How To Heat Your Home In An Emergency

How To Heat Your Home In An Emergency

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Today I wanted to introduce and review a propane-based heating unit that is rated for indoor use (with the propane tank placed outside). This “how to heat your home in an emergency post” is one I wanted to do for some time and wrote it a few years ago. I felt strongly about reposting this one for those who missed it and doing some updating at the same time.

Matt, Harry, and Ray, all loyal readers, suggested this particular portable heater. I had been reading about them from other people on social media. With their help, I took the plunge and bought one, along with some of the accessories to go with it. Some of you probably already have one, and that’s awesome!

Harry even sent me the links to each part at Walmart so I bought the correct ones. I have been blessed with some of the best friends on the internet through my blog! I highly recommend using a Carbon Monoxide Detector when using this portable heater.

Some People cannot afford a generator, and this heater may give you a way to heat a room with the long Mr. Heater Buddy Series F273704 Hose Assembly  The propane tank MUST BE OUTSIDE your home for your safety.

In case you missed this post, 6 Reasons To Store Blankets For Any Emergency

How To Heat Your Home In An Emergency

How To Heat Your Home In An Emergency

The focus of my website and daily posts has always been to help my readers be more self-sufficient. That could include storing food (thus my www.foodstoragemoms.com website), storing water, growing a garden, saving on necessities, or surviving an emergency of any kind. We never know what unexpected events might change our lives in an instant. The key is to plan and try to be as prepared as possible.

The news coverage this week has been full of visuals and reports of the effects of a major winter storm that has placed millions in harm’s way. This storm is mainly along the southern and east coast states. There have been hundreds of vehicle accidents due to snow and ice on the roads.

Thousands have been stranded in airports because flights were canceled. Most scary is that hundreds of thousands have been without power for days. That’s because of ice on power lines and winds that knocked trees and power poles down.

What options do families have when there’s a power outage and they have no way of heating their homes? People forget that even though they rely on natural gas or heating oil to heat their homes, their furnace fans that circulate the warm air won’t work without electricity. If they rely on electric furnaces, nothing will make those work when the power goes out unless you have a generator that runs on other fuel.

Fireplaces and Wood-Burning Stoves

Some families are truly blessed to have a fireplace or wood-burning stove that can warm one or two rooms in their house. That fireplace may not be too efficient, but you can at least sit reasonably close to it to stay warm. I hope those same families planned and stocked up on firewood to burn in their wood stoves. If not, those units won’t be any good at all when it comes to heating a home.

I’ve done some research about alternative heating sources and also had some fellow preppers step up and provide insight based on their own experiences. Our friends Matt, Harry, and Ray told me about an awesome propane-fueled heater that is rated for use in your home during an emergency (with the propane tank placed outside your home). In the next two pictures, you can see the hose I purchased so I could set the propane tank outside as recommended by the heater manufacturer, 10-Foot Mr. Heater Buddy Series #F273704

Propane Tank Outside

The box it comes in shows it in outdoor environments like fishing, hunting, camping, etc., but also indicates that in a true emergency, it can be used indoors. Harry sent me the links from Walmart to purchase the items and Matt sent me a YouTube showing how to use the “fan.” We are such a great team here to get valuable information out to my readers, I thank all of them from the bottom of my heart.

Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Hose

I placed the heater on its back so I could take a picture with the hose attached. Please note, don’t operate it this way, this was for picture taking only.

How To Heat Your Home In An Emergency

Mr. Heater Portable Buddy

That’s why I bought the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy heating unit that I’ll discuss today. I’m hoping it will give others some comfort and encouragement that we can survive cold weather when the power goes out. Here is the box my Mr. Heater Portable Buddy #F232000 MH9BX came in. Note that the box lists a number of the features and benefits of this particular unit.

How To Heat Your Home In An Emergency

The company that makes this unit is called Mr. Heater Corporation. They are China-based but have a U.S.-based distribution system with Amazon and Walmart being two of their key outlets. I like that the heater is fairly small at 7.7” by 13.4” by 15”. We’ll get into that in a minute, but the heater uses radiant heat that can get pretty hot and generate a fair amount of heat for your home.

Read More of My Articles  50 Practical Skills Everyone Needs to Know

The box and user manual both have plenty of “WARNINGS” as safety precautions. Be careful when using the heater, and take advantage of the safety features built into the unit. These features make it one I can confidently recommend for emergency heating.

This small heater can generate from 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs of heat, depending on if you have it set on low or high, or some point in between. This heater will run for 4.5 hours on the high setting and 2.4 hours on the low setting using the 1-pound propane canister.

