How To Heat Your House When The Power Goes Out

Can you heat your home even if the power goes out?

Many states (especially Texas) experienced massive power outages during the record cold (“polar vortex”). About 5 million of them were without power. Sometimes for many days, many weeks, with very low temperatures in regions not used to this degree of cold.

The question is how to deal with it. Can you heat your home even if the power goes out?


I wrote an article about a portable propane stove I bought a while ago. I still think it’s great. It won’t heat….have 18,000 BTU). It will definitely heat a typical room (or two).

Lire : “Mr. Heater Buddy” pour “Winter Survival Preparation” ]


Some of you may have a wood stove. Problem solved. Do you have firewood? Firewood is the biggest problem if you don’t have it piled up ahead of time. However, most people who heat themselves regularly with a wood stove already have a supply of firewood for the winter. Do they?


Most of the houses here are for entertainment. Special occasions are those where a fire is lit. NOT for home heating. An open chimney is very inefficient for heating a house (the chimney gives off a lot of heat). But of course they provide some heat. In Texas and elsewhere, people desperately used their chimneys for heating. But their big problem was wood! Not enough of it. So they went out and gathered what they could.

[Read: Improving the thermal efficiency of chimneys through feedback].


Maybe you have a pellet stove. Can you run it without electricity? That’s important.

Read: How to operate a pellet stove during a power outage.


Some people have the habit of sleeping in a tent in the living room during the winter because it is warmer there than in the rest of the house.


Here’s a simple solution to stop thinking. Leave a few of your Aladdin lights on, they provide warmth and everyone needs good lighting during power outages. WARNING with open flames, especially in the presence of children or pets !!!!


Do you have an external propane tank for your stove? It goes without saying that it stays empty on the full side! I feel much better when I fill my propane tank for the winter.


The easiest way to recover heat is to use a generator (assuming a safe method of integrating the furnace). If there is a generator “changeover switch” built into your home’s electrical panel, you can go there. You may want to pay attention to it next time. You don’t have to transfer the whole house. You can get them for just a few critical circuits.

Otherwise, the problem is that your furnace does not look like a device with a plug that you can just “plug” into an outlet (your generator). The furnace is plugged into your electrical system.

The following does NOT apply if you have “electric heating” (such as electric baseboard heaters), since the electrical requirements are almost always too high to run a conventional standby generator:

If you are good with electricity (caution recommended), you may be able to install a “plug-and-play” for your furnace, allowing you to cut off the power source and place a plug and socket between the furnace and the electrical panel.

The furnace is connected to its own circuit (circuit breaker marked in your electrical panel). If you install a standard 15-amp outlet on your furnace, you can connect it directly to the generator. Just a thought.

Best extension cord for your generator]

It is intended to get you thinking about a possible power outage in the winter and how you would deal with the cold.

Do you have any other ideas?

(This article has been updated/changed to reflect the current situation with events in Texas and elsewhere)

Frequently asked questions

How can I heat my home when the power is out?

The best alternative heat sources for overheating …

Are there stoves that do not require electricity?

The best non-electric heater for your home and patio – Bob Vila.

What is the most efficient way to heat your home with electricity?

Active solar heating may be the most efficient option for heating your home. Electric resistance heating can be expensive, but it may be worth it if you rarely heat a room or if it is expensive ….

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