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I want you guys to help me get my house a little more bad weather/SHTF/off grid/pick your poison ready. It's 8 years old and we've been in it for 7 years. It's all electric. I've been contemplating alternative heat sources not only to help cut costs, but for obvious reasons. I don't really have a good spot to put a pellet stove so I've been thinking about outside heat. Sure it's a pain in the ass to go out in the cold and keep a fire going, but I don't mind. I've got a friend that sells and installs outside water/wood stoves. I've also thought about maybe adding propane just for emergencies. Heat is the most important to me at the moment.

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Excelent!!!

The use of a outside boiler is NOT that bad!!!

My next door neighbor has one..It cut his heat bill by over 90 %....only uses the elecrtical to push the water through the system..

He has a "Box" that was put in the air handler..Like a radiator...ALL his heat comes from it...

 

His home was built in the 50s and is not that energy efficient...

I helped him gather wood all summer,from friends that had trees down,waste,or old decaying stuff no one wanted..

 

He only FEEDS it twice a day and burns EVERYTHING...Does not need to be Cured,he burnes fresh cut wood that is not even 4 months off the ground..

We even burned some trash in it/he has the kind to burn coal...But its getting harded to get even here in WV..

 

GO for it..

use the system you have and add wall radiators to every room as you can afford..

 

JMO..lol..yep Im saving for one myself..

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I am not a fan of the outside wood boiler units. First, no matter how well insulated they are, there is energy lost from the structure itself and from the underground piping. Second, you still need electric for the pumps required.

 

I would advise adding a wood stove surrounded on three sides by stone or masonary. You get heat from the stove, the stove pipe, and long lasting heat from the mass of the stone/masonary. Plus, with a good wood stove, you can at least heat water on it if not do some basic cooking. A good wood stove, like the blaze king, can bank a fire up to 20 hours.

 

JMHO

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Excelent!!!

The use of a outside boiler is NOT that bad!!!

My next door neighbor has one..It cut his heat bill by over 90 %....only uses the elecrtical to push the water through the system..

He has a "Box" that was put in the air handler..Like a radiator...ALL his heat comes from it...

 

His home was built in the 50s and is not that energy efficient...

I helped him gather wood all summer,from friends that had trees down,waste,or old decaying stuff no one wanted..

 

He only FEEDS it twice a day and burns EVERYTHING...Does not need to be Cured,he burnes fresh cut wood that is not even 4 months off the ground..

We even burned some trash in it/he has the kind to burn coal...But its getting harded to get even here in WV..

 

GO for it..

use the system you have and add wall radiators to every room as you can afford..

 

JMO..lol..yep Im saving for one myself..

 

One of my ex-girlfriends parents used one. I can't remember her dad feeding it more than once or twice a day. It would be the easiest for me due to not really having a place to put a stove indoors.

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I am not a fan of the outside wood boiler units. First, no matter how well insulated they are, there is energy lost from the structure itself and from the underground piping. Second, you still need electric for the pumps required.

 

I would advise adding a wood stove surrounded on three sides by stone or masonary. You get heat from the stove, the stove pipe, and long lasting heat from the mass of the stone/masonary. Plus, with a good wood stove, you can at least heat water on it if not do some basic cooking. A good wood stove, like the blaze king, can bank a fire up to 20 hours.

 

JMHO

 

I like the idea of using it to cook/heat water, etc., but I just really don't have a place to put it. I guess it could go in the back corner of the living room, but that really cuts down on my already cramped living room space and thats also the only good place for the TV. Hmmmmm.

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How much electricity do those pumps need? I could run it off of solar or wind power. couldn't I?

 

I am only guessing that it is 120v. No idea on watts. You would have to check that.

 

Another dislike I have is the mess it makes outside. We have several of them in my neighborhood and every one chews up the lawn with wood all over the place. I do understand your concern about space limitations though. I have been heating my house for 34 years with wood and the house was purpose built with a wood stove in mind. From my perspective, I want to be able to cook and heat water. We just went through Sandy with no power for eight days. Other than taking hot showers from a 5-gallon shower bag, life was close to normal. The wood stove even provided a place for the dutch oven to prepare meals.

The solar generator took care of the freezer, refridgerator and lighting.

