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Emergency, safe, alternative low-budget heat for apartment?

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Posted by SolutionsDIY on December 1, 2021, 2:42 pm
I strongly suspect that our country may also creat-- I mean, have a
Dark Winter as Joe Biden is threate-- I mean, warning about in the

I don't have a lot of money but is there anything that one can do to
get an alternative yet safe heat source in an urban apartment setting
that is not like a gas-run generator, etc.?  [I don't have a place in
the country with a stove and woodpile, so trying to come up with a
viable solution here. <g>]

I know it's a tall order and likely impossible, but today's
technologies sometimes offer up great yet not exhorbitantly-priced
solutions that one might not be aware of.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated, if anyone would be so kind.!!

Went to school in the 70s, so though I don't have much more than  
basic, handywoman skills, I do have a bit more than most women I know,
if that's any help ...


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Posted by SolutionsDIY on December 1, 2021, 4:57 pm

Thanks.  Good point!  Appreciate it.

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Posted by ads on December 2, 2021, 2:28 am
 On Wed, 01 Dec 2021 09:42:30 -0500, SolutionsDIY

Easiest "warm" is usually adding layers.  An overshirt - something you
like in a size larger than you usually wear - is often the easiet to
find and you'll find lots of things - for women and men - at Goodwill
or the like.  In a few months, LLBean and others will be having their
end-of-season sales on winter clothes and that can be a good time to
buy things you wouldn't otherwise consider - my down vest was half
price, as was the lined flannel shirt.  I'm an old guy - approaching
80 - and although I still sometimes try to do what I did at 50 my body
refuses and it doesn't produce as much heat as it did when I was that
active :-(

If you have space (windows, patio walkway) for 200+ watts of solar
panels and a 500WH or larger "solar generator", an electric blanket
with a lightweight thermal blanket over it could have you sleeping
warm at night.  Part of it is psychological - have the blanket just
high enough for the bed to "not be cold" when you get in it and then
turn the electric blanket down to the minimum needed to keep you warm.

In your "layers", look for a housecoat that's thick enough to be
considered "a blanket with sleeves" - and get some wool socks.  Long
underwear - tights and a long sleeve tee shirt may also work, just not
as well - provides that inside "layer" which can make a lot of
difference.  If you hands are cold, perhaps some "fingerless" gloves
so most of your hand is covered and only the last joint of your
fingers is uncovered.  There are also battery-heated gloves, socks and
vests - probably more practical is you have some backup power which is
independent of the grid to recharge batteries for the gloves, socks or

Drink warm beverages - holding a warm cup also warms your hand.  We go
through a lot of hot tea and hot chocolate in the winter months ;-) We
cook with gas so power outages aren't that big an event.  We also have
gas logs which run on batteries (remote and gas valve) so they work
without commercial power.  If you can't cook or heat beverages without
power, the small butane stoves are indoor safe and can provide
hot/warm food and beverages without power.

Heading back to the fireplace to click the remote for the gas logs and
get my hands warm...

Posted by Jim Wilkins on December 2, 2021, 2:08 pm
On Wed, 01 Dec 2021 09:42:30 -0500, SolutionsDIY

Mid-70's here and all I have left from distance running and mountain  
climbing is sore knees and feet.

In "Coppelia" on PBS, the baker was once principal dancer in the Bolshoi,  
and the girl with glasses is his daughter. It's plain that his legs have  
given out.

I found some nice insulated vests at Goodwill when the stores were out of  
them. I was looking for cheap work vests, instead I found Eddie Bauer,  
Vineyard Vines, Columbia etc at <10% of their original price. Washing in  
cold water with Woolite and air drying on the clothesline didn't hurt the  
goosedown Bauer. Goodwill has since caught on and raised their prices.

A heated pad on the mattress also works well. The one I have (Xmas gift)  
preheats and then idles at lower power, making it more compatible with the  
thick down duvet over it if I stay up late.

I wish I could recommend solar panels because I've been experimenting with  
using alternate energy sources to power standard appliances, but so far I  
can only justify them for power outage backup. They will probably never pay  
back their cost, mainly because of the expense and fairly short lifetime of  
storage batteries which are essential for almost all uses, the exception  
being heating water. Unless you buy an overpriced Jackery or similar power  
pack, or can modify a jump starter, storage batteries aren't well suited to  
indoor use.

The Alpicool T60 I mentioned is a 12V DC-powered fridge/freezer that's well  
suited to solar power although it's likely too small to be most peoples'  
only cold food storage and costs twice as much as a larger compact fridge of  
similar power consumption. The difference is that the T60 doesn't need a  
pure sine wave inverter to generate motor quality 120V AC from battery DC.  
The idling power consumption of my inverter is about as much as the  
refrigerator it powers, halving battery-only run time or doubling battery  
cost to reach a run time goal.

I've set up a smaller Alpicool C20 to run all day on only solar power. My  
control circuit for it automatically reverts to grid power if there isn't  
enough sun, or battery power during a night grid outage. The C20 is small  
enough to use in the car and can hold up to a week's frozen or refrigerated  

There are actual blankets with sleeves for reading or TV. The Dollar Tree  
chain sells thick socks of reasonable quality for $ a pair.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on December 2, 2021, 5:56 pm
A heated pad on the mattress also works well. The one I have (Xmas gift)
preheats and then idles at lower power, making it more compatible with the
thick down duvet over it if I stay up late.

I didn't explain that enough. Electric blankets can overheat under other  

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