depending on your needs and how big a room you’re trying to warm it could work well for you and its great to have for a just in case situation because it’s fairly inexpensive and all you need is the can and a long stem match or lighter.

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    February 14, 2011

    Proportional !!
    It’s difficult something to be a proportional, just for awhile, or perhaps that’s impossible. The goal of environmentalism, too; always change time by time ever and forever. So, substantially of proportional is satisfaction, but just for awhile. After that, we taste in our life empty again….!!!!!

  3. Lynn permalink
    February 14, 2011

    We stick to the woodstove primarily but now also have a small generator. I don’t want to risk the fumes from fuel inside our home. It’s worth the investment if you are in a place you can have one and do have a number of outages a year.

  4. Mike permalink
    February 14, 2011

    You could get the fireplace outfitted with an efficient wood combustion burner that vents the heat back into the room (instead of mostly up the chimmney) and removes most of the particulate from flue. They are a little costly but you’ll have heat and be slightly more energy efficient than your currently open fireplace?

  5. Maxi Container, Inc. permalink
    February 14, 2011

    You could try using a wood burning stove. Good for the environment and saves you money. You can make out out of a steel 55 gallon drum. Check them out on our website

  6. dowens permalink*
    February 14, 2011

    Great idea, I will make the investment


  7. dowens permalink*
    February 14, 2011

    Thanks, I will make the investment


  8. Linda permalink
    February 14, 2011

    The last time we had a prolonged power outage during the winter was in the early 1990s – the power went out and stayed out for several days. At the same time, temperatures plunged to the mid-teens or low 20s (not something we expected here in Alabama!)

    Thank goodness we have a very good fireplace; it draws well and puts out a ton of heat (I’ve melted wrought iron log holders more than once) and we had a lot of dry oak firewood on hand during that storm.

    Before the house started getting too cold, we covered the open doorways leading into the living room with heavy quilts to retain heat, built up a good fire and stashed plenty of wood right next to the fireplace to minimize trips outside. We spent the day near the fireplace; we cooked over the fire, too, eating foods that would spoil soon without the freezer. At night, we moved the couch away and pitched a small pop-up tent in front of the fireplace – the matress from the sofa sleeper fit inside perfectly – and settled in for a cozy night of “camping out” indoors. It’s not something I want to do too often, but overall, I think we came through it pretty well.

  9. Moe Yusuf permalink
    February 14, 2011

    How about Geothermal system or wind turbines: just generate your own power.

  10. Sohn Toschack permalink
    February 17, 2011

    canned fuel ethanol product can really help in this case.

  11. Jerry Braun permalink
    February 23, 2011

    There’s also a new solar powered heat option, but I don’t know if it works in all locations.

  12. epasarah permalink
    February 25, 2011

    Yes but then you have wood fumes in your house. air quality drops because of particulate matter.

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