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I am not a fan of the outside wood boiler units. First, no matter how well insulated they are, there is energy lost from the structure itself and from the underground piping. Second, you still need electric for the pumps required.

 

I would advise adding a wood stove surrounded on three sides by stone or masonary. You get heat from the stove, the stove pipe, and long lasting heat from the mass of the stone/masonary. Plus, with a good wood stove, you can at least heat water on it if not do some basic cooking. A good wood stove, like the blaze king, can bank a fire up to 20 hours.

 

JMHO

 

I agree that IF you can,do the wood stove FIRST...It is the best to start..wood inside can get messy but you control what comes and goes..

the outside boiler does take power to move the water!!Thats the worst and it is a consern of mine also..

 

Im getting lazy in my old age and would only have a solar unit with batterys to push the water..

Like Rod I have lived through Penn. Winters..and Michigan winters..I hate the cold.

LMAO

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How effective are barrel stoves? I do a lot of work in my garage on lightbars and stuff and it's hard to heat it with all of my little electric heaters. I've thought about getting or building a barrel stove to heat my 2 car garage with.

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How effective are barrel stoves? I do a lot of work in my garage on lightbars and stuff and it's hard to heat it with all of my little electric heaters. I've thought about getting or building a barrel stove to heat my 2 car garage with.

Look around- I think Northern Tool,and others sell a kit to turn your barrel into a woodstove-they work pretty damn well-I grew up in Mich.,and we all used them to heat shops,cabins,etc.

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Look around- I think Northern Tool,and others sell a kit to turn your barrel into a woodstove-they work pretty damn well-I grew up in Mich.,and we all used them to heat shops,cabins,etc.

 

There's a couple on Craigslist here for around $100 I thought about picking up. I know I need to insulate above the garage to help retain heat, but I'm burning up a lot of electricity running these electric heaters, plus it's taking away amperage for using tools and such. I figure that even without insulating the ceiling, a barrel stove would produce a ton more heat than the 2 or 3 heaters I use.

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Would you have a footprint available that would work for a modified rocket heater? That's a suggestion that I've seen several times on Pinterest and have heard about being actually used on the Permies forum:

http://www.richsoil.com/rocket-stove-mass-heater.jsp

 

And maybe this is a bit too simple/obvious to point out, but your home is nearly a decade old. Have you done an energy assessment, checked for leaks/gaps in caulking and insulation and so on, to see if your home is as airtight as possible? This will be so important if you're having to work hard to keep your home heated without electricity; you don't want to see that carefully created warmth go straight out a drafty window.

 

A few other ideas I came across while looking for the previous link:

 

DIY solar panels

http://solar.freeonplate.com/diy-how-to/DIY-solar-panels.htm

http://www.instructables.com/id/Home-built-solar-power-system/

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Home-Solar-Planning-a-Solar-Array-Beginners/

 

Creating a solar powered fridge

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1108343/Amazing-solar-powered-fridge-invented-British-student-potting-shed-helps-poverty-stricken-Africans.html

 

Installing a solar wall oven so you can cook "indoors"

http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Solar_Wall_Oven

 

Bicycle power (in case solar isn't enough)

http://www.pedalpowergenerator.com/

http://mayapedal.org/machines.en

 

Also, if you're trying to prep for not having basic utilities, do you have plans for what to do if water and sewer go down, too? For example, having a small well drilled in your backyard, ostensibly to create a "water feature" and maybe use for irrigation, but one that you just happen to have a hand pump/solar pump for if the grid goes down.

 

Building a small septic system

http://homesteadsurvival.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-to-construct-small-septic-system.html

 

Wind-powered water pump made from bike parts

http://www.treehugger.com/wind-technology/diy-wind-powered-water-pump-made-bike-parts.html

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A wood burning stove suitable for cooking all of your food requirements as well as being able to heat your water as well as your house would go a long way towards your sustainability.

 

Under no circumstance burn wood that is not free of moisture as in doing so you will use much of the encaptured energy it contains just to get it to burn. Firewood that is not dry will also create creosote and other gases/liquids that will clog up your chimney and promote corrosion in any metal work it comes in contact with.

 

If you like to have two years or five years of food set aside in your storage facility then that is also the length of time your firewood store should last you.