It Can Heat Up To 225 Square Feet

The manufacturer indicates it can effectively heat up to 225 square feet, making it very effective if used in a tent or smaller RV. It heats a decent-sized room at just under 12’ by 20′ at that rated efficiency level.

They call it their “Portable Buddy” since it is one of a few portable propane heaters that can be moved from one location to another easily like other space heaters. It has a nice “easy-grip” handle that helps when moving it from one room to another.

Heavy-Duty Screen

It has a heavy-duty wire screen guard on the front to protect you from the radiant heat “burner tiles” that generate the radiant heat. Since it generates so much heat, neither you nor your children should sit too close to the unit. I’d suggest you set the unit on a cookie sheet or some other non-flammable surface when using the heater.

Like many gas stoves and water heaters, it has an ignitor system to light the pilot light, so you don’t have to worry about having a lighter or matches close by. Boy, what a convenient feature to not have to deal with the hazards of a flame running all the time. You can see the fan unit that’s mounted on top of the heater. I’ll explain in a minute how the fan unit functions.

Pilot Light

It is designed to use one-pound disposable propane canisters. Consider buying the Mr. Heater Buddy series hose assembly and the Gas One Refill Adapter. With them, you can refill those canisters from the 20-pound propane tanks you use to BBQ. The other option is to use the hose assembly to connect the unit to those large 20-pound propane tanks directly. They highly recommend that, for safety reasons, you use the 10-foot hose assembly to keep the tank outside while using the unit indoors.

Mr. Heater Fuel Filter Unit

When using the larger propane tank, they also suggest investing in a Mr. Heater Fuel Filter unit. This optional accessory is designed to keep oil and other contaminants in the hose or the tank from entering and possibly damaging the Mr. Heater unit itself. They were pretty cheap, so it’s worth the cost. Depending on how often you use the hose assembly, they suggest you consider replacing it annually. Less frequently used units could go longer without replacement. Mr. Heater Fuel Filter Unit

Mr. Heater Fuel Filter unit.

Heater Fan

Heater Fan

Our friend, Matt, also suggested I spend the extra money and buy a heater fan system that’s used to push the heated air. I bought the CR Sure heat-powered stove fan based on the reviews. It is designed to be placed on top of a wood-burning stove but works great when resting on top of the Mr. Heater unit. 

This stove fan is so great. It uses the heat from the heater to generate the power to run the fan, so you don’t have to have any kind of power source to run the fan. The hotter the heater gets, the faster the fan blades turn.  It’s offered for sale on Amazon, Twin Bladed Stove Fan

Heater Fan

Keep It Off The Floor

Matt sent me this image. This is critical if you need to place your heater on carpet or wood floors to be sure you have something safe to place the heater on. This would be a good idea on any type of floor for that matter, just to protect your flooring. One option would be to grab a cookie sheet and turn it upside down and place your heater on it.

Cookie Sheet

Stove Fan Thermometer

The stove fan also comes with a thermometer you can use to see what the heater’s temperature is registering. That’s important since the fan isn’t designed to run in an environment hotter than about (460°F) = (237°C). The thermometer has a small magnet on the back so it can be attached to a metal surface. It’s designed to attach to a stove vent pipe but works just fine attached to the heater, as you can see from the picture.

Fan Thermometer

As mentioned, the Mr. Heater owner’s manual lists all sorts of warnings and things to be aware of so you can heat the room efficiently and safely. It is important to be aware of these things and try to implement any suggested steps.

Read More of My Articles  9 Ways to Stay Warm Without Electricity

Ventilation Needed

Although the Mr. Heater unit states it’s designed to be used indoors, the instructions, and common sense, make having some ventilation a key consideration. The “General Safety Instructions” state that the room in which it’s used needs at least 9 square inches of ventilation in a ceiling location and another 9 square inches near the floor.

That would be a vent that is at least 3 inches by 3 inches in both locations. Using the stove fan can make the heater more efficient by moving the air within the room rather than having all the heated air close to the unit.

Fresh Air Required

Besides having the vents to provide an “exhaust” feature for the combustion needed for the heater to work effectively, the vents also provide for incoming fresh air. This is needed for the heater to burn the propane, but also so those in the room have the air necessary to fully breathe properly. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where asphyxiation is a possibility. Better to be cold than dead!

As you read this you realize there is a real balancing act in using the heater. You want it to warm things up and also have proper ventilation. This assures those in the room being heated aren’t exposed to dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning. Remember, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, and flammable gas that results from combustion, including the use of propane.

