All options for this winter: how to prepare for heating outages

How to prepare for heat outages logo

This winter there will probably be no heating in the Donetsk region. This is what – apart from the shelling – dictated the call of the Ukrainian authorities to evacuate. But in the rest of the country, the coming winter will be energetically difficult. The Kyiv City Hall, for example, encourages people to stock up on blankets and warm clothes. We decided to look for real solutions – what emergency heating methods can be used by residents of apartment and private houses this winter. And first of all, if you live in a high-rise building, forget about the bourgeoisie: it is very dangerous not only because of an open fire but also because of carbon monoxide. It cannot be taken out into the house ventilation.

It is not for nothing that Ukraine is carrying out the mandatory evacuation of residents of the Donetsk region, and also announced it in the frontline areas of other regions. All experts agree: evacuation is the only right way out. No advice will work if mines and artillery shells are flying into your cities.

Let’s move on to the so-called rear territories.

The hardest part is for the townspeople. They have a smaller list of possibilities, as well as technologies that can be used for emergency heating. If we talk about long-term heating of housing, then everything is even more complicated. However, there are options. It all depends on the case. Let’s consider each of them.

The first option is that central heating has disappeared for some reason, or there is no gas supply if you have a gas boiler:
For example, an accident at a boiler house, a gas pipeline, or a missile strike on one of these objects. But everything else is in the apartment. First of all, electricity. In this case, heaters come into play.

Already now we need to check the wiring, cables and automatic machines. Power engineers recommend enlisting the support of an intelligent electrician and checking everything – wiring and sockets in the apartment, flaps and junction boxes in entrances and vestibules, as well as the main distribution cabinets of your houses.

Electric devices

If you need to buy something, then the most optimal experts call air conditioners, as well as “wind blowing”. They immediately convert electricity into heat. At the same time, air conditioners consume less electricity than radiators. As for the “wind chimes”, they can not be left unattended, or at night. There is a risk of fire. An alternative to them is an electric convector. It is more expensive, but safer. Choose low-power appliances or those where the power is regulated to minimize the load on the network when electric heating is turned on at the same time.

The second option is that the heating disappeared in the house along with the electricity:
And this is a problem. If there are hits in substations, then repair work may take weeks. Therefore, the most important advice of most experts is to try to move somewhere. To another city, or district. To friends, and relatives. Since the problem of lack of electricity will lead not only to lack of heating but also to lack of water, problems with sewerage.

If you are not going to leave, then first of all you need to insulate yourself: with thermal underwear, warm clothes, and sleeping bags. And also create a heat zone in the apartment.

Expert’s opinion

Energy experts advise choosing a kitchen for this. Windows need to be additionally covered with a film for better thermal protection. A small insulated room can keep warm for several days. Including cooking food there, and heating water.

For cooking, you can use a tourist burner or a tourist oven with a pinch. It needs very little fuel, the efficiency is high, and there will be little smoke. However, you must take care of the hood. The expert also recommends that you always have several power banks charged so that you can charge gadgets. In general, it is worth watching the pawnbrokers during the war in any season.

However, this will not solve the problem of lack of electricity. As an option, experts offer to buy one solar panel. To do it, you need to take an uninterruptible power supply for a 220-volt inverter and an accumulator. Usually, you should not count on heating from a solar panel in winter, but, according to testimonies, people conducted an experiment and were able to start one boiler circuit.

The boiler solution

The boiler will work for an hour, maybe two. If it was a sunny day. But during this time, it will be possible to warm the apartment at least a little. And this heat will last for another couple of days.

However, this is only possible if the apartment has a boiler. If the heating is centralized, then there are practically no safe alternatives. Except for ceramic gas heaters. They are in a fairly affordable price range. They work from gas cylinders. However, such heaters are advised to be used in workshops, garages, and not apartments. They must have carbon dioxide sensors on them. The room needs at least a little, but to ventilate.

If the temperature has dropped significantly even in the “warm zone”, and urgent individual heating is needed, then the market offers various electric blankets, hot water bottles, and heating plates for the body. They are low-power, consume very little electrical energy, but will help to create heat in a small area. Most of them work from an outlet, but you can find options that connect to a power bank or battery. In this case, you should stock up on a 12V battery.

The most urgent measure, if freezing threatens, is to go to the basement (shelter). The temperature underground will always be positive.

Prepare for the cold weather together

If the electricity supply does not resume in a few days, it will not be possible to cope with the situation yourself. And therefore, it strongly recommended preparing for the cold together: with the residents of the house and the district.

You can raise money in advance and buy everything you need to create a heating point. And also buy one power generator for everyone. Then it will be possible to warm up, cook food, and charge gadgets. It is also advisable to immediately think about where to put garbage and waste products: the sewer will not work, and you need to choose a place and dig a hole there in advance.

However, the most common advice from both experts and people who went through a similar situation in March of this year is to move somewhere until at least the power supply is restored.

“At the beginning of March, in the new district of Severodonetsk, the heating first disappeared after getting into the boiler room. And a few days later, the electricity disappeared. And in those days, there were just frosts. We were able to stay in the apartment for a few more days. They turned on the gas. However, everything cooled down quickly anyway. Besides, there was no water. Staying at home was unbearable. And we moved to friends in the old part of the city. There was electricity. I know that a lot of residents of the new districts did this,” said the resident of Severodonetsk.

More opportunities in a private home

Here, before the cold weather, you can still have time to put in a solid fuel system, if you only have gas now. It is also worth stocking up on firewood or coal if there is a stove. Or build this very furnace: a cheaper, though not as energy-efficient option as a solid-fuel boiler.

It’s good to have a generator as well. On diesel or gasoline. It is better to stock up on all this in advance, while there is no strong hype. Also, there are no tips on insulation – warm clothes, sleeping bags, “heat zone”.

All these tips can be implemented at the moment if there is one so that in case of an emergency you can temporarily move there from the city.

Check out more interesting articles about generators and electricity in our blog.

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