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You Need Back-Up Heat

Real Estate Agent with Valley Market Real Estate

How did you like the wind storm last week? Lots of people lost power because of that howling wind. Some places were without power for days. Most heating systems require electricity to operate so these people were without heat as well.


If you have a gas fireplace you might be able to keep your house tolerably warm with that minimal heater…but what if you didn’t have gas?

One of these days we are going to lose our gas supply through a major line breakage, cause by an accident, or an earthquake, or perhaps just because of deterioration of the system. This may knock out our gas supply for weeks rather than just for a few hours or days. What then?

It seems to me that the best back-up heating system is a wood stove. A small supply of wood will keep your house from freezing up in an emergency. If you run out you can always find more fuel.

Some of us, including me, just don’t have a good place to put a wood stove in our houses. There is still a way to prepare for that real emergency. I have an old barrel stove in the shed, along with some stove pipe. In a real emergency I will install that stove quickly in the garage, stick the stove pipe out the window and fire it up. Of course, wood stoves are dangerous so precautions must be taken to keep from starting a fire, but it will serve its purpose when needed.

I urge everyone to have a plan for the inevitable emergency when we don’t have power or gas for weeks at a time. We are in Alaska, you can’t count on it happening when the temperature is balmy, ole Murph says it will be in January at -20 degrees. Be prepared.

By the way, if you are in the market to sell or buy real estate…contact me. I would be honored to help you with your real estate needs. I can give you some hints on using wood heat as well…that’s the only heat we had when I was growing up on the Innoko River.



Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Hi Marty: It gets pretty cold in Crescent City as well and probably the majority of people have a wood stove. We use it by choice throughout the winter. Luckily wood is plentiful here. You would think that most Alaskans would go the same route. Heating oil and electricity is pretty expensive to heat with.

Dec 20, 2010 08:21 PM
Marty Van Diest
Valley Market Real Estate - Wasilla, AK
Your Alaskan Realtor

Hella, Yes, wood stoves are a great option.  It's great to hear Crescent City people are prepared.  You would think Alaskans would love them too.  We have plenty of firewood.  But you would be surprised, many Alaskan houses that are connected to the natural gas grid only have gas heat.  

That makes me a little nervous when it's 20 or 30 below zero.

Dec 20, 2010 08:34 PM
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

Ouch! too cold for me.........

Dec 20, 2010 08:35 PM