Check Connections Carefully

Another concern is making sure that ALL connections between the heater and the propane tanks are tight and don’t leak. It is suggested that you use a soapy solution to double-check the connections to make sure you don’t see any bubbles, indicating the propane is leaking and creating those bubbles.

Connections

It is also suggested that you become familiar with the odor that emanates from propane. It’s an added safety feature, just like the odor component added to commercial natural gas provided for your home. Always conduct an “odor test” whenever using the heater and shut off all valves if the odor is present.

How To Heat Your Home In An Emergency

Safety Feature-“Low-Oxygen Safety Shut-Off”

Thank goodness Mr. Heater has some great built-in safety features. One is the “low-oxygen safety shut-off.” That feature is designed to protect you from asphyxiation by shutting down the unit if there isn’t enough oxygen for combustion. The low oxygen could also be caused by using the unit at high altitudes. The manual indicates that there could be issues if used at an altitude above 7,000 feet.

Tip-Over Safety Shut-Off

It also has a tip-over safety shut-off. This feature is great since the unit may get tipped over while being used, whether you are aware of it or not. That could happen during the night if someone were to bump the unit. If tipped over, it automatically shuts off. The owner’s manual suggests that you don’t let the unit run while sleeping, so that’s something you’ll have to decide.

Thermal Shut-Down System

Finally, the unit will also shut off if it gets too hot, called a “thermal shut-down system.” This is a great safety feature that will protect you if you happen to set the unit on high and then forget. It could also be a result of a malfunction in the settings for some reason.

The state of California takes a more restrictive approach to the use of this heater. The packing box lists a number of warnings, many of which I’ve outlined in this post. Some, like not using it indoors, are specifically for when used in CA.

They also state that since the unit has some lead parts. Because of that, you could be subject to the effects of lead and other chemicals. Some of those have been known to cause cancer. Just a heads up.

Final Word-How To Heat Your Home In An Emergency

Although Mr. Heater comes with several warnings and cautions as outlined in the owner’s manual, so does your BBQ, camp stove, butane stove, and other gas-fueled appliances. As long as you’re careful, follow the instructions, and use common sense, you should be fine.

This unit has those built-in safety features that many other heaters don’t. I feel much more comfortable recommending you consider this emergency heater. We’re all interested in finding ways to protect ourselves and family members when disasters strike, we lose power, or other unforeseen circumstances arise. Here is an awesome solution to consider when you need to heat a section of your home. May God bless this world. Linda

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63 Comments

  1. I’ve used one for years. My old camper has no heater so this was it. I’ve used it in tents and during ice storms when the power was down. It kept the back bedroom warm while my fireplace/blower kept the rest of the house.
    They add a chemical to propane and if you smell the rotten egg smell shut it down and look at everything. Never had that with this heater setup but did an old one.

    1. Hi Matt, this is why I wanted to show people how to use it. I needed help from others to get it done right. Great reminder about the rotten egg smell. Great comment, Linda

  2. Linda, how long do different size propane canisters last with this heater? My sister bought the much smaller “Little Buddy” propane heater and I think she said it runs about 4 hours on a small canister of propane.

    1. That is the amount of time I get with mine on the small tanks. Since the amount of propane in the little green tanks is very consistent, I can predict the time to change tanks to within one to two minutes.

        1. Hi Kay, I wrote this is the post, is this what you’re looking for: This small heater can generate from 4,000 to 9,000 BTU’s of heat, depending on if you have it set on low or high, or some point in between. It will run for 4.5 hours on the high setting and 2.4 hours on the low setting using the 1 pound propane canister. Linda

    2. Hi Kay, that’s a very good question. This will depend on how high you turn up the heat setting. If you take the times listed for the one-pound and multiply by the size of the canister you have it will give you an approximate range. There are so many variables. That’s why we practice using these before we need them. Linda

  3. Linda,
    Thanks for the shoutout. We have a Buddy Heater and a Big Buddy heater with plenty 5 gallon propane tanks and the ten foot hoses and filters. So, if need be, we can actually heat virtually our entire tiny 1250 sqft house with those two or most of it with the Big Buddy alone. We also have a 500 sqft screened patio that has clear vinyl rolldowns to keep out stormy weather. While not totally air tight, those enclose the patio enough to use our 45,000 btu stand up patio heater to make a green house for all of our potted plants. Last February during Winter Storm Uri, we used that heater and were sitting on the patio drinking coffee with 6° F outside and 70° inside the patio. LOL! otherwise, we just kept the patio around 50° for the plants. Being all electric, we definitely need those backup propane heaters to feel safe. We can’t recommend them enough.

