Good emergency heat source for my apartment?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Blackjack, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I just moved recently, and just a few minutes ago realized.....OMG I have no source of emergency heating! If we were to get one of those horrible winter storms that knocked out my power for several days, we (my wife and dog) would freeze. My bugout property with wood and kerosene heat is only a few minutes drive from here, but if the roads snowed over, I'd never make it up the hills. I've got water, food, enough ammo to hold off most small armies, but no heat.

    Opinions on the best emergency heat for an apartment?

    1) Kerosene heater - have to leave a window open for ventilation and kinda defeats the purpose. I'd be way too paranoid about c.monoxide.

    2) Candles? - have lots of 'em but don't seem like a sufficient heat source.

    Opinions? I've got to go shopping tomorrow and find something. My inner survival nut is about to have an aneurysm. [​IMG]
  2. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Don't really know myself. I would think maybe if it were short term, you could possibly get a propane tank and one of those burners like you see people boiling seafood outside. That's just my thought on it. I don't know what your setup is like with landlord rules and such. Around here we are tapped into the gas line and have a radiator system in my building. If something happened to the gas and power, I'm sure I'd get a tad cold, though at the coldest here, I could use a sleeping bag and be just fine. Depends on duration, whether you have a fireplace in your house, if your landlord is a good person or jerk, and depends on area. I suggest the propane, I think it burns relatively clean. Don't think it's as bad as the kerosene. Good luck on that.

    Oh, and I would not suggest the candles. Candles are great for putting out some light, though there is little spreading warmth. I wouldn't like to guess at how many it would take to make the same amount of heat that you get from a small space heater. I bet it would be tons. If you light a candle and hold your hand over the flame, you can get burned. If you pick the candle up, you can hold it in your hand without burning yourself unless wax gets on you. So, candles as far as a heat source, not in my mind.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    There are a number of easily available heaters that campers use. I like the idea of a propane tent heater using one or another of the radiant heating elements. Long ago, Coleman made a catalytic type fueled with white gas. They may still make it, but like kerosene types, ventilation is required. Both types are pretty safe to use unless you trip over them. (Pull the batteries on your smoke detector, both types will set them off. Don't ask.)
  4. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I'm wrestling with the same enigma...I like the idea of kerosene, , but in an electrical blackout I would think we'd still have natural gas I started to think even though it is petroleum dependant a small gen set or batteries and solar would run the heater until power returned...

    Obviously in a complete teotwawki situation with no natural gas flow and no petroleum you'd still freeze.So maybe a wood burner or "pellet "stove bought and stored along with piping bags of pellets to be assembled(" chimney" piped out a basement window opening). in a complete emergency.(as a wood burner will jack your house insurance way up)....
    Solar works for a private home , even up here (if not just alittle spendy).
    The only fuel that is readily accessible to the individual after teotwaki is wood...Seems to be everywhere...lumber pile, cord wood, furniture.... you still need at least 12v to run a fan and move air around.unless you only heat one room (an option)..
    There are outside woodburners that don't affect your fire insurance...

    I've never used Kerosene ,but probably just settle for a big 23,000 btu unit and a 20 gals or more stored in unopened metal cans
  5. Rancher

    Rancher Specialist

    At one time I heated exclusively with kerosene using one of the 23k heaters you described. As I remember one tank full would last all night. 20 gallons should only last a couple of weeks depending on the outside temps at the time. I would call around to the bulk fuel companies and inquire into price discounts for bulk purchase. You will find it considerably cheaper than buying it in sealed 5 gal. pails. A pair of 55gal. drums will hold enough kero to hopefully see you through the worst of the winter emergency. At the very least it will allow you time to secure another source of heat.
    Should you find yourself needing to use a backup heat source I would recommend closing off all but one room(such as the master bedroom & bath) and heating only that area.
    I have a tendency to shy away from any backup heat source that requires electricity to operate like a pellet stove.
  6. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Thanks, I have no experience with kerosene heaters so had no idea how efficient they were with fuel...

    Always good info on the monkey!!! :)
  7. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I've got heat for life in a teotwawki at the family farm down the road, this will just be for a 72 hour "snowed in" w/ no power here at my apartment.

    Confining ourselves to one room is the plan, got LOTS of heavey blankets/quilts.

    I'm leaving for Gander Mtn. in 10 minutes.... I'll see if they have anything for camping that would suffice.
    Zimmy likes this.
  8. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I have these two kerosene heaters. The large one I have used more than once when we ran out of propane and when the power went out. The other I have for tent heating. The large one heats 1000 sq. ft. it runs 12 hours on a tank. It does NOT have to be vented, the propane ones DO. Propane heaters are dangerous, they put off carbon monoxide and many people in these parts have been killed using them.
    This large heater also has the flat grill on top for heating pots of water or food. I love mine, wouldn't be without it. kerosene
    173406_med. 173838_med.
    svjoe likes this.
  9. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Yep Minuteman, after shopping for stuff today I'm leaning towards a small kerosene setup. I've got a storage shed in the backyard I could keep a couple gallons of K.
  10. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I would lean towards the kerosene heater.
  11. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Most Wal-Marts or Tractor Supply etc. stores carry 5 gallon kerosene cans. Just like the red plastic gas cans but blue and have "Kerosene" written on the side. Also get a hand transfer pump. They are plastic with a squeeze bulb on top of a hard platic tube that goes in the can and a hose to fill your tank. No fuss, no mess.