 

Firewood, like water and food must be treated as an asset as in any situation whereby the overall system fails they are nearly equal in making your survival comfortable.

 

We have summer temperatures as high (so far) as 47 degrees centigrade so in the warmer weather we use a gas stove for our cooking needs. With gas we have the ability to store anywhere from one to ten years supply of bottled gas and this can be done with relative safety.

 

In the warmer months our hot water is heated via a solar hot water system and this saves us not only money but also peace of mind knowing that we never have to worry about having it available.

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Those of you who are interested in heating with wood should look at soapstone stoves and stainless steel wood stove pipe

 

consider backing the stove with stacked soapstone the piping needs to cross the room as the pipe radiates heat most heat is

 

lost up a chimney or up the pipe consider a heat operated fan {needs no power} fans than run off solar power to move heat

 

soapstone can be in a free standing stove or a built in fireplace.

 

there is a product that looks like Mylar bubble wrap that has excellent retaining properties for AC or heat.

 

most homes have hollow interior walls if you remodel consider blown in paper insulation and double insulation in the ceiling

 

Avoid stoves or heaters that use pellets corn or any particular fuel as in a situation you may have to use alternative

 

fuel such as charcoal wood newspaper and magazines as well as junk mail I save all my junk mail it fills 2 -55 gallon

 

drums not to mention you can increase it by signing up for many organizations you hate and help defund them.

 

A closed entry room to prevent heat or cool air dumping when you open a door to the exterior of the home.

 

heating a large pot of water maintains humidity to prevent dry eye and chapping of lips and skin.

 

raising beds higher off the floor, area carpets that can be taken up and beat out we have to think

 

1800 tech stove pipes crossed the largest room to help extract all the heat.

 

A shed for your wood stack and keep it off the ground keeps the wood dry and prevents rot.

 

use pyrethrin based bug sprays used in pump up sprayers to keep spiders and scorpions etc out of your wood.

 

use a wood carrier /tote a canvass of leather square with 2 handles helps keep the mess down and the bark

 

and litter makes good tinder have a tinder box near your stove.

 

Barrel stoves are inexpensive and good BUT they do burn out consider buying stainless steel barrels as well as piping

 

they are a bit pricey but well worth it the kits spoken about previously are excellent all you need is a drill and sawsall

 

or jigsaw to use the template to cut the barrel or barrels to install the door and flue flanges.

 

Remember they are round so cooking and heating water on them requires a flat rack on top and it is not an efficient

 

heat transfer as a stand alone cast iron w/ soapstone stove not to mention you can always move it.

 

also a metal box oven can be placed on top but all I have done is cook bread in a skillet like biscuits and cornbread or

 

tortillas on a stove eye or top plate fried bread is easy also.

 

the sites below are for visual edification only I have not used or purchased from them.

 

http://woodburnfireplace.com/soapstone-wood-stove/

 

http://www.thefind.com/appliances/info-heat-powered-wood-stove-fan

 

http://www.thefind.com/search?query=wood+stove+heat+reclaimer

 

there is nothing so simple as a wood stove or so complicated remember a ember trapping flue cap

 

many fires are started by hot coals or embers leaving the chimney and blown by winds also keep your

 

roof and gutters clean of leaves as well as a clear zone around home to prevent grass fire an avenue to your home.

 

solar hot water system is a great idea you can add an inline propane powered demand water heater {camp type}

 

can be powered by a propane bottle one even uses a 1 pound screw in bottle or has an adapter for larger bottle or tank.

 

built in that use electricity are counter productive I have one that has a pilot light if the power is out I can still

 

have hot water if no local source I can adapt a barrel mounted high for a gravity cistern supply.

 

Modern home design are not concerned with heat communication from room to room nor water supply as local

 

water pressure can move water to any place we want or need it to be it days past it was a consideration but

 

it was not long before plumbing was like our computer and cell tech now in constant change and home owners

 

were running to keep up with kitchen and plumbing tech of the day.

 

if your building a bugout cabin consider well your design keeping the bathroom next to the kitchen maybe even a pipe chase

 

between to allow for alternate tech and piping to facilitate a attic mounted tank for gravity flow demand water heater

 

or even a separate wood boiler with a solar water heater combinations as some areas have so little sun in winter

 

you may need the alternate source during a power outage or lean times.