    1. Hi Harry, oh you know I love this comment! This is why I needed to write about the Buddy Heater! When we lived in the desert we didn’t need it. But now living up north I knew I wanted to show the Buddy Heater items you told me to get. I bought all of them and then waited to write the post. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, my friend! Matt told me about the fan, it is awesome! I can almost visualize you enjoying your coffee on the patio! Life is so good! Linda

  4. Hello Linda,
    This is very helpful information for emergency heating. I do have a question: Does it make sense to place a portable heater inside my fireplace box once I completely run out of firewood? The vent could be slightly open for fresh air and exhaust ventilation and there would be no need for a cookie sheet under the unit. Or, would it be safer to put the propane tank in the cold, vented fireplace box if a hose to an outside tank is not practical and place the heater in the room? I’d appreciate input from you or your readers about this.

    1. Hi Sam, the upside-down cookie sheet is to protect your carpet or flooring. I’m not an expert on exhaust ventilation. I would always recommend your propane tank be placed outside. It’s all about safety. Linda

    2. Sam, I could see putting the propane tank in the fireplace box just so it doesn’t get tipped over. I don’t think the ventilation from a fireplace would be much help for the heater itself, if anything the flue would be sucking the heat up and out of the room. Typically, there is little airflow coming Down a chimney. My flue can be open on my fireplace in below zero temps and I don’t feel cold air/breeze coming out of it into the firebox. I close my flue so warm air doesn’t escape up it when fireplace isn’t in use. I think if you have a big enough room for one of these heaters, fresh air needs will require little, unless your room is Very Enclosed and you never open any outside doors. As in you don’t go outdoors at all to allow in any fresh air? I hope this helps. I checked with a heating/plumbing contractor ad client of mine and he said he has a Buddy in his basement family room. Both the tank and heater are there, no extra venting. He said the normal air movement within a house is enough to allow ventilation, but to not use one in an enclosed room.

  5. Hi Linda, this is great info. Thank you. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how to cool your place in an emergency? We live in California and are now having summers with months over 100 degrees and electric companies turning off power to prevent forest fires. I know cooling isn’t as crucial as heating in a power outage, but it is miserable!

  6. Linda, what a great post! I’ve heard about the Little Buddy but never seen one, nor this bigger one. While these wouldn’t be something I’d use in my home (vaulted ceilings and an open floor plan with a lot of sq footage), these could really be the answer for a lot of folks. My 23 yr old son has a 2 br apt, low ceiling height. In our coldest snap, his apt building boiler furnace went out. The landlord brought over 2 very large electric heaters for each apt. (Only 4 units in the building.) But…they still had electricity! His apt could easily use one of these Buddies quite safely.

    1. Hi Wendy, thank you for your kind words, my friend. You know I left the desert but I had purchased the stuff some time ago. Here’s the deal, we need to practice using one of these or something similar. They are not super expensive but maybe life-saving depending on the temperatures where we live after a power outage. I need to get the word out about these to those who may be nervous about using them. Easy peasy, Linda

      1. I’m in northern MN. It is -5, wind-chill of -30. For days, sigh. One of these heaters certainly could save a life, or at the least, fingers and toes. Since you educated me on how well these work plus the safety measures, I’m going to tell my son to get one. He’s already experienced being without heat in his apt, tho only for about 12 hours before the landlord brought in the heaters. My son Does recognize the importance of electricity for heating so I think he will listen to this advice. I often read people’s questions on how to heat when they live in an apt or even a home where they can’t have wood burners. Also, generators are super expensive plus still require fuel, and, yes, the ability to hook into the existing electric. My son said if their electric goes out, he and gf are coming ‘home’. Lol, my house. He has solar lighting/candles plus good size windows for daily light but w/o electricity, he doesn’t think the boiler would work for long. Theoretically it would but the ignition is electronic as are the thermostats in each apt. I’m very glad you shared what you’ve learned.

        1. Hi Wendy, I agree generators are super expensive, plus I can’t store that much fuel safely for one. If I lived where I typically would be without power for months I would find a way to invest in one. Or move. LOL! Linda

          1. Linda, I’m taking this conversation to another level, lol. Most times when a person doesn’t have heat, it’s because there’s an electrical outage, so furnace fans don’t work, neither do elec heaters. I looked yrs ago at investing in a Generac generator. Expensive but since I have a propane tank anyway, it could have used this. Um, then I talked with my electric co-op… literally I would need yet another 500 gal tank for the generator or get a 1000 gal tank. I could get by with a smaller tank but if I had a long time of no electricity, the propane goes fast. Our electric co-op has worked with county/town offices in installing these generators for emergency use. My co-op said to look at alternatives and I think they would ok these Buddy’s if a person just has short time needs.

