Indoor Heating Options Worth Considering
We live in a modern world run by technology, power, and ingenuity. But every once in awhile, we find ourselves drawn back to our primitive reflexes and cave (wo)man instincts. So today, we’d like to look at something a little different. We’d like to consider some analogue forms of keeping yourself warm while you’re indoors.
Your first thoughts probably have nothing to do with fire. You could curl up and benefit from some good old-fashioned body heat. Or you could huddle under a blanket and make yourself a cosy pillow fort, complete with a heavy rug to keep the floor warm. For Plan D, you could drink hot chocolate or blood warming drinks of a less child-friendly variety. Whisky and scotch are both excellent ways to get your insides burning.
Beyond that, we can learn a few tricks from people who live off the grid, and even the much-maligned doomsday preppers. They have some interesting tips and tricks that could be quite helpful in a heating emergency.
Many preppers swear by propane heaters. They’re light, portable, and can produce up to 18,000 BTU, depending on size and usage. Propane heaters are great campsite tools, but they have trip features, and a lot of them are designed to switch themselves off in situations where oxygen levels are compromised. Both these functions allow safe indoor use. If you use 1lb of fuel, you can run a propane heater for an hour, and sometimes, it can last as long as six hours. Larger propane tanks can keep the heat running for up to a week, and they come in capacities of up to 20lb.
If you have access to wood, twigs, peat, or some other form of organic fuel, you might choose to invest in a wood burning stove within a fireplace. It’s ancient concept fused with modern design since these can be installed with a vent system that minimises smoke or leads it directly outside. The stove grate is sealed in, which prevents accidental burns from open flames. You can install the stove directly in your fireplace, so that your chimney can dispel the smoke even further. Wood burning stoves are said to be 60% more energy efficient that open fires, so you will definitely save on fuel.
The next indoor heating source might surprise you, because it’s as stone-age as you can possibly go. Did you guess right? We’re talking rocks. Plain old garden variety heated stones. You can put them in a fireplace, lay them near a heater, or leave them out in the sun. They will absorb heat, and when you’re ready to curl up and settle down, you can place the heated rock in your nesting spot. Just make sure the stone is smooth, clean, and untainted. You wouldn’t want to bring any soil or insects into your bed. Also, check the temperature of the stone before you use it. Otherwise, you might burn yourself.
Sitting on a rock or sleeping next to one isn’t the most comfortable posture in the world, so rather than taking the stone to bed with you, you could place it between your sheets for a few minutes before you lie down, so that your bed is warm and snug when you get into it. Then you can put the stone back into the heating source so it can ‘recharge’.
The Japanese took this very idea a few steps further by designing a heated table called a Kotatsu. It’s a table covered with a futon or a blanket, and underneath the table, there’s an insulated heat source. The kotatsu can be warmed up either by electricity or a charcoal grate, and if you’re ambitious enough, you can build one yourself.
Last but not least, candles. No, we’re not advising you to cup your hands around half an inch of a flickering flame. It could take a really long time to get warm that way! What you can do is buy (or build) a candle heater. It’s a series of clay pots arranged in a heat efficient way and then placed over lit candles. It actually doesn’t give off much heat, but it’s a great conversation starter on a romantic dinner date. Just be sure not to touch the heated clay or your date might lead straight to the emergency room…