 

A good wood stove can burn anything corn stalks cobs paper rolls paper bricks site below

 

if your one of those who shred everything the brick is the ticket for you save in a barrel and make them up and store

 

them back in the barrel keeps them dry and bug free until needed you can use bio mass dried cut grass and wood chips

 

and leaves from yard debris mixed with paper as a binder

 

https://www.lehmans.com/p-1847-newspaper-brick-maker.aspx

 

http://www.woodlanddirect.com/Wood-Stove-and-Accessories/Wood-Stove-Accessories/Antique-Brass-Black-Paper-Log-Roller

 

in some areas where wood is scarce peat drift wood, seaweed dead cactus even dried animal chips are fire fodder and is collected

 

year round and dried or kept dry in a nearby lean to / drying shed.

 

man needs fire and heat before modern technology either a family spent 25 % of their time scrounging for fodder or

 

they spent or traded a portion of their livelihood to get fuel even today in some countries wood cutters and coal monkeys

 

etc. roam the streets selling out of a cart.

 

those who worry about rosin or flue fires need to have the equipment to clean their chimney or pipe and consider a refit

 

of stainless steel pipe or fire proof liner with an insert most built in fireplaces are eye candy and not worth much

 

for heating or cooking in emergencies test it if you have one also if you use natural gas have a conversion to propane

 

or during a prolonged outage have an alternate way to start your fire like a hand held propane torch and a case of bottles.

 

Important not about fireplace and wood stoves are the grates if it is a cheap wide fingered it will not allow proper

 

airflow for use of alternate fodders a grate with a grid design versus ribs that are used for logs gives you a greater range

 

of fuels and better combustion duration as a rib type allows faster burn with more heat loss up the flue / pipe.

 

A tight home is not conductive to a good burn in your fireplace or stove and in a power outage you may need to crack

 

windows to help air circulation and other problems associated with open flame boilers, fire places, heaters and stoves.

 

one example a propane or gas water heater will suck the door off the frame if it is not vented replace a door and it was vented

 

or had a wide floor gap and the new one is not properly vented it can happen venting has to balance with draft or your going to

 

have issues never store liquid fuels in the vicinity of open flame lie gas cans in a garage with a gas water heater.

 

oil lamps have killed many people if it is lit and you drop it {children were the victims mostly} your a fireball in seconds.

 

candles are for waking around not oil lamps lite it and leave it alone keep it away from drapes and electric lamp shades

 

nothing above it that may catch fire and not near the ceiling 3 foot if you want to know place your hand above the

 

chimney and hold it there if you have to move it in less than a minute it needs to be further down or away from the ceiling

 

and expect smoke signs on ceilings and walls if you use these for long it is the nature of the beast.

 

yea I know a long post but fire and hot metal is the most deadly thing and especially to children a child falling on a

 

wood stove burning will have a larger portion of burn compared to a grownup running and playing in a home should not be

 

tolerated in emergency conditions and it needs to be enforced as a matter of life and death because it is.

 

children are spoiled with modern conveniences scalding and burns are rare and they are ignorant of the danger

 

of antiquated technology they must be trained and taught or death or disfigurement will follow.

 

never refill a hot lamp use a funnel and clean spills immediately and remove rag from area as vapors are flammable from a

 

distance and for long time even after the fuel has evaporated have and use tongs and iron to stoke or add to a fire.

 

never use liquid fuel inside to start a fire in a stove or fireplace it clings to the floor and when you light it it will travel

 

keep a bucket of water and a towel ready to cover burns or put out fires have chemical ice packs

 

a burn needs to have the heat quenched from your flesh ASAP or it will go deeper and involve a larger area

 

a bag of flour in the freezer works for a burned hand or fingers or a area that can be covered with some depth.

 

Remember carry a candle leave a lamp or fu@kin' die in a fireball and burn your damn house down.

 

ignorance is bliss stupidity is fatal.

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Wood heat is a great idea for many reasons but if you need to get a second heat source and quickly( which you do!) propane is fast and cheap, you can add a wall mounted heater and cooktop and run off a small tank in the back yard.

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