          2. Hi Wendy, I agree with you for sure. I opted against the Generac for the very reason you said, fuel as in fuel storage. My city would not allow us to have tanks that size on our lots. If I lived where we had major outages every single year, I would consider it. Maybe. This heater today is for short-term heating. Great comment, Wendy! Linda

    2. Hi Wendy, I think there are a lot of people who could use this heater. It’s better to be prepared to heat your home beforehand. So your son’s furnace boiler went out but they had electricity. Thank goodness for a good landlord to deliver electric heaters! That’s awesome! Linda

  7. I suggest having multiple ways to heat your home in case of emergency. We have a wood stove that will keep the house comfortable in the worst Ohio weather. We also have a kerosene heater for backup. I will have to look into the propane ones.

    I read that some people from our own country are trying to take down the power grid. How insane is that?

    1. Janet, I’m going to comment because I’ve been a sort of prepper for many years, many reasons. When I drew the floor plan for my mfg home (32×80), rural, I knew the likelihood of electric outages from ice storms/summer storms. I included a wood burner fireplace. Within a year or so, I added a cast iron wood burner (also can cook foods on top) to it. I got 2 oil lamps per room. I keep extra water as I have a well. Yes, frankly, life would totally suck without electricity for weeks on end. Many years after doing my house, I started learning about hackers trying to take out the grid. To me, yes, this is insanity! Heck, it was worrisome enough to know that a HEMP from an enemy could do this but these hackers are right here, possibly the guy down the road? What mother nature can inflict is bad enough but somebody doing it deliberately? The best we can do is Do the Most we Can Do Today.

      1. Hi Wendy,

        We moved out to the country a long time ago, and our electricity was pretty iffy. We have had many practice sessions. We also have a well, (2 actually) and enough space to grow our own food. I hope it is just insurance, and we never have to use it. Take Care.

      2. HI Wendy, you are so right, they are in plain sight, we can’t kid ourselves. God help us. I love your last sentence, The best we can do is Do the Most We Can Do Today”! Love it! Linda

    2. Hi Janet, well if you read Ted Koppel’s book, “Lights Out”, it’s inevitable. Our power grid is so antiquated it wouldn’t take much to destroy it. It would never be rebuilt in my lifetime if and when that happens. I totally agree we need several ways to stay warm in case of major or minor outages. You are blessed to have a wood stove, that is awesome!! Linda

      1. I read “Lights out” it is terrifying. That book made anything Stephen King wrote, look like “Anne of Green Gables”. Sure got me looking at things differently.

        1. Hi Janet, me too! I read it so many times I have lost count. A Cyber-Attack Warfare specialist and I talked for hours about his book. His boss was quoted in the book. I was interviewed and recorded for the book, but I didn’t end up being in it. I had to keep it a secret for months that he was writing a book, which I did. I wish everyone would read it. If they haven’t they need to. Linda

  8. I live in Central Florida now, but when I lived up north, I thought of a lot of ways to heat myself up, including huddling with our dog and other family members. But one thing I worried about more was how to keep my pipes from freezing. So if there is a heat source, I suppose exposing the pipes to the heated air (opening the doors under sinks) helps. I heard you can trickle the water, but even waterfalls can freeze, so I never figured that out. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about it any longer…but I was thinking perhaps it would be good to have your heat source near water pipes, like in the kitchen or running one in each bathroom at least part of the time.

    1. Hi Debbie, frozen pipes are one of my biggest concerns! We had one “freeze” in Southern Utah and my neighbors were not prepared for it. We had keys to several of the “second homes” and we called the owners and asked them if they wanted us to go open ALL outside cabinets with plumbing and if they wanted us to turn up the heat. Several neighbors living there had frozen pipes and we showed them how to deal with it. We had portable electric heaters to place in from of their cabinets to help thaw the pipes. Now that we live up north where the temperatures are colder, I’m very concerned. Keeping the house pipes from freezing is a HUGE issue. We have done the faucet drip as well. Linda

  9. I hope from All the different conversations in this post that people have learned there is a safe alternative for even short term heat problems. Not a big expense either. Can be used many times, for many years. Thank you Linda for sharing this info. Oh, and thanks for your nice replies to my comments on others’ comments. ✌️

  10. Hi Linda, Is there anything like this that is made in the USA? I am really trying not to buy from China. Thank you! Love your website and newsletter!

