Our Heat was Out for a Few Days.

This week the heat in our house was out for a few days.  A circuit board went out on the furnace and it took a few days to get a replacement.  Now we don’t live in a real cold area, although it has been colder than normal, getting down in low 30s high 20s. Now I know that this is not cold for many of you, but I still was able to take advantage of the situation and learn from it.

I do have some alternate long-term solutions to the heating problem, but decided not to use them.  Here is a few things we noticed.  The first day the house started fairly warm from residual heat, every day after that it got a bit colder, but still not as bad as outside at night.

Here is a few things that we learned.

  • Open the blinds first thing in the morning to let the sun in.
  • Long underwear helps.
  • Get out of the house during the day.  Don’t just sit in the cold.  It was warmer outside in the sun.
  • Open the windows if it is warmer outside.
  • A hot water bottle would have been nice when climbing into bed at night.
  • Stay active.
  • The kitchen stays warmer when you are cooking.
  • Flannel sheets

Now this was not a real emergency.  It didn’t cause us any problems; we still had hot water and lights.  When I lived in Michigan in the fifties in an old house, it was often colder than this in my bedroom.  Over the years we forget what it was like, it is good to experience a bit of a problem every now and then.

Howard

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4 Responses to Our Heat was Out for a Few Days.

  1. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Huh, last time something like that happened I told the wife we would have to snuggle to survive the night and when that didn’t work I got up went and got the little heater out of the camper and shut the bedroom door to retain the heat. Lived it the hard way before, hunt and camp enough, can’t see doing without when I have other means especially at a resource base like home. That thought process, means and can do energy is what separates me from the herd

  2. jim says:

    any of these new drinking water bottle containers (plastic, lexan, even metal) filled with HOT water then slid inside a heavy sock will help keep you warm. one at your feet area and one around your core area (chest, heart, lung, stomach area). I use these quite often when cold weather camping. Then next morning use the water for boiling, cooking, coffee and personal hygiene. I always preheat the container (fill with hot water and then pour the water in a different container). THEN I fill the containers to be used with socks with real hot water. The metal containers seem to stay warm longer, but when they get cold–they are COLD. peace, Shadowfaxhound

  3. Iceman says:

    http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2011/02/body-insulation-thermal-underwear.html#more

    Please consult the above: “One layer of thermal long underwear allows you to turn down the thermostat with at least 4° C, saving up to 40% on space heating energy.”….”The insulating properties of clothing can be expressed in “clo”-units, where one “clo” equals the thermal insulation required to keep a resting person (for instance, a couch potato) indefinitely comfortable at a temperature of 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit).” This unit was defined in the USA already by 1946, it seems.

    I had commented on that site in 2011 roughly as follows:

    “My solution:
    The last 2 winters I have lived in couch potato mode in winters at a measured 8-10 C in a largely unheated apartment. Below 7 C, I would need fingerless gloves to type with. How do I manage to stay warm and comfortable BUT motionless at 8-10 C?

    I wear clothes as follows:

    1. surplus British Army calf-length indoor slippers for only € 6 with (a). drawstring around the calf on outer boot to stop cold air falling in from above (b) outer boot of padded cotton (c). inner removable boot of washable synthetic.

    2. Swedish second-hand army Arctic deployment trousers or Milspec US army thermal trousers, no long underwear needed. I wear any sox that come to hand, not necessarily woollen.

    3. Trevira synthetic round-necked T-shirt under

    4. woollen long-sleeved high-collar undershirt by eg Woolpower or Icebreaker

    4. high-collar fleece shirt/jacket under

    5. a high-collar sleeveless padded cotton jacket, of the photographer/trucker style.

    The collar is also padded, hence I have a total of 3 collars zipped shut at throat. So I need no scarf, inside or outside the apartment.

    4. Fingerless fleece gloves, optional.

    5. Watch cap/other warm head covering.

    Body core is consequently protected by 4 layers, 3 of synthetic, 1 of wool and 1 of padded cotton (synthetic filling). The sleeveless jacket, which permits great arm freedom and has no fitted shoulders, is crucial in imparting a feeling of not being constricted by all the clothing. I may sometimes need a woollen hat inside the apartment.

    This clothes combination has the magnificent advantage that I need not change it it any way when going outside to -5 C: I wear the same clothes inside and out. I wear no cotton at all except for underwear below the waist. Hence any sweat generated while wearing this clothes combination wicks away during and after a brisk walk of 45 mins at e.g. 0 C. ”

    Older persons who feel the cold more may need to increase the number of layers from 4 to 5. This is done by adding a second sleeveless fleece jacket to protect body core while retaining free arm movement to perform manual tasks, because the 5 layers contain only 2 layers that are long-sleeved.

  4. PAUL says:

    we had a similiar experience with our gas furnace a couple of months ago; but, fortunately, we have a back-up for heating: an old fashioned wood burning stove to provide heat and cook on. a good heads up, Howard thanks….paul .

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