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February 8, 2021

'Baby, It's Cold Outside' - Stay Warm Even Without Electricity With These Life Saving Tips, Tricks And Do-It-Yourself Ideas

By Susan Duclos - All News PipeLine

As Winter weather rips through the nation, with cold weather and snow advisories, warning about the dangers of the cold fronts heading towards most the country are in full force, it appears to be a good time to run through options to keep warm.

Many use gas, which is extremely expensive. Others electricity, which again running 24/7 costs and arm and leg, figuratively. 

Whether looking for ways to stay as warm as possible for as little as possible,  or preparing for possible electrical outages, there are a number of tips, tricks and methods to keep warm affordably.

As we go through different options, from Do-It-Yourself projects to more common methods, any links provided for cold weather products have all been weeded through to choose only those products that can be delivered within a week, as to not be "too little, too late."


One common occurrence when  Winter weather turns utterly brutal is the loss of electricity, which effects those that depend on it for heat as well as those that use gas to stay warm because the igniters, and fanning systems run off a small amount of electricity.

No electricity, no heat.

That is where generators come in handy.

Q: How much electricity does a gas furnace need?

A: A gas fired, forced air home furnace typically requires a small amount of electricity to ignite and operate in your home. Most gas heat furnaces use less than 600 watts of electricity, or less than half of a typical 15 amp electric circuit. The gas furnace uses this small amount of electricity to power the blower or fan part of the furnace which circulates air in the house, and also powers the draft inducer fans to safely push the exhaust fumes out of the house.

There are differences in the electric power needed for gas-igniters for furnaces and appliances. Some gas appliances have electronic igniters which make a “ticking” sound and use small amounts of electricity, other glow plug types of igniters draw a lot of current to stay glowing hot while the gas appliance operates. Many portable electric generators are more than enough to run your gas furnace when the electricity is properly and safely connected to your furnace, usually by an electrician.

The type of generator is dependent on how many appliances you want hooked up, so the variety below includes smaller and larger one.

NOTE: All products listed below have a delivery date of February 12, 2021:

DBPOWER Portable Power Station, 178Wh/250W Lithium Ion Battery Solar Generator with 110V AC Outlet for Home Outdoor Camping Adventure Travel Fishing Emergency Backup Power Supply

WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator w/Fuel Shut Off, CARB Compliant, Ultra Lightweight

Pulsar G2319N 2,300W Portable Gas-Powered Inverter Generator with USB Outlet & Parallel Capability, CARB Compliant, Gray

DuroMax XP5500E Gas Powered Portable Generator - 5500 Watt - Electric Start - Camping & RV Ready, 50 State Approved

Generac 7127 iQ3500-3500 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Quieter Than Honda, Orange/Black

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Some use fireplaces to keep their rooms/homes warm, but not everybody has a fireplace, so there are a number of other options available that are highly effective in keeping your space warm and snuggly.

Wood Stoves:

Fltom Camp Tent Stove, Portable Wood Burning Stove for Tent, Shelter, Camping Heating and Cooking, Includes Stainless Wall Chimney Pipes

US Stove US1269E 900 Sq. Ft. Log Wood Cast Iron Stove, Black

Ashley Hearth AW1120E-P 1,200 Sq. Ft. EPA Certified Pedestal Wood Burning Stove, Black

Drolet HT3000 on pedesta - High-efficiency 2020 EPA certified wood stove DB07300 - The HT3000 succeeds to the HT2000

Portable Heaters: 

Propane and Kerosene heaters are two options that are utilized across the country, although it is important to remember to get the propane tanks, connectors or Kerosene, otherwise you have a pretty little waste of space sitting there in front of you that provides absolutely no warmth.



Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater, Red-Black

Mr. Heater MH18B Propane Heater, Red

Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent Free Blue Flame Natural Gas Heater MHVFB30NGT


Sengoku KeroHeat 10,000-BTU Indoor/Outdoor Portable Radiant Kerosene Heater, CTN-110

Dura Heat DH2304S 23,800 BTU Indoor Kerosene Heater

23,800 BTU Indoor Kerosene Heater, Convection Space Heaters Portable


There are also a number of projects that can be done at home, with very little work or materials, that can keep you warm, and even cozy dependent on how many you use, how close you are to them and if you designate one room to create your "warm space."

Candles can be dangerous as a fire risk, especially if one falls asleep while it is lit, but there is a way to use them effectively for heat and do it safely.

Using some stacked terracotta pots and a couple of candles, one can keep an entire room comfortably warm. The candles can be replaced with something like Sterno, but the concept is the same either way. Using fire to heat terracotta flower pots, which radiates throughout the room.

Rather than explaining step by step, a short video below shows how to make a basic candle heater in a safe manner. The four hour test below gives a good idea how to make them, how to use them, how to be safe in the simple construction and how effective they are.

Related: Build an American-style Kotatsu

The next one is a "tin can heater," where you use a brand new empty paint can (some use other types of cans," a roll of toilet paper, and a bottle of alcohol.

The toilet paper is used as the "wick,", the alcohol is the accelerant, and amount of warmth is dependent on the size of the space being heated. 

The short video below shows how very easy this do-it-yourself tin can heater is to make.

Note: Make sure the surface it is on is not flammable, use a piece of tile, a cookie sheet or anything else appropriate under the can for safety measures. 

Related: 3 DIY Emergency Heaters That Will Keep You Warm This Winter

Another point which was brought up in the comment section earlier from JoeJoe, is the use of wool blankets around your home. On any floor without a carpet, those wool blankets will help keep a room warmer. For homes without the best of insulation, those blankets on the windows, towels under the doors to stop even that little draft from getting in, can make a huge difference to how long your method of heat lasts in your home, or warm rooms.


No matter what kind of heater you buy or make, when the freeze hits, the most basic of methods to keep warm is body heat. Layering your clothing to trap your body heat in, warm socks, a beanie to keep your head warm.

To many who were born in cold climates, this is a no-brainer, but for those of us that grew up in warm or hot climates, who never even saw snow before, this is a concept that is actually foreign  and one that must be learned.

I speak from experience here.

After living in Miami, Florida, and Arizona, keeping warm consisted of a light-weight jacket at nights during the Winter.

That was it.

Moved to Western Maryland, tried putting on a jacket and going outside in the snow, and was shaking with cold within minutes.

Stefan took me immediately for winter hats, thick socks, gloves, long johns and an appropriate winter coat, and taught me how to layer my clothing so my own body heat kept me warm.



As brutally cold weather slams the United States, keeping warm can quite literally be the difference between life and death, so learning how to keep warm and safe, even with a loss of electricity, is absolutely critical.

As always, readers are encouraged to share heating ideas, links, tips, resources and videos to help keep each other warm.  

Last but not least, the beginning of title comes from a Christmas song that absolutely makes heads explode on the left...... so just for giggles, "Baby, It's Cold Outside."

Sorry, just couldn't resist!

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Thank you and God Bless. Susan and Stefan.


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Checks or money orders made payable to Stefan Stanford or Susan Duclos can be sent to:

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