    1. Hi Joanne, I wish I knew a similar one made in the USA. It is frustrating that items we want or need are made in China. Hopefully, the USA can come up with items to make for less money here. This one has been around for so many years, I wonder if that’s why no one in the USA can make it for the price. I do not know. If I run across something I will write about it. Thank you for your kind words. Linda

  11. Linda:

    Look for wood cook stoves and wood heaters at yard sales resale shops. A lot of people thing these are old fashioned but I can tell you that my wood stove can heat the whole house and if we have a problem so can the wood stove. We also have a gas heater if the power goes out. We are thinking of getting a Generac Solar system which will bring our electric bill down to nil for less than 3,000. You can also get a emergency system that will take over your electricity when the power goes out. I am really impressed with this company.

  12. This article led to a serious discussion last night. Maybe we had become a little bit complacent in this matter because we have a whole house generator that runs on natural gas. A woodburning fireplace is not an option here. Because of my husbands’ experience with propane, he won’t even consider it. I don’t know what we will do now, but at least we are having the discussion.

    1. Hi Chris, you have a whole house generator that runs on natural gas. In my 50+ years of married life, I have been through fires and floods and never lost natural gas. Now the fire was within 5 miles but we had zero loss of natural gas. I’ve been through a tornado once but never lost power. Yes, we were lucky. With the flooding we lost electricity, but not natural gas. Just FYI. Linda

      1. Thank you for your input. I had agreed, but then the more I thought about it, the more I worried. We had learned a friend had a serious cardiac episode following the latest booster shot, just hours before we were going to get it. I need to step back, find peace in our home and not let the world get to me. Stay safe and warm.

        1. Hi Chris, oh my gosh, a serious cardiac episode. WOW! Good idea to step back, I know I have everything I can need to survive. My gut tells me everything else will fall into place. But, some people may think I’m a bit over the top in preparedness. We must do what is right for us. Life is good! Linda

  13. Linda,
    Thanks again for the shout-out. This is good info that everyone needs! While we have not lost power yet this winter, our Buddy and Big Buddy heaters are staged and ready on our covered patio along with several filled 5 gallon propane tanks and the connection hoses, etc. They will stay there for the rest of the winter just in case. Hopefully we will not need them, but with our crazy weather, we just never know.

    1. Hi Harry, thank you, my sweet friend!!! You helped me get through all the ins and outs! Ray and Matt did as well. I will forever be grateful to know there is a solution for those of us who cannot afford a generator. I keep my propane tanks full as well! I love that it’s not to expensive to purchase as well. Oh, remember when Texas ran out of propane, I think???? People were lined up to fill their tanks and the propane was delayed from being delivered!! Keep those tanks full everyone! Linda

  14. Hi Linda,
    I am blessed to have a wood stove. My husband had cut the world’s biggest wood pile in the fall of 2020 and the winter of 2021. I have wondered if he knew he was going to die. This is my 3rd winter using that wood, it is very seasoned and burns too fast. But the LORD has blessed me with fresh wood at no cost from some friends who help people like me. I was down to just the old wood and not much of that inside, I have a rack for it in my garage. We have had bitter cold and snow and ice here, wind chills of -32. I simply can’t go out and carry wood in from that pile, it is too far and it wears me out. I have some other friends who bless me and bring that to the garage for me when they have time. Friday morning I said well LORD I will simply have to rely on my electric furnace. And lo and behold these wonderful friends brought me a truck full of wood at no charge. It is out front where I can get to it easier. I carried a bunch in yesterday because we had ice coming last night.
    I am finding it is getting harder being in the country. This past week going out to feed and water the chickens in this arctic weather has made me think I need to give them up. I gave them extra feed and added water yesterday, knowing I would not go out today on the ice. I put my place for sale last fall in hopes of moving to town. The housing market is not good. My brother thinks I should stay here. But I am alone and it is hard. I am partially off grid and he says town is not the place to be when everything falls. So whatever God has planned for me is what it will be. I know you have seen I am keeping busy canning jams and cranberry juice. God blesses me with fruit from Harvesters.
    God bless you and love and hugs,
    Jackie Perkins

    1. Hi Jackie, I bet he wanted to make sure you would have wood for a few years, that’s what love is all about. What a blessing he did that. Now you are blessed with good friends and neighbors who deliver wood to you. Your brother may be right, but you need to follow your heart, gut, and soul. We sold our house 2-1/2 years ago and I regret it now. Things have not gone as well as we had hoped but there is no turning back now. Our house is probably still 6 months out, it’s so stressful. I have seen all the yummy stuff you are canning! I love seeing the pictures!! Life is good. Stay safe and warm, love and hugs back to you!!! Linda

  15. We are those fortunate people who have a woodstove. I can’t imagine not having it even tho we don’t often lose power. We’re in the County but still on the grid and I worry about WSHTF what we’ll do about water. We’re in our 70’s (well, I’m close) and we can’t move off-grid. Too old and broken especially now that my husband has a worsened heart condition. We’ve done the best we can and it will have to do. Our power bill has more than doubled in the past year and we still never turn our heat past 62. Thank goodness for that woodstove. We do, however, have to buy the split cordwood and have it delivered so we’re really not saving money in the long run, but wow, that heat from the stove is sooo much better!

