What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back-up Heating

We heated solely with wood for almost 16 years.  During that time the only time we worried about back-up heating was if we wanted to go away for a few days during the winter months when the possibility of freezing was high.  We could stoke up the fire in the morning and that would get us through most of the day and then again at night so for the most part unless being away from the house more than 12 hours we were good.  Then we moved into a house with a HVAC system.  On the surface controlling heating and cooling via a flick of a switch seemed like a marvelous except as we quickly found out the furnace needed electricity meaning if the power went out we had no heat.

natural gas fireplace
Regardless of any heating system a secondary, back-up heating source is necessary if you live in an area where winter heating is a must.    That source of heat should not be dependent on electricity in the event the electricity is knocked out via a winter storm.   Remember that during a power outage the HVAC and any electric heaters will not work.

We have a natural gas fireplace with an electronic ignition so it is electricity independent.  We can heat the main living area with this fireplace by closing off other rooms and in fact in the cool but not cold months this is what we heat with.

If you use a secondary or back-up heating source that requires some type of fuel such as wood or kerosene, be sure to have enough on hand to last 2 to 4 weeks.  In most cases you will not need this amount of fuel but it is a good, safe rule of thumb. 

Garden Gnome