General purpose heater...

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by R-007, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. R-007

    R-007 New Member


    I'm looking for a stationary heater for cooking and room heating in case electricity and gas supply fails.
    It should be small enough to move around inside the house. 10-15 kg max!
    I would like to use it for normal winter use as well, for cheap and flexible additional heating.
    This means it should be odor-free, or least only very little odor.
    I imagine it should run on ethanol, because I have a good supply of denat ethanol. And I don't think you can use kerosene or other fuels indoors.

    It should be able to start in temperatures down to 10 Celsius = 50 Fahrenheit.
    High quality, high safety and low maintenance are key issues here.

    I hope to get a lot of ideas and suggestions from you guys.
  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Gas cooking appliances that use propane (BBQ or stove) would be my first choice for cooking, then after that gel-alcohol burners would be my second choice for cooking with. Having a window open near where you are cooking will let the dangerous gasses outside.

    For heating, a woodfire-box would be my first choice and then after that small tent-heaters and put them inside a small area where you would be as well. Consider setting up a well-insulated tent in your living room to sleep in if it is too cold to sleep in your normal bed.

    You don't say where you are located - so I will assume that you have four-seasons where winter cold / snows are a factor. Snow is a great insulator, you could setup camp in an igloo and have a great sleep as well.

  3. nj_m715


    Military tent heaters come in a few sizes and can burn wood, diesel and coal along with waste motor oil or vegetable oil with a few mods. The don't need electric and can be found a flee markets or online. Here's one style, but there many others.

    m1941 : Camping Heat/Cook Stoves
  4. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

    How "renewable" is your "good supply"?
    Do you have an easy and/or inexpensive way of replacing your supply when it is used up? I know that it is NOT inexpensive when buying at current market prices in steel drums.

    I heat with wood. Sometimes the supply is easy (after a big windstorm!) and sometimes I have to drive quite a few miles and spend a lot of time to get enough wood to make it worth the while. If you have a drum of denatured ethanol given to you for free, when it runs out will it be easy to replace?

    Or will you have to switch to another type of fuel alltogether?
  5. R-007

    R-007 New Member

    Thanks for all your input. I'm thinking ethanol for two reasons. I bought alot of denat ethanol at a company that was closing business. Very cheap. I think I have about the equivalent of one barrel. In small plastic containers. And I can buy more today at market price if I find a suitable heater.
    Second reason. I would like to use it indoors for non-emergency heating as well, so it must be odor-free. Ethanol is also very easy to use and not too hard to produce your self.
    Yes, wood is easy to gather, but inconvenient for a minor crisis. Lets say food supply or electricity is out for - say one month.
    The idea about the tent indoor for emergency is great. That will safe a lot of heating fuel.
    LincTex: Yes you are right. If I run out of fuel during a crisis, I'm screwed. So I think my back-up for my back-up should be wood fire.
  6. nj_m715


    It's just my opinion, but I'd value that alcohol right up there with gasoline or diesel. You can run a gas motor, vehicle, genset, etc with it. I'd look toward something like for a rocket stove or hobo stove for cooking. It's much harder to run a car on trees, save the good fuel for a good use.
    You can cook inside with a wick style kero space heater, but you're still burning a vehicle grade fuel for heat.. Sure there's some fumes from K1, but your alcohol has an odor too.
    If that alcohol is "burning a hole in your pocket" and you want to use it up, just mix a little into you gas tank until it's gone. Make your own home brew E-10 fuel and pay yourself $3.50 a gal for your alcohol.
    Wood, dead fall trees, old pallets, mill and construction scraps etc are free and easy to store. Instead of looking for a stove to burn your alcohol, I'd look for a pot belly stove, tent heater, 30 or 55 gal drum stove etc. and burn free fuel. Even during an shtf situation you can get fuel if you run low. You can pipe it into your existing chimney if it's an older home with a brick chimney or pipe it out a window with some sheet metal and stove pipe.
  7. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

    +1 on everything M715 said.

    The "holy grail" of energy is now - and always will be - liquid fuel for internal combustion engines.

    It is pretty tough to drive a vehicle on wood scraps. I didn't say impossible, but wood gas vehicles take a lot more work to get started and go drive than a liquid fueled one. That is why gasoline/alcohol/etc. will be worth MUCH more in a SHTF situation than other easily found sources of fuel for heat.