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Top eight ways to heat your home during an emergency grid-down scenario


Preppers
(NaturalNews) Whether due to a storm, or in a more serious survival scenario, losing electricity is a valid concern. Depending on the situation, you may be out of electricity for more than a few hours; several days, weeks or even longer could go by before it's restored. This means that one of the most basic human necessities – heat – could be lost.

If you think you can rely on wood, the reality is that such a heat source will only last for so long.

Therefore, it's important to consider alternative heating sources. Here are the top eight ways to heat your home in an emergency situation.

The most natural resource ...

1. Passive solar
Just as the name implies, this method relies on the sun to provide heat (let's hear it for actually depending on natural resources to survive – what a concept!). This means building a home with the majority of its windows facing the sun, or taking advantage of sunlight in this manner in your existing home.

Quite simply, the sun that filters into your home can create heat, especially when it's absorbed on nearby concrete slabs that retain the heat and radiate it back out. Keep the curtains open on the sunniest side (south or north depending on where you live), while keeping a dark colored item on the floor nearby to absorb heat. Other heat-absorbing materials include a brick wall or cylinders filled with water near various windows.(1,2)

2. Solar convection
You can easily and affordably make a solar convection heater by turning to aluminum beer or soda cans. By gluing them together so they're the height of your windows, leaving an opening at the top and bottom, and painting all of it black to best absorb sunlight, you'll have a heat source ready. For more details about how to make it, watch this video.(1)

From propane to animal dung (yes, dung), heating options abound

3. Propane
Now before you think this doesn't make sense because forced-air propane heaters need electricity to work, know that you can turn to ceramic heaters, also known as catalytic heaters. They're simply connected to a portable propane tank, much like what's done with a barbecue grill.

People have been known to heat their homes throughout the winter using this method, which is also considered safe for indoor use.(1)

4. Kerosene
Although a kerosene heater can be costly, it could be worth it when you're sitting in your home, shivering and feeling miserably cold. The amount of heat they give off without the need for electricity is incredible.(1)

5. Animal dung
That's right, dried animal dung, or feces, can be used to keep your home warm. It's been said to work well, and has been used throughout time by several cultures. So, if you have livestock, consider this as a possible heating source. Simply make sure the dung has been dried naturally outdoors, then collect and burn. If you're wondering, no, it doesn't make your home smell like a barn.(1)

6. Compost
By burying pipes in your compost pile, water or air can be carried and heated. It's all possible thanks to the organic material that's been breaking down; as long as the compost has an ongoing source of material and its moisture levels are maintained, heat can constantly be produced in this manner.(1)

Some options only if no others exist

7. Flammable fuels
By pouring the likes of gasoline, diesel, oil or other liquid fuels into a sand-filled container (such as a number 10 can), you can make heat. In this instance, the issue is controlling the burn rate. However the sand acts as a wick, making such control easier to contend with.

Oil heaters are another method. They were often used successfully by the Army, so your best bet is to look for one at a local Army surplus store. Two words of caution in this case: Be sure to properly ventilate, and be aware that you'll go through fuel quickly, needing to replenish often. This should be considered only if no other options are available.(1)

8. Coal
Finally, you can turn to coal to heat your home. This slow-burning method should be explored only if no other options exist, and you are able to do so safely. It can be used in a fireplace or wood-burning stove (never in a metal, wood-burning stove that doesn't have fire brick), and in areas where plenty of ventilation exists. Again, this should only be used as an emergency method.(1)

It's never too late to plan. If the grid went down today, would your home have adequate heat?

Sources for this article include:

(1) OffTheGridNews.com

(2) LivingOnSolar.com
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