    PS My EX DaughterinLaw thought it would be a good idea to use a firepit in the living room of her home when the power got shut off for not paying her bill! Needless to say, child protective services heard about that one…among many other things!

    1. Hi Robbie, oh I miss our wood burning stove! We haven’t had one in years but they have the best heat ever! The power bill has doubled and you keep the heat at 62! I would have to wear a parka with a hat and gloves! LOL! I’m so sorry to hear about your husbands worsening heart condition. The story about your EX daughter-in-law!! YIKES! Luckily no one died from Carbon Monoxide or that the house didn’t burn down. Stay safe and waarm with that wonderful woodstove! Linda

  16. Hey, Linda et al: I absolutely have loved reading this post and all of your wonderful comments. Unfortunately, we have several fallen of cut-down ash trees that died from the latest borer or insect of some type, but we have no place to put a woodstove in our raised ranch. HOWEVER last year we invested in a small heater similar to the Big Buddy, but it uses a fumbles alternative to Kerosene. I plan to set it up in an emergency on the bricks of the hearth that our propane fireplace heater sits upon. There is plenty of room on the bricks to not interfere with anything else. Of course, the cost of that alternative fuel has gone waaaaaay UP! But we have quite a bit stored in our garage for now. Also, we have 2 generators, one larger one that is old but works fine and another one that my husband got to choose (from a bunch of alternatives) as a free gift from his employer after 30 years of service! :-). That was my strongest suggestion, since we already had a propane barbecue set up, and a decent camera, etc., etc. So…to top that off, we also purchased at gasoline storage “box” of sorts that yes, is made in Chinas. It has wheels and a way to get the fuel out of the appliance and looked really great when we purchased it. Unfortunately, we bought it directly from the original manufacturer instead of paying $30 more to get it from Amazon, and that was probably a mistake. With Amazon, we would have been able to return it as missing parts of defective easily. As it was, we had wrangle with the Chinese company for probably 2 1/2 mos. to get all the correct parts that did not come in the original box. So, if you decide to buy one, just buy it from Amazon and have them take care of any issues. The gas storage tank we purchased is: Vevor 35 gallon gasoline storage tank, and we were very pleased with it once all the parts arrived to our home. Ours was painted redm ut they now show it in black, but makes no difference. Best to all!

    1. Hi Joyce, thank you for your kind words, my sweet friend. Wow, I wonder if there is someone local who would to take those fallen trees off your land. We used to have to pull a trailer up the canyon and cut down the trees. That would be a blessing to someone with a chainsaw! Wow, that gasoline storage deal sounds like it was a nightmare getting all the parts. Thank goodness you finally got all the pieces! I’m glad you mentioned about ordering the unit from a China distributor. I remember buying something off of Amazon but didn’t see it was shipped from some odd company. Lo and behold, the item was not as shown and I had to call Amazon and complain to them. They refunded my money. The China distributer gave me some address overseas to ship it to which I refused to do. Long story short, I got my money back. Stay warm, my sweet friend! Linda

    2. Oh, geez. There goes spell-check again, always screwing up what I have typed. The word was NOT “fumbles”, but fumeless alternative fuel. Actually, it changed it again just now, and I had to retype fume-less several times before it left that word alone!!

      1. Oh, yeah. The friend that was helping the tree “surgeon” guy has taken almost the entire batch of firewood home. We were glad to let him have it because it probably was not even enough to “pay him back” for the favor of helping to cut down and cut up 16 trees!! I think now he has enough dense ash firewood to last him for at least 3-4 years! Great on both ends, for both families that way. I cannot begin to tell you how relieved to have all those dead trees not there in the woods behind our house, while we experienced so many high windstorms over the last few weeks! We have often stopped to Thank God (!) and our friends for getting those dead trees out of there, as they DEFINITELY would have either taken out part of our roof, our deck, or our most mature apple tree!!
        Unfortunately, the ash trees that died have left us/him with at least another 3-4 trees to finish up in the Spring, but those are further away from the house!

