How To Heat Your Home When Electricity Goes Out

How To Heat Your Home When Electricity Goes Out

During blizzards, windstorms, or thunderstorms that rumble through the central United States, we can all lose power, and most of the time it is in the most inconvenient time of the year, like winter. For those of us that use electricity for our only heat source, how do we keep our home and family warm while power companies are getting us back up and running?

We will give you some tips:

Layer Your Clothing

When there is no power to heat your home, your body can quickly feel the outdoor temperatures and struggle to stay warm. Layering clothing is one of the easiest ways to ensure your body maintains its temperature when you do not have power. From your head to your toes, layer your clothing to give your body the extra heat it needs. Do not forget about your feet, hands or head when layering your clothing, as those areas are where your body can lose the most heat. You may feel silly doing so, but wearing hats and gloves, even when you are indoors, can really help your body remain warm as you wait out the power outage.

Close off one room

Choose a room that is big enough for the whole family to hang out in, that does not have high ceilings since heat rises. If you have a fireplace, but tall ceilings that may be okay for hanging out during the day when someone is there to tend the fire and you are using it for cooking. But at night you may need to move to another room or take turns watching the fire as fireplaces are not very efficient at heating spaces. Make sure drapes are drawn and if you still feel a draft, or cold air seeping in, then use blankets to further cover the windows.

Set up camp

If you have a room with a fireplace and a high ceiling, then consider dragging out your camping gear and setting up your tent. If you do not have a fireplace, then choose a room that you can close off and set up the tent in it for sleeping. If you do not have a tent it is time to revert to your childhood and build a fort. Especially at night, it is important to share body heat, and the tent adds an extra layer of keeping the heat close to you instead of rising to the ceiling.

Eat & drink warm items

Even if the power is out you can still cook on an outdoor grill or over a few tea candles. Hot drinks, and warm food help to keep your core body temperature up and provide some level of comfort. Make sure you are well stocked on food that is easily prepared with just a bit of heating up.

Propane Heaters

Mr. Heater Propane Heaters come in a variety of sizes. If you are unable to add a wood stove to your home then they are your best bet for staying warm. They are not cheap, but definitely an investment worth making. Make sure you read the warnings – and keep anything flammable a long way away from them! I once witnessed a tent go up in flames and several young girls got burned when one of these heaters was used in their tent. Treat them like an open flame and exercise a great deal of caution especially if you have young children or pets in your home.

Candles for light and heat

Open flames are to be treated with absolute caution. Despite the inherent danger, they will provide light and a small amount of heat. You are not going to be able to heat up an enclosed room, but they can help.

  • 100 hour candle– having a few of these in your supplies makes sense as they are easy to store. And as their name suggests they last a long time.
  • Terracotta Pot heater– you have probably seen videos that show how to make these or heard them described. Unfortunately, they do not work as well as advertised. The candles burn faster, and they do not put out as much heat as just candles alone. 


  • Margaret

    Many years ago our power went out in the middle of the night from a spring blizzard. We woke up frozen solid and soon discovered that our water pipes were also frozen solid! Luckily they didn’t burst but we only had a few bottles of water. Don’t forget to have your emergency water jugs filled up!!!

  • Ronny

    Use your oven. I read about carbon monoxide and so I bought a detector and gave it a try and have left the oven on for hours and not a chirp. I live in a house with an old floor furnace that people apparently can’t fix in Los Angeles. I figured the carbon monoxide thing is BS because I have used the oven for hours when doing a turkey or roast etc. If you have an electronic ignition, pish, use a lighter or a match.

  • mary

    Several additional suggestions I would have are: 1. Be certain that you have an extra KING SIZE comforter with thick batting in it for uber warmth. Place that comforter over the top of the tent if that is where you will sleep. It will add an incredible insulating cover that will dramatically increase the amount of heat that remains in your tent. You will also want to have several extra comforters just like the one described above so that you will have an extreme layer of insulating cover while you sleep in the tent. unzip the zipper several inches at the top to allow warm wet air to escape. 2: At the beginning of every cold season make it a practice to purchase those packages of warmers for the body, feet, and hands. They are amazing and you will never regret having them. You can keep them in your emergency bag in the car and if you need them in the house you will have them close by. 3. Buy many rubber hot water bottles and a Kelly kettle for heating water with mere twigs. Kelly kettles are extremely efficient for heating water with twigs and sticks. Collect the twigs and sticks tduring the year keep them readily available for these times.

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