    Heater, fuel can, transfer pump, 5 gals. of kerosene = +/- $125
    Pretty cheap insurance for a winter emergency.
  12. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I have the Kero heater and have used it when we lost power here for a few days. It works well but it is a tad smelly. They also give off some light but not alot so if you could afford to get two keep one there and one in the BIH. I'm tired and trying to pull this out of memory but I think Kero is the fuel that lasts the longest because its the least refined. Some one correct me on that if I'm wrong.

    Take care Be safe Poacher.
  13. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    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.
  14. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Very good tip on those Kerosene heaters from Northern Tool. My buddy has two which I borrowed last year for a motorcycle meet using unheated cabins at our local YCMA campground. Got down into the high twenties - we were toasty!
    My current house is all-electric, and the design prevents easy installation of a fireplace or furnace. One of these heaters would work well for emergency heat.
  15. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    How well does kerosene store? Does it require any stabilizer for long term storage in a kerosene can?
  16. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I use 15 gallon plastic barrels. They are much lighter and easier to move than 55 gallon metal barrels. As for storage, untreated diesel or kerosene should last for 5+ years, but with treatment you can extend that to 10 or more years. Another reason to use the 15 gallon containers. If you haven't used it, it doesn't break the bank to replace it in a few years.

    found this on the net;

    There are a lot of variables that effect fuel storage. In general the use of a commercial grade fuel stabilizer on an annual basis will extend the useful life of fuel for an extra year. This annual procedure can be repeated between 5 and 10 times, thus giving fuel between 5 and 10 years of storage life.

    I think it is much longer for lighter fuels like diesel and kerosene.
  17. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I just went through 6 days of this due to an ice storm taking down tress and leaving over a half a million people in the area in the dark for nearly a week .

    We used the natural gas oven set at about 350 and even with a night time temp in the low 20's and down to the teens on a night or two the house never got below 64 , if carbon monoxide is a concern crack a few windows a half an inch and you'll be fine .

    I have an older stove that still had a pilot light that stays lit or can be lit with a match if it goes out , so I am not sure if you can bypass the newer ones with the electric igniters with a match or not . I tried to do this for a neighbor but he freaked out at the suggestion of it .

    I also have a Mr. Heater Big Buddy that was used in the back bedrooms for about an hour or so in the middle of the coldest nights .

    It uses either the little one lb cans "one or two" or you can get an extension hose and use the big tanks . It has a fan that runs on 4 D sized batteries and I put new ones in the first night and they still have juice in them . They have a low oxygen sensor and a tilt over cut off switches so if knocked over or the CO2 gets to high it will cut off .

    They have a Low , Medium and High positions switch that will put out 18,000 BTU on high which will warm up a bedroom on high in about 10 minutes from the point of being cold with your clothes on to being comfortable in your skivies .

    You can get them at local hardware stores "I got mine at Home Depot" and at BassPro shops as well as Cabelas price is about $130 . Cabelas has the extension hoses for about $25 I think or you can order them from the manufacture .
  18. hk45shooter

    hk45shooter Monkey+++

    23,000 BTU Kerosene heaters

    Check out Lowe's, they have all their seasonal heating stuff on sale, most of it half off. I just bought one of the 23,000 BTU Kerosene heaters for $62.00 + tax, normaly $139 & some change.[touchdown] Also, 5gal blue Kerosene cans for $4.99, bought two of them.

    They also have the Heater Buddy's & accesories discounted big time. On one of the end racks, they had the hand heaters (Hot-Hands2) for .45 cents each.
  19. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I picked up the 10,000 btu one yesterday for $54. Half off the normal price. Good deals!!
  20. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I bought one of these today:

    Mr. Heater® MH18B Big Buddy™ Propane Heater

    This power-packed heater boasts up to 18,000 BTU/hr. with the capacity to heat up to 400 square feet of space for up to 220 hours (on low position). It also features a built-in thermal protection probe; low-oxygen shutoff pilot safety system; and a porcelain-coated reflector. CSA Certified for indoor and outdoor use. Uses an AC adapter (not included) or 4 D-cell batteries (not included) to power the blower fan.

    I bought mine at Gandermountain, but Basspro, Cabela's they all seem to have them.
    Mr. Heater Big Buddy Propane Heater | Bass Pro Shops
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