          1. Sorry if that was confusing! No, the tree surgeon did not take ANY of the trees. If was our dear friend who HELPED the tree surgeon, our best friend Art O.! Art has an outdoors wood furnace that heats his home. That family had a house fire years ago, so they switched to a OUTDOOR furnace which has been a wonder for their family!! Art is one of the hardest working men you’d ever want to know. He did all that work and did not charge us a penny! He just took a LOT, I mean a LOT of firewood home, plus we gave him some very nice gifts and a thank you, as well. WE also allowed another friend of both families come and take some wood away for their own home…a contractor friend who has done a bit of work on our home in the past and who used to go to there same church in years past.

  17. When we lived in Colorado we had a mountain cabin. I had a Buddy as a backup to my woodstove. Had the little fans on top of the stove. It kept the cabin toasty warm. During one blizzard, we ran out of Immediately available firewood (the firewood stack was only 60′ from our cabin but it was a whiteout). I used the Buddy, hooked to a 20 pound propane tank via a long hose to keep the cabin warm. I sat the fans on top of it like you did and it worked great. Always good to have a backup system.

    Also, people should dress in layers if they lose the ability to keep their home warm. Here in the desert I don’t worry about heating it so much as keeping it cool.

    1. Hi Ray, Matt told me about the fans, best idea ever! Oh those whiteouts are so bad, just recently now that we’re up North the news people kept saying be careful of the snow squalls. We had several in one week. I Googled it: “A snow squall is an intense short-lived burst of heavy snowfall that leads to a quick reduction in visibilities and is often accompanied by gusty winds. They maybe characterized by one main squall or multiple squalls.” https://www.weather.gov/media/iln/winter/SnowSquallBrochure.pdf
      We had some grandkids driving home from work and they said they couldn’t see anything. It was so scary. Great comment about the layers, Linda

    2. Best layering system I’ve ever found for cold weather is to buy and use some “base layers” …mine are from Rocky (brand) that I bought at Walmart a no. of years ago. They are the silky ones, prob. all polyester. Anyway, I have never found ANYTHING that tops the Rocky Base Layers for warmth. As a matter of fact, when we fly from Rochester, NY to Entebbe, Uganda in less than two weeks, my plan is to wear at least the bottoms under the required skirt on the plane. Those planes that fly through Amsterdam get pretty cold sometimes, and the airplane blankets are not long enough to cover down to the floor and still keep the upper body warm. So Rockys to the rescue under my long skirt (required), no slacks, capris nor pants allowed in the countryside of UG, I guess, at least not with the group we are teaming up with, nor with the other teams I went with in years past…. I will just tuck the bottom hem into my socks and no one will know the difference!

  18. Hey, Linda: Actually, we are very pleased with our 35 gallon fuel caddy, but the Chinese company that put the parts in the box did not have all parts in there. That is why we had to contact the company and ask for the missing parts. They actually sent us more than what we asked for all the way from China! That was nice of them, but someone did not speak very good English, because some of the missing parts were still missing. So…we asked again, and the balked a bit, stating they had already sent the parts to us. Well, we showed them pictures of what was sent and the item nos. for what was still missing and told them if they could not supply us with the correct missing parts, then we wanted a full refund and would return the item. They jumped at that one, and we had another packet that came from China in short order, including all the missing parts and more, Thank God! In the end, I would definitely buy the same item over again, but just not directly from Vevor company. Only Amazon would have taken care of the issue immediately, so I feel Amazon would have been the better “deal”, even if it was $25-$30 more for the fuel caddy!

    ALSO: I neglected to say that when it came time to replace our propane fireplace insert a no. of years ago, we opted for one that does not need electricity at all. The control is battery operated, and air flow has a natural intake and output type operation. I do not think it is QUITE as warm as the one that had an electric fan to push the heat out, but it is good enough. Plus, we don’t need to worry if the power goes out, and our propane tanks outside is HUGE. There should be enough propane in the supply tank to last us to at least the end of March, 2024! We bought that insert with prepping and emergencies in mind, you see. Plus, I always get the propane distributor to come fill our tank outside before the normal schedule, so there is very little chance of running out of the prices skyrocketing in the meantime (later in the colder temps.)

    BTW, our trip to UG is coming up FAST! We leave on Feb. 5th and stay there for the entire month of Feb. Thankfully, our adult son is living here temporarily, so he can take care of the house and any snowfall. Plus, he is going to drive us up to the airport and back again on Feb. 28th. :-). Thank God for that, as I cannot imagine trying to come up with the extra cash to pay for on-airport parking for our van for most